'He showed his quality': Ralf praises Elanga

Saturday 15 January 2022 20:20

Ralf Rangnick praised Anthony Elanga for his performance in Manchester United’s 2-2 draw at Aston Villa, with Bruno Fernandes adding that the youngster had earned his place in the side.

With Marcus Rashford missing the game through injury, Elanga was given only his third Premier League start and his first of the 2021/22 season so far.

Playing on the left flank and sometimes switching with Mason Greenwood on the right, the Sweden Under-21 international proved a menace for Villa’s full-backs, particularly during an effervescent first half.

Linking up well with Alex Telles and Bruno Fernandes, Anthony hit the side netting with an early header and also had an admittedly muted penalty shout turned down midway through the opening 45 minutes.

Ralf: We didn't show our experience Video

Ralf: We didn't show our experience

The boss was really disappointed after we surrendered the lead at Villa, after such a positive first 70 minutes...

Immediately after the break, our no.36 almost netted his second United goal but saw his stinging shot palmed away by Emiliano Martinez.

There was another chance on the hour mark, just before Fernandes’s lead-doubling effort, when Elanga fired just wide of the post.

As he tired late on, the 19-year-old was replaced by Jadon Sancho but Rangnick was pleased with what he saw from Elanga, in what was already his fifth appearance under the German.

"He had a good game [and] showed exactly those things that I expected him to show and why I decided to play him from the start," Ralf told MUTV.

"He not only worked hard defensively but had two or three good, if not great, opportunties to score himself. He confirmed his nomination from the beginnning."

Bruno Fernandes was equally impressed with Elanga.

“Anthony is a kid, I said last season already, that works hard, works well, he’s prepared to be in the team, to play,” Fernandes reviewed in conversation with MUTV.

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“He’s been a top kid, waiting his moment, training really hard and he deserved the chance he got today and he was, for me, one of the best on the pitch. He gave everything.

“I said to him my goal started from his header. That seems nothing but it’s a really important moment in the game. We’re really happy for him because he deserves this chance.”