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Ralf Rangnick says Man Utd stars should take Anthony Elanga as ‘role model’

Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick has said that some of the club’s players should take Anthony Elanga as a ‘role model’ following his late equaliser against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.

United faced Atletico in the first leg of the round of 16 tie at the Wanda Metropolitano last night.

They were second best in the first half where Joao Felix opened the scoring with a header in the seventh minute.

The lead could have been doubled before the interval. A poor clearance from Paul Pogba could have nearly have become an own goal.

The ball ricocheted off Victor Lindelof, luckily onto the top of the woodwork.

In the second half, neither side looked like finding the back of the net, but United eventually bagged an equaliser in the 80th minute after a lapse of concentration from the reigning Spanish champions.

Similar to the Brighton & Albion game, Elanga found his way behind the backline. This time around he was not fouled and coolly slotted his effort across goalkeeper Jan Oblak.

The graduate netted within five minutes of replacing Marcus Rashford on the right wing. Following the game, Rangnick made a big statement saying that he can be almost a ‘role model’ for other players.

He told Manutd.com: “He is playing as if a dream comes true. He is just a joy, and it’s fun to watch him play.

“I wish a few other players would take him as an example, or almost as a role model I would say, not because he is doing everything right, but because he’s just enjoying himself on the pitch and that’s what it’s all about.

“Football is an important sport and even more so for our supporters or for the media, but it’s still a ball game and you have to enjoy yourself on the pitch. This is what I wish us to do when we play them again in a few weeks.”

Elanga hardly played under former boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but he has been a regular under Rangnick, who was right away impressed by his work rate in first-team training.

The youngster played a key role in Lewis Dunk’s sending off for Brighton. It was followed up with a late goal off the bench last weekend to seal a 4-2 win over old rivals Leeds United.

It was somewhat of a surprise that Marcus Rashford got the nod over him on the right wing yesterday. The 24-year-old had an underwhelming display with several poor crosses.

Elanga made an immediate impact off the bench, and the Swede should be fancied to get the nod in the starting XI when the Red Devils entertain Watfrod on Saturday afternoon.

Stats from Transfermarkt.com.

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