Marcus Rashford sends message to shattered Man Utd star Anthony Elanga

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Anthony Elanga missed the crucial penalty in Manchester United's defeat against Middlesbrough

Anthony Elanga missed the crucial penalty in Manchester United’s defeat against Middlesbrough (Picture: Getty)

Marcus Rashford has urged crestfallen Manchester United youngster Anthony Elanga not to dwell on the penalty miss that is likely to have consigned his club to a fifth successive trophyless season.

Ralf Rangnick’s side were expected to easily overcome Championship opposition on Friday evening in the shape of Middlesbrough, who arrived at Old Trafford having won six of their last seven games in all competitions.

Cristiano Ronaldo spurned an early penalty, but Jadon Sancho looked to have put his side on course for victory by opening the scoring in the 25th minute.

Cristiano Ronaldo consoled Anthony Elanga after his miss

Cristiano Ronaldo consoled Anthony Elanga after his miss (Picture: Getty)

United missed a host of presentable chances thereafter and were made to pay when Matt Crooks equalised in the 64th minute in highly contentious circumstances, following what appeared to be a clear handball by Duncan Watmore.

Boro clung on for the remainder of the 90 minutes and then extra-time, before prevailing 8-7 in a shootout, during which Elanga was the only player to miss from 12 yards.

The teenager, who has made a significant impact in recent weeks, was clearly devastated and was instantly consoled by his teammates, with Ronaldo accompanying him down the tunnel.

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Rashford, who knows what it’s like to miss a crucial penalty following his miss in last summer’s Euro 2020 final, wrote a message of support on Twitter, saying: ‘Anthony Elanga. Get that head of yours up immediately.’

Speaking after the game, Rangnick told ITV: ‘Anthony Elanga, anyone can imagine how he us, he is shattered and absolutely disappointed. It was the eighth penalty which had all converted.’

The German explained to BBC the club now have a responsibility to rally around the young forward.

‘We will try to encourage him again, be there for him and it can happen to more experienced players,’ he added. ‘We could not have had more players to take it, there was Luke Shaw, Phil Jones and the goalkeeper.’

Elanga, meanwhile, was subjected to racist abuse on social media and Instagram have now confirmed they are investigating.

A spokesperson for Meta, the company which owns Instagram said it has already removed a number of comments on Elanga’s page and its investigation is ongoing.


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