Manchester United hosted Atletico Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie. Going into the game, the scoreline was 1-1 on aggregate, thanks to Anthony Elanga’s goal in the first leg at Wanda Metropolitano earning the Red Devils a huge draw. But in the second game, things did not go the youngster’s way and he even had to face a bit of criticism.
Although Elanga came on as a second-half substitute in the first leg, the Swedish star made the starting XI in the second leg. The youngster’s inclusion was understandable over much more accomplished players such as Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford, as he had been the man in form.
But even a player with his blistering pace could not catch up with Renan Lodi, who this time scored the opener and the only goal of the night.
It was Elanga who had lost the ball in the build up to the goal and then failed to keep track of his man, as he found the back of the net. The game ended 1-0 in favour of Diego Simoene’s side, with Atletico Madrid qualifying for the quarter-finals on a 2-1 aggregate scoreline.
Manchester United legend Paul Scholes slams Elanga
"‘The back four, don’t get me wrong they are absolutely all over the place, but Elanga, he has to sprint back into shape.‘This is the last 16 of the Champions League against a team who are unbelievably experienced in this competition.‘When you are out of your shape, (and) you’ve lost the ball, the first thing you do is sprint back and he hasn’t done it.’"
Just before Lodi put Atletico Madrid ahead on the night, Elanga had been brought down in the opposition half. The Swedish youngster, along with other Manchester United players, wanted a free-kick, but the referee let the play go on, and it ultimately led to Simeone’s side finding the back of the net.
Ultimately, that proved to be the decisive goal, as Manchester United were not able to find their way past an Atletico Madrid defence that has leaked goals all season.