Ralf Rangnick hails Anthony Elanga and explains why he took Cristiano Ronaldo off

Anthony Elanga was the star as Manchester United won 3-1 away at Brentford, scoring the first goal to spark an impressive win.

The youngster got on the end of a pass from Fred, knocking the ball into the air, and then headed it in, to break the deadlock.

Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

The goal inspired two more from Mason Greenwood and substitute Marcus Rashford, with Bruno Fernandes providing the assists.

United boss Ralf Rangnick spoke positively about Elanga and said he was pleased to see him make his mark.

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Rangnick told BT Sport: “He followed up on his performance at Villa Park. He was outstanding in the second half, a lot of work against the ball and a goal.”

Ronaldo unhappy being taken off

Cristiano Ronaldo played a key role in United’s second goal, chesting the ball upfield for Bruno Fernandes to run through on goal and square it to Mason Greenwood to score.

Ronaldo was taken off soon after, with United looking to protect a two-goal lead after letting one slip against Aston Villa the previous week.

The superstar did not look happy, expressing puzzlement at being taken off, and had a bit of a sulk on the bench afterwards.

Rangnick did not make a big issue of it, and explained he took Ronaldo off to preserve him for the West Ham game at the weekend after he missed the previous two games with a hip problem.

The manager told BT Sport: “It’s normal. Ronaldo is a striker and he wants to score goals. He’s just come back from injury — we were 2-0 up the same result as at Villa Park, and I wanted us to be more solid this time.”

Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Ronaldo was taken off for Harry Maguire, with United moving to three at the back, and the tactical shift helped United go on to score a third goal, although Brentford did grab a late consolation.

After missing the last two games with injury, Ronaldo is understandably a little agitated as he wants to score goals.

He is yet to score in 2022, and while he has only played twice, this will be weighing on his mind. He will be desperate to score against West Ham this weekend.

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