ANTHONY ELANGA will learn some valuable lessons from his two matches against a savvy European team like Atletico Madrid.
And Ralf Rangnick must find a way to get the young Swede to play regularly as Manchester United pose more of a threat to him in the team.
Elanga, 19, was the hero of the first leg in Madrid three weeks ago when he scored the equalizer just minutes after coming off the bench.
That comes just days after his goal against old foes Leeds and the Stretford End has a new hero – with a catchy new song to boot.
His reward is to start the next two games against Watford and Manchester City – but then he is back on the bench against Tottenham on Saturday.
Marcus Rashford got the nod in there but he looks a bit lacking in confidence right now – it’s no surprise he’s leaving.
Elanga started this game as if he wanted to make the most of his chances – just his 9th game in all competitions this season.
He rushed in to head and collided with Jan Oblak in the first minutes.
The Slovenian was 6ft 2ins tall and could use his hands, but was second in that impact.
Madrid have clearly picked Jadon Sancho as a danger as the Three Lions’ trump card is flanked by two or three men every time he has the ball.
That meant Elanga had some space on the other side early on and he caused problems in a lively opener from the home side.
He was very unlucky not to give the home team the lead after 13 minutes when he headed home from a wide cross.
His effort from just three meters hit Oblak in the face and was somehow disqualified – it’s fair to say the keeper knows very little about that.
If that happens, he will become only the second teenager to score in both legs of a Champions League match – following in the footsteps of Kylian Mbappe, who has scored twice.
As the first half passed, Elanga had less of a chance to show off his explosive pace but in one leg stretch he felt he had been fouled by Reinildo Mandava.
The referee disagreed and Atleti unleashed a halftime break, which ended with Renan Lodi nodding to give them the go-ahead.
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United players complained – claiming they should have fouled but to no avail.
Right after the break, a clever pass from Bruno Fernandes sent Elanga far but his low shot narrowly missed goal.
Diego Simeone’s men were masters at securing the lead and they kept the youngster out until midway through the second half when he was replaced by Rashford.
None of the changes Rangnick made could affect the final result as Atletico did what they always did and saw the game play out.
It wasn’t United or Elanga’s night – but his day is sure to come again.
His appearance was a rare bright spot in a disappointing season at Old Trafford.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/4903411/anthony-elanga-emergence-bright-miserable-man-utd/ The arrival of Anthony Elanga is a rare ray of light in a miserable season for Man Utd