Manchester United youngster Anthony Elanga produced a positive performance during the club’s goalless Premier League draw against Watford on Saturday.
The 19-year-old was picked in the starting line-up ahead of Marcus Rashford, having scored off the bench in back-to-back games against Leeds United and Atletico Madrid.
The Swede could not continue his scoring run, but it was another promising display from the winger, who has evolved into a key player under interim boss Ralf Rangnick.
Elanga impressed with his direct running from the right wing. The club graduate was clever with his cutbacks and also tried to create chances by cutting inside regularly.
He produced a key pass for Bruno Fernandes in the 11th minute, but the Portuguese was unable to convert his one-on-one opportunity against goalkeeper Ben Foster.
Elanga finished the game with 63 touches while winning seven aerial and ground duels. He will still be disappointed after failing to find the back of the net.
He had three shots off target. One of those was created by his terrific movement and probably should have scored. His shot went just wide of the left-hand post.
There were still plenty of positives from his overall display. Elanga will be hoping to keep his place in the starting line-up for next weekend’s Manchester derby.
United have had a poor February with draws against Burnley, Southampton and Watford. They are fourth in the league, but are just two points ahead of Arsenal, who have three games in hand.
The Gunners will face Watford at Vicarage Road before the Manchester derby. They could reclaim the final Champions League spot. United face a potential must-win scenario at the Etihad Stadium.
Things don’t get easier for United thereafter with games against Tottenham Hotspur, Atletico Madrid and Liverpool before the international break. The Anfield trip could be postponed.
United have not managed to deliver the perfect performance over the past few weeks. Their attack has largely faltered this month, but there have also been underlying defensive issues.