Chris Maguire has gone viral in a shithouse celebration of his shouting at Lee Johnson’s face as Lincoln beat Sunderland on Tuesday.
The Imps winger had the last laugh over his former manager, after he scored a hat-trick in their League One victory over the Black Cats and then with joy celebrated directly in front of the home side’s dugout.
Maguire played 125 games at the Stadium of Light outfit over his three-year spell, but was allowed to leave on a free transfer.
However he clearly still holds ill feeling over the decision, which came despite him being a first-team name.
In revenge, he scored a brilliant opening goal against his old club, and made sure to make his way in front of the beleaguered Johnson in an act of defiance.
Chris Maguire ladies and gentlemen. pic.twitter.com/TJ27TDmMRe
— Edward Walker (@edward_w97) January 11, 2022
Despite being fit from March of last season after recovering from an injury, he wasn’t handed a start from December onwards in a frustrating spell.
He played just 85 minutes in the final 11 games of the League One campaign with Johnson in charge, and then decided to join Michael Appleton’s Lincoln in the summer.
His return to Sunderland was the best Maguire could have hoped for, after getting the first of Lincoln’s three when Hakeeb Adelakin’s strike was blocked, but the rebound fell kindly to him, so smashed in on a half-volley.
Straight after, he ran away with his team-mates, and headed to Johnson’s technical area to taunt the boss just inches away from his face.
Maguire produced a second on the 57th minute, having driven home a shot from the penalty spot after he was taken down inside the box.
Sunderland managed to get one back when Ross Stewart netted at the second time of asking after his spot-kick was kept out, however it was Maguire who stole back control.
He rounded off his hat-trick with 15 minutes left on the clock after running into the area and chipping over the onrushing keeper.
To make matters worse for Lee Johnson, he was forced to take in the closing stages of the feisty clash from the stands, after getting sent off after a melee broke out.
In April, the Sunderland boss explained why Maguire struggled for game time on Wearside before he departed on poor terms.
‘There’s a lot of competition [for places], and fans have the right to air whatever their feelings are,’ Johnson said.
‘If it wasn’t Chrissy [Maguire] it might be Aiden McGeady for example, or if it wasn’t Aiden McGeady it might be Jack Diamond, or if not him then Jordan Jones.
‘Inevitably, decisions have to be made and you stand or fall by those decisions.
‘That honesty with Chris pretty much started going into the transfer window, where we actually allowed him to seek pastures new if he could find a loan.’
After Tuesday’s game, Lee Johnson said on the celebration: “It’s not for me to comment (on the way Maguire reacted). You’d have to ask him. When you’re manager you pick a team, you don’t hold grudges, and players sometimes move on, it’s part of the game.
“For me, you pick players – (Elliot) Embleton, (Alex) Pritchard – based on your belief in them. Today, he’s had his day and good luck to him.”
“It was a build up of things,” said the Lincoln striker. “I thought I was hard done by in my time here – it didn’t end the way I wanted it to. I got a yellow card early on, and I looked over and he (Johnson) was trying to get me sent off.
“It worked in favour of us because, at the end of the day, he’s been sent up the tunnel. I can’t tell you what I said, but I think I did my talking on the pitch. It was just a bit of tongue in cheek for my last six months here. It ended badly for me.”
Johnson was unhappy with the state of the Stadium of Light pitch, which had pools of water standing on it at kick-off despite it not having rained in the previous 24 hours.
“I’ve said before that we’ve got some fantastic ground staff here, but I honestly don’t know what happened today,” said the Sunderland boss. “Until we have that discussion, it’s very difficult for me to have an opinion on it.
“Often, there’s context to any particular situation. It’s nothing against the people, but for some reason, the pitch was waterlogged 40 minutes before the game.
“The sporting director sent me a picture and said, ‘What’s gone on here? Have you asked for it to be watered?’ Somebody’s got it wrong somewhere because it wasn’t mean to be like that.”
Twitter users reacted as Chris Maguire gets in a shithouse celebration shouting at Lee Johnson’s face…
@Chrisw_1: Kevin Ellison vibes
@Chris___Bell: The moment you can tell he thinks, nahhh f*ck it! 😂
@ollyTJhickford: This is my new favourite video
@NadRussell: Sunderland Fan here but that is canny funny like, always likes Chris and he was great with the fans at the games.
@artjie: Top level shithousery 😂 hattrick against his former club & boss. Chris Maguire 💯
@ForestHills1903: 😂 Chris Maguire might be 32 👀 but he’s still Chris Maguire… right in his ex-managers face 🤣 great strike too.
@thisiskeith: I’m a Lincoln City fan now. Hat’s off to Chris Maguire. #NUFC
@GILESY1973: On this chris maguire malarkey, the lj shit-housery am all for it. On his day which there wasn’t very many good player, today he wound us up and we took the bait, also should of been sent off. And I couldn’t care less if he celebrated or not. #SAFC
@Laurencereade: Chris Maguire being… well Chris Maguire!!
@RobWaldon: Chris Maguire is my spirit animal
@JayAyton5: Chris Maguire was absolutely class tonight mind, done exactly what he needed to do. Put yourself in his shoes and you’d have done the same thing
@indiajgxxx: Litro don’t blame Chris Maguire, he got fucked off by Lee Johnson (huge mistake, proven why tonight) and for fans to boo him before the game even started (well where I sat) was a pisstake, he was nothing but nice to our fans and I understand his celebration infront of LJ… #safc
@Scoz1985: Love Chris Maguire for this very reason absolute top Shithouser
@lufcdanny00: Massive, massive respect to Chris Maguire. What a goal, what a celebration, and topped it off by getting himself a hatrick 🤣 fair man
@adamsarchive: Chris Maguire probably couldn’t have dreamt of a better evening than that. Felt like the game played right into his hands. Defending for the 3rd goal was juvenile at best. Hopefully just an off day for #SAFC, never really looked like getting into 2nd gear the whole game.
@lord_barrold: I have no hate on Chris Maguire. Did a job for us (mainly on the bigger stages of Division 3) but don’t think many of us were too upset when he moved on. Came back tonight and did what he does. And we let him. My issue is with our players and manager. Not him.
@bennewton_safc: Had us on strings. Absolute checkmate. Don’t blame him if he got hard done by from within the club but how fickle our fans are is just laughable. Applauding him before the game then booing him for doing the exact thing he done for us that we all adored. Fair play Chris maguire.
@DanielsToz: Let’s just all agree that Chris maguire is a bit of a lad
Fair enough like credit to him for what he said he absolutely tore us to shreds and ran the show tonight so fair play Chris Maguire. https://t.co/eZPAFIUAG7
— Oluwaseun Bamgboye (@bamgboyeolu) January 11, 2022
— Adamski (@Adsox87) January 11, 2022