Matic: Elanga is our future

Thursday 24 February 2022 07:00

Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic has described Anthony Elanga as “the future of our club” following our Champions League last-16 first leg away to Atletico Madrid.

The 19-year-old Swede ensured the Reds would return to Old Trafford level pegging in the tie after his goal 10 minutes from time to make it 1-1.

Praising his team-mate, Matic told MUTV: “For a very young player to come here and score against Atletico Madrid he will remember this moment forever for sure and he deserved that.

“He’s working very hard, he’s a very, very nice kid I have to say – very polite, respectful and I think he’s the future of our club.”

Matic feeling positive after Atletico result Video

Matic feeling positive after Atletico result

Nemanja Matic was pleased to come off the bench and help the Reds earn a draw

On the result secured by that late equaliser, Nemanja added: “We are happy because we scored at the end and we go home with, let’s say, a positive result.

"But we also know that we have to play better football and to control the ball more and the game.

"There are some things that we have to work on and we have to improve, but to come here at this stadium against a very good side and to draw is not that bad. Deep down though we know in ourselves that we have to play better.”


Describing the issues United faced in the first half when the Reds fell behind to a header from Joao Felix, the midfielder added: Watching from the bench, especially first half I thought that we are missing control with the ball and when I came on the coach also told me to try to keep the ball more, to calm down and to help my team-mates.

“[At half-time] we knew that they had more control, they were leading and they had some more chances in the first half, but we said ‘Okay let’s regroup, let’s see what we can do with the ball’.

"I think that we didn’t control enough when we were in possession. In the second half we looked much better, more solid and we scored that goal which gives us positive feelings.”

Looking forward to the return leg in three weeks’ time, Nemanja declared: “The most important thing is how we play and I’m sure if we improve, as I said, in those segments with the ball then we will control more and we will win the game.

“We respect them, but we know that we represent one of the best clubs in the world and I’m sure that we will do our best and we will go through.”