Ralf Rangnick has showered praise on Anthony Elanga following his cameo against Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Champions League.

Manchester United resumed their UEFA Champions League campaign this midweek, drawing 1-1 in the first leg of the Round of 16 clash against Atletico Madrid.

It was a modest result for the Premier League giants, who were trailing in the game since the 7th-minute strike from Joao Felix. With the visitors struggling to find any breakthrough, Atleti were destined to secure a narrow victory until an 80th-minute equaliser from Anthony Elanga.

Aside from scoring the goal, the Manchester United youth prospect made quite an impact after coming on as a substitute. And quite rightly, United coach Ralf Rangnick was quick to shower him with praises and called him a “role model”, which can be considered as a dig at some of the other United stars, who were rather underwhelming on the day and the season as a whole.

“He is playing as though it is a dream come true, it is a joy and fun to watch him play, I wish a few other players would take him as an example and as a role model. Football is an important sport, even more so for the supporters, and it is a ball game. This is what I wish us to do especially in the second leg,” said Rangnick, as quoted by Sky Sports.

“Anthony, in all the games that he has played so far, just shows that he’s playing with all the passion, all the fun and all the joy,” Rangnick added.

Formerly of Malmo, Elanga has enjoyed a swift rise to prominence since his move to the Manchester United academy in 2015 as a 13-year-old. The teenage prospect has already racked up 13 competitive appearances for the Red Devils this term, making quite an impression with his speed and work ethic on the flanks.

“He’s just enjoying himself on the pitch and he’s fully aware of his strengths, his assets, his weapons. He’s always trying to play and show those weapons. This is what he did again today,” Rangnick added before giving a detailed assessment on the youngster’s performance against Atletico Madrid.

“Not only the goal he scored, he had two or three great runs and whenever he did that you could all of a sudden see that Atletico had problems with this kind of approach. But we have to show that on other positions as well, so not only with Anthony Elanga or one or two other players,” said the Manchester United interim manager.

The equaliser against Atletico Madrid was Elanga’s first goal in the UEFA Champions League. The youngster has already netted twice in the Premier League this term and will be hoping to extend that tally when Manchester United take on Watford this weekend.

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