With England international Marcus Rashford looking like playing football is a chore right now, it was refreshing to see Anthony Elanga replace him for the final five minutes.
Elanga was in the squad because Anthony Martial is not being considered for selection due to his desire for a transfer, and the Sweden under-21 international seized his chance to impress.
The teenager was a live wire, running at a tired Aston Villa defence exactly when United needed him to.
There was one moment where he took the ball round right-back Matty Cash and whipped a cross in, but sadly no United player could get, or tried to, meet the delivery.
Elanga went on to win another corner and the crowd showed their appreciation with United looking to see out the 1-0 win.
Elanga is an asset United must keep
With Marcus Rashford’s form getting worse, Elanga could see more opportunities. The FA Cup fourth round tie against Middlesbrough looks like a good game to give the teenager a start.
One could come before then of course. In his brief cameo we saw more energy from Elanga than we did from Rashford all game.
Pace is a quality which scares opponents and Elanga has it in abundance. He is direct and willing to take players on, and he is the type of player who can excite a crowd, as we saw last night.
There were not many individual performances to note last night, with United generally determined yet lacking polish.
Elanga was the one player who had supporters buzzing after the match, offering a solution to the growing Rashford conundrum.
United fans on social media only had positive words for Elanga after his cameo performance on his FA Cup debut…
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