How United have backed Elanga
Ralf Rangnick has praised the way Manchester United supporters inside Old Trafford rallied around Anthony Elanga after his penalty miss against Middlesbrough on Friday night.
The Teesisiders equalised in the second half of the Emirates FA Cup fourth-round tie and, with the sides still level after extra-time, a penalty shootout was required to separate them.
With all 15 penalties until then scored and the visitors 8-7 up, Elanga stepped forward needing to find the net to keep United in the tie, but he could not hit the target.
On a weekend where the actions of supporters came under scrutiny after an unsavoury incident in the Nottingham Forest v Leicester City fixture, Ralf couldn’t speak highly enough of how the Reds crowd responded.
Ralf's press conference: Part 2, Burnley (a)
In part two of his press conference, Rangnick discusses player contracts, Edinson Cavani, Anthony Elanga & more...
“So far what I have experienced here with our club, we have massive support, including the reaction of the Stretford End and our fans with regard to Anthony Elanga,” Rangnick said, in the second part of his pre-match press conference for Tuesday’s game with Burnley.
“They supported him.”
Rangnick was also keen to point out how Elanga’s team-mates, many of whom will have been in a similar position in the past, were quick to console him.
“He got all the support from his team-mates,” he added. “There were several players including Bruno hugging him and going to him, including myself.
“This is normal, this is football.
“There have been a lot of other more experienced players missing a decisive penalty in the last 100 years.”
Elanga has now experienced the highs and lows of football in quick succession, according to Rangnick, and the experience will only serve to help him develop and grow going forward.
“Yeah, as far as I could see in training, he was okay,” The German told club media. “Of course, it was a difficult moment for him.
“In the last four weeks, he’s now experienced both sides of this beautiful game. He did extremely well in the past couple of weeks and scored a vital goal at Brentford. Now, in the cup, he’s also experienced negativity and how cruel football, at times, can be.
“It will definitely help him in his development in the next couple of months and years. Again, for us, we have to draw a line under the FA Cup. We’d love to still be part of this competition and go as far as we could have got. It’s over and now tomorrow, it’s Burnley.”