Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick was impressed with Anthony Elanga’s performance during the 2-2 Premier League draw at Aston Villa last night.
The Red Devils opened the scoring after just six minutes through Bruno Fernandes.
His long-range effort found the back of the net after a goalkeeping blunder from Emiliano Martinez.
Villa tried to get back into the game but ended up going 2-0 down in the 67th minute.
Fred capitalised on a poor back pass from Morgan Sanson before Fernandes’ powerful strike.
United seemed in control of the proceedings, but Villa made a late comeback with Jacob Ramsey and Philippe Coutinho combining to score in the 77th and 81st minutes.
It was another poor result for the club, who have now dropped seven points from the previous four league games. While the result was disappointing, Rangnick was impressed with Elanga’s showing.
The Swede got a surprise nod over Jadon Sancho on the left wing. He produced a promising display with four attempts on goal while managing to win two take-ons and eight duels.
Speaking after the game, Rangnick said that the club graduate did what he was told from the start. The German was delighted with the overall performance of the 19-year-old.
He told Manutd.com: “He had a good game. He showed exactly those things that I expected him to show and why I decided to play him from the start.
“He not only worked hard for the team defensively, he also had two or three good if not great opportunities to score himself. He confirmed his nomination from the beginning.”
Elanga has grabbed the attention of Rangnick since his appointment as the interim manager. The youngster was handed his first start of the Premier League campaign yesterday.
With Anthony Martial pushing for an exit, he made himself unavailable. Elanga was handed the chance in his absence, and the youngster left a good impression on the head coach.
It is a big statement from Rangnick to leave Sancho out of the starting line-up, but it could have been influenced by the latter’s return to the squad after a minor injury.
Judging by the German’s post-match comments, the teenager should fancy his prospects of keeping his starting spot when United face Brentford on the road in midweek.
Stats from SofaScore.com.
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