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Paul Scholes calmed the mood at Manchester United’s late equalizer against Atletico Madrid after high praise elsewhere for Anthony Elanga.
United looked second best in much of theirs Champions League Round of 16 first match on Wednesday. In fact, they were on the back foot right away when Joao Felix brought the hosts in front after seven minutes.
However, the Red Devils kept their deficit at one goal. Interim boss Ralf Rangnick then threw the strong striker Elanga on from the bench in place of Marcus Rashford. The 19-year-old Swede immediately broke through on Sunday then secure United all three points against Leeds United.
And he made his presence felt immediately again, combining again with Bruno Fernandes – as against Leeds – to create a crucial equalizer for Man Utd away.
We BT Sport comment, Robbie Savage labeled it as a “great finish”. Fernandes found Elangas running in behind and he cut the ball back across Jan Oblak’s goal, the ball seeped down into the left corner.
Savage claimed that Oblak had come “miles too far beyond” his goal, but insisted that Elanga was nonetheless “cool and calm”.
But Scholes told BT Sport after the match: “We think even the end is a little bit lucky, you can question the goalkeeper.
‘He gets a little tired of it. If you look behind the goal, the goalkeeper just falls backwards and the ball is not near the corner of the net.
“It’s more towards the middle. The goalkeeper should do better. “
Rangnick will not care about the way the goal was given considering his team’s performance before the goal. The manager admitted this in his comments immediately after the match he still could not believe the display.
And his confidence in the young striker Elanga will be increased according to the striker’s goals.
The goal was Elanga’s third this season and number two in consecutive appearances.
Elanga praises the “first touch” goal
“I also think it was my first touch!” said the teenager when asked about his goal.
“It’s a dream come true. I’ve dreamed of moments like this, scoring in the Champions League against top European teams like Atletico Madrid.
“I told you how calm and cool I am. When I get an opportunity, I will pay the manager back and give 150 percent every time I step onto the pitch.
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“I want to be the best player on the pitch and I appreciate the boss. He told me that I should scare the defenders and run in behind, and when I get the chance to take it. “
United return to action on Saturday when they face Watford at Old Trafford in the Premier League.