Rashford and de Gea send supportive messages to Anthony Elanga
Manchester United stars David de Gea and Marcus Rashford have sent supportive messages to Anthony Elanga on social media.
The Swedish under-21 international missed the crucial spot kick in last night’s 8-7 penalty shootout defeat to Middlesbrough at Old Trafford.
Despite sending Boro stopper Joe Lumley the wrong way, Elanga’s effort from 12 yards flew high over the bar.
The teenager’s decisive miss meant Chris Wilder had upset United twice in the space of 13 months.
It was only last January that Wilder guided Sheffield United, who sat bottom off the Premier League, to a shock 2-1 win at the Theatre of Dreams which derailed the Reds’ short-lived title bid.
With all 15 of the previous penalties finding the back of the net, the pressure was on Elanga to keep United in the shootout.
Aside from Elanga, the only other penalty taker options Ralf Rangnick’s side had left at that stage was Luke Shaw, Phil Jones and goalkeeper Dean Henderson.
Elanga’s teammates rallied round and comforted the 19-year-old after the costly miss.
Both de Gea and Rashford have posted on Twitter in support of their young teammate.
Juan Mata has also sent a supportive message to the club’s talented academy graduate.
Speaking about Elanga’s penalty miss, interim boss Rangnick told the club’s website: “You could see that they [the players] supported him and everybody supported him.
“This has happened to more experienced players than him.”
There is no doubt our speedy winger, who had a great chance to score the winner with a header in extra-time, will bounce back and return stronger from this disappointment.
The rapid winger came into the FA Cup fourth-round tie off the back of three Premier League starts which included a crucial goal at Brentford last month.
Anthony Elanga will be hoping for an immediate chance to atone for his penalty miss with a start against Burnley at Turf Moor on Tuesday.
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