Elanga Rescues Manchester United

Elanga Rescues Manchester United - partycasino

Manchester United are focusing on the Champions League, according to interim manager Ralf Rangnick, and they headed to Madrid in the hope of securing a first-leg victory against Atletico. However, things didn’t go quite to plan, with Anthony Elanga coming on to save the day late on.

Early Set Back

Things couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start for United, who found themselves behind after just seven minutes when Joao Felix headed home after Renan Lodi returned the ball into the box from a corner following a Vincent Lindelof clearance. Rangnick opted to go with Lindelof at right back to give his side more physical presence and height, so it would have been disappointing to see Felix find space between Raphael Varane and Maguire to power home unchallenged.

Things nearly went from bad to worse for United on the stroke of halftime as Lodi again swung over a ball, and this time it was Sime Vrsaljko as the intended target. But the Croatian failed to connect cleanly. His bundled effort did come cannoning back off the bar, but luckily Paul Pogba was on the scene to clear.

Stats Not Helping

United, for the most part, dominated the ball. But they were unable to do much with it, registering just two shots on target from their seven efforts across the ninety minutes. Atletico, who only had 39% possession, had thirteen attempts at goal, with one officially on target.

Chances For The Home Team

Even with their one goal advantage, Atletico continued to press for a second. And, on seventy-four minutes, a poor clearance from a corner by Fred saw Geoffrey Kondogbia tee the ball up for himself on the edge of the United box before cutting across it with his left foot, but his effort went sailing over David De Gea’s crossbar.

The Equaliser

And, just five minutes later, a slick move from United, which came via an Atletico throw, saw Elanga level the tie. The throw-in was initially repelled by a strong header from Maguire, with Fred smartly heading into the path of Jadon Sancho. Sancho then knocked the ball into the oncoming Cristiano Ronaldo, whose header back into Fred saw the Brazilian release, Bruno Fernandes, in the middle of the park, with Elanga turning on the afterburners to collect a through ball from the Portuguese international before finding Jan Oblak’s far post with a cool finish.

It was what United, Rangick and the travelling supporters had been waiting for. There was almost an instant response from Atletico, with another corner causing problems for United. Marcos Llorente ran onto the ball before Antoine Griezmann took over, but his curling left foot was another to hit De Gea’s crossbar, with the Spaniard left stranded.

Looking Ahead

When the final whistle blew, it will have been United who headed off the pitch confident ahead of the second leg tie at Old Trafford. If they’re able to exert the same dominance but turn it into clear cut chances, there is no reason why they can’t progress in what is their priority competition.