Anthony Elanga produces match winning performance for under-18s

Anthony Elanga is back scoring goals for Manchester United’s under-18 side after a spell out injured.

Elanga scored a superb goal to put United 2-1 up after Everton had levelled Deji Sotona’s opener.

Sotona added a penalty minutes later, while Everton pulled a goal back and the game finished 3-2 to United.

It was Elanga’s goal which turned the tie in United’s favour after Everton have taken advantage of a rare error from Hannibal Mejbri when he lost possession in midfield.

Mejbri had earlier created United’s first goal with a low free-kick from the halfway line which split the defence, for Lukasz Bejger to cross for Sotona to chest into the net.

Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Exciting winger

Elanga, 17, is a Sweden youth international who started this season in electric form for United’s under-18 side.

This goal means he has seven goals in nine games for the team, plus three assists.

He had not featured since early November after picking up an injury.

His return came at the weekend in a win over Sunderland and he came close to scoring then, hitting the bar twice. This time he was not to be denied.

He picked the ball up on the left, accelerated into space and past a defender, before rifling the ball low into the net.

Elanga also stepped up to the under-23s in the first half of the season. He is still looking for his first goal at that level, having made four starts, he does have one assist.

Right now the under-18s is probably the best place for him, and next season he will be challenged to step up for the under-23s on a more consistent basis.

Photo by Manchester United/Manchester United via Getty Images

Youth Cup boost

The timing of Anthony Elanga’s injury has meant he has not played a single minute of United’s FA Youth Cup run so far.

The side have progressed through four rounds of action to reach the semi-finals, most recently with a victory over Wigan.

Elanga’s return is perfectly timed with a semi-final against Chelsea upcoming on March 21.

United missed striker Dillon Hoogewerf in the last round and there is no date yet set on his return from a hamstring injury sustained against Leeds.

Elanga is a winger, but one who possesses a proven goal threat at under-18 level. His return may be decisive. It was last night.

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