19-year-old Elanga rescues Manchester United against Atletico Madrid
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19-year-old Elanga rescues Manchester United against Atletico Madrid

Teenager scores with his first touch to give Red Devils 1-1 draw

Manchester United youngster Anthony Elanga spared his side’s blushes with a late goal to salvage a 1-1 draw away to Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg.

With all other English teams having won their first leg games, the focus was on Manchester United to put on a good performance at the Wanda Metropolitano against an Atletico Madrid side that has struggled badly in La Liga this season.

A fast start from the Spanish champions stunned Manchester United, and they soon found themselves behind following a terrific goal from Portuguese star Joao Felix. The forward connected brilliantly with a cross from Renan Lodi in the 7th minute, sending a header into the back of the net via the inside of the right upright.

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Atletico Madrid continued to dominate proceedings, with their system preventing Manchester United from making any sort of headway in the match. Croatian defender Sime Vrsaljko saw his header come back off the post in the closing stages of the first half.

The Red Devils failed to touch the ball in Atletico Madrid’s box throughout the entire first half of the match.

Manchester United managed to remain in the game without providing any real threats to Atletico Madrid before the substitution of Elanga proved pivotal.

The teenager came on for the ineffectual Marcus Rashford in the 75th minute and had Manchester United back level a mere five minutes later.

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Sweden U-21 international Elanga latched onto a through pass from Bruno Fernandes and was left one on one with Jan Oblak after Reinildo Mandava missed his tackle on the 19-year-old. Elanga kept a cool head and slotted an effort into the far corner beyond the reach of Oblak, who tried in vain to spread himself before the youngster.

Atletico Madrid looked to have the final say but were denied by the crossbar when Antoine Griezmann curled an effort from inside the box against the crossbar with David de Gea rooted.

Manchester United will welcome Atletico Madrid to Old Trafford in three weeks’ time for their second leg clash with everything at stake for both teams.

Salahudeen Sulayman

Sulayman is a sports enthusiast and budding Sports writer. You can reach him on Twitter @Sulayman_Salah

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