Manchester United were knocked out of the FA Cup in the penalty shootout at the hands of Middlesbrough.
The home side’s poor finishing allowed Chris Wilder’s men to remain in the game, forcing the tie into a penalty shoot-out after a controversial Matt Crooks goal in the 64th minute cancelled out Jadon Sancho’s opener. Eventually, United’s last blunder in front of the visitor’s net caused an FA Cup upset at Old Trafford.
After both sides scored their first seven spot kicks, Lee Peltier made it 8-7 to Boro but Anthony Elanga missed the target, blazing the ball over the bar.
Elanga was immediately consoled by his United teammates, and as he walked down the tunnel, Cristiano Ronaldo went over to support the youngster and seemed to offer him some advice. The Old Trafford crowed was equally supportive of the academy graduate, singing his song despite a disappointing FA Cup exit.
Cristiano Ronaldo comforting Anthony Elanga after his penalty miss.
Just what the young lad needs ❤️ pic.twitter.com/FZUNtmdxBU
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) February 4, 2022
Ronaldo’s leadership and experience, especially in moments like this, is invaluable for the United dressing room.
However, what he does on the pitch still matters more. And even though he converted in the shootout, United wouldn’t have found themselves in that situation if not for his penalty miss in the first half and overall frustrating display.