The story behind Elanga’s celebration

Thursday 24 February 2022 14:34

Manchester United forward Anthony Elanga became the club’s youngest scorer in the knockout stages of the Champions League on Wednesday night.

At 19 years and 302 days old, the young Swede came off the bench at the Wanda Metropolitano to net what could be a crucial equaliser in our Champions League last-16 tie with Atletico Madrid. 

Upon seeing the ball trickle into the far corner of Jan Oblak’s net, Elanga had a cool look on his face as he wheeled away in celebration before sliding on his knees in front of the travelling Reds, who celebrated jubilantly in the tiers above.

Having got back to his feet, Anthony lived up to the origin of his popular new chant, based on a classic hit from the 1990s, with a dance move that we’ve seen from him before - and it's one that appears to be on something of an upward trend.

Elanga's all-important equaliser Video

Elanga's all-important equaliser

See how Anthony made it 1-1 against Atletico with his first touch of the game...

The eagle-eyed among you will have noticed that the youngster celebrated in a similar way when he scored the opener during last month’s 3-1 victory at Brentford.

Despite it becoming somewhat of a trademark celebration for Anthony, he isn’t the founder of it and it’s actually something that has come from the other side of the pond. 


The ‘Griddy’, as the dance is known, was believed to have been created by a man named Allen Davis, who passed it onto friend and American football star Ja’Marr Chase. 

During Chase’s time at Louisiana State University, he introduced it to team-mate Justin Jefferson before the latter brought it to the attention of the world for the first time, when celebrating his first NFL touchdown back in September 2020. 

The dance has since gone viral across social media, been included in video games and more recently been the subject of celebrations in the Champions League.

Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic was seen doing it after scoring in the Blues’ 2-0 first-leg win over Lille on Tuesday, before Elanga again showed his moves 24 hours later. 

90 in 20: Atletico Madrid 1 United 1 Video

90 in 20: Atletico Madrid 1 United 1

Set aside 20 minutes to watch the extended highlights of our Champions League last-16 first leg in Spain...

And Anthony’s efforts haven’t gone unnoticed by his team-mates either, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka nicknaming Anthony ‘Mr Griddy’ in his post-match tweet, following Wednesday’s draw. 

Our no.29 posted: “Mr Griddy delivering the goods again! Far from a great performance but we'll take that heading back to OT.”


Elanga, who has joined Twitter this (Thursday) morning, will have had a chance to see that tweet from Wan-Bissaka before posting his first message to fans on the platform.

“First Champions League goal,” it says. "All to play for at OT! GLORY TO GOD ALWAYS!”

Be sure to welcome Anthony to Twitter, Reds.