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Ralf Rangnick's side struggled in large parts during the round of 16 clash at the Wanda Metropolitano but after coming on as a second-half substitute, academy graduate Elanga slotted past Jan Oblak to bag a crucial equaliser.
It was a cool, calm and collected finish from the youngster, who has impressed in recent weeks with several excellent performances.
Poetry in motion 🤩🔴— United Zone (@ManUnitedZone_) February 24, 2022
Anthony Elanga’s goal in 𝙨𝙡𝙤𝙬-𝙢𝙤 🥶
United managed to hold on and secure a 1-1 draw going into next month's second leg tie at Old Trafford.
After the final whistle, Elanga was asked about his goal and, while explaining the thought process behind it, the 19-year-old winger opened up on spotting Oblak's weakness ahead of Wednesday's game.
“It was my first touch of the game, and I obviously always do my homework when I’m playing against other teams," he said.
“I watched that he really doesn't like that side, and he comes out and leaves a huge space for me.
“In that moment, I’ve still got to be composed, calm and relaxed. I was able to slot it into the space and happy days.”
Here’s the clip of him saying it for everyone who thinks I’m ‘lying’ 😅 pic.twitter.com/rlD4yEqjtP— h (@htomufc) February 24, 2022
Interim manager Rangnick was full of praise for Elanga, who was close to leaving Old Trafford until he walked through the door.
"Apart from his name, of course, I had heard about his name before but not as a player because he didn't play for Manchester United," he said.
"The first training session the night before the Crystal Palace game, he was the player with the best training performance.
"I asked my staff members about him and found out he had almost already decided to leave the club on loan. So a week after the Palace game (he came on in the game) I said, listen, I want you stay and see how you are doing in the training games until the end of the closure of the transfer window.
"I think right now he has just shown what is possible in football with the right mentality, the right approach, this is exactly what he did and what he always does in every training session."
Ralf Rangnick has high praise for Anthony Elanga and reveals that he was close to leaving Manchester United but the interim boss loved what he saw in training and told him to stay. 🌟 pic.twitter.com/1ztFheJC52— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) February 23, 2022
Do you think Elanga should start for United ahead of the likes of Marcus Rashford?
Let us know in the comments.
Featured Image Credit: Manchester United/Alamy
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