He took a leaf out of countryman Ruud van Nistelrooy’s book – but it’s exactly what Aberdeen deserved on Saturday according to Motherwell’s Kevin Van Veen.
The striker scored his side’s leveller as Motherwell beat the Dons 2-1 in Scottish Cup fifth round action. Christian Ramirez had put the Pittodrie club ahead before ‘Well’s number nine and Connor Shields struck.
Van Veen celebrated in the face of Dons defender and former Motherwell captain Declan Gallagher after a fiery battle between the pair. He picked up a booking in an action similar to van Nistelrooy’s celebration for Manchester United against Arsenal.
At the price of a yellow, Motherwell’s Dutchman says it was priceless: “I think they had instructions to take me out of the game. After 10/15 seconds they started punching me in the ribs. I said: I will get you back. I will score.
“So, when I scored, I celebrated in front of them. That’s what you deserve when you play that way. I can play dirty, too. I do not know if you remember the clip with Ruud van Nistelrooy back in the day when the Arsenal players were in his face after he missed a penalty.
“That’s what I did and I’ll take a yellow card for that all day long. The best way to answer them is to score goals. Like I say, they started early.
“They kept bouncing into me and that’s part of defending, but the punching was to try and get a reaction out of me and they kept doing it. But I didn’t respond because I didn’t want to let my team down with a network card.
“They (officials) were aware of it. The assistant on the main stand side was and the referee was too. He told me to keep my head and I did. I wasn’t sent off, but I played on the edge.”
Van Veen, who now has four goals in three games against Aberdeen this term, says there was no room for post-match handshakes: “No I didn’t, not when they disrespect me like that.
“It’s a game, but they didn’t come to shake my hand, so I’m not going to step forward to shake theirs. I’m sorry to say that because I’m not arrogant, I’m humble. But they’re arrogant and they got what they deserved.”
Motherwell host Aberdeen again in Premiership action this Saturday, having already registered three wins over a side now without a manager after Stephen Glass was dismissed following ‘Well’s quarter-final progression.
Van Veen added: “Don’t get me wrong, Aberdeen is a big club and they’re all talented footballers, but we won this game by showing real fight. We showed that we wanted it, but we definitely need to do that again this Saturday.
“It was just pure, honest, humble battling from us while they pushed, but they didn’t push hard enough. They will need to do a lot of analyzing before next Saturday because we’ve beaten them three times now so they need to find an answer.
“If we keep doing what we’re doing, then it shouldn’t be a problem to beat them again and again.”
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