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Anthony Elanga was so confident Cristiano Ronaldo would score his penalty against Brentford that he started running to the corner flag to celebrate, seconds before the five-time Ballon d'Or winner had even struck the ball.
Ronaldo, who netted a 61st minute penalty to take his Premier League tally to 18 goals, was named Sky Sports' Man of the Match for his efforts against the Bees.
NEVER 👏 IN 👏 DOUBT 👏— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) May 2, 2022
Cristiano Ronaldo wins a penalty for Man Utd and then slots it home to make it 2-0! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/ScvoVi6dbG
In truth, United have suffered a campaign to forget but one of the few positives has been the return of Ronaldo, who now sits third in the Premier League Golden Boot race behind Son Heung-Min and Mohamed Salah.
The 37-year-old once again played a key part at Old Trafford – a ground he has scored 13 goals at this season. And as he set himself to score to make it 2-0, teammate Anthony Elanga was in confident spirits.
In fact, the academy product started making his way to the corner flag before Ronaldo had even hit the ball.
Cristiano Ronaldo goal vs Brentford | Elanga Running before the Penalty to Celebrate pic.twitter.com/XBtoIqiZc3— It's a Goal (@Its_a_Goal_) May 2, 2022
Elanga was already running to celebrate with Ronaldo even before Ronaldo scored the penalty. 😂❤️ pic.twitter.com/soERHsrSKZ— CristianoXtra (@CristianoXtra_) May 2, 2022
The influence of Cristiano Ronaldo is clear. Last month, he embraced nine United players ahead of their 3-2 win over Norwich City, once again proving he continues to be a huge figure in the dressing room.
Cristiano Ronaldo doesn't need the armband to be Manchester United's captain. 👊pic.twitter.com/XfpU5Y0Vyg— Mu. (@FutbolMuu) April 16, 2022
Ralf Rangnick, meanwhile, gave Elanga another first-team start in the Premier League on Monday night and after the full-time whistle, Roy Keane praised the 20-year-old winger's performance against Thomas Frank's side.
“Just the movement from Elanga, he’s very positive. Very good movement, but poor defending," the former United captain told Sky Sports.
“That’s what you want from young players. You got to mix your game up, when to go short, when to spin. It’s a good ball from Dalot.
“Right into the area and Fernandes, very simple but very effective. Lovely ball (from Elanga),” Keane added: “He’s definitely got a bright future. Everything he does, on the pitch, is always positive.”
will always remember when Elanga missed the penalty that knocked us out the FA Cup and Ronaldo went over to him a said that it was his fault and not Elanga’s, a true leader and role model. pic.twitter.com/JD1Gq27iVk— Hannibal Mejbri 🐐 (@Mejbri46) May 2, 2022
It looks like Ronaldo may stay at Old Trafford for another season following Rangnick's post-match comments after the Brentford game.
"This is a question you need to ask Erik ten Hag," Rangnick told Sky Sports when asked about the forward's future.
"He’s showed that he can still be a vital part of this team, but it’s obvious the team needs some more strikers. There should be two or three new strikers next season, it’s pretty obvious.
"If you think of Manchester City and Liverpool, they brought in [players] every transfer window.
"They strengthened the team, they brought in players not that popular at the time when they signed and developed into the two best teams in the world.
"I wouldn’t be surprised if they play in the Champions League final in a few weeks.
"This shows it is possible that this can happen and it would not necessarily need three, four years in order to do that."
Featured Image Credit: Sky Sports
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