The visitors led by two goals midway through the second half, but a late rally saw Steven Gerrard's side earn a share of the spoils. Fernandes seemingly sealed the game for United with his second of the evening in the 67th minute. However, strikes from Jacob Ramsey and Philippe Coutinho turned things around.
While the result was a disappointing one for Ralf Rangnick and co, Elanga was one of the few bright spots for the team. The Swede, who made his first Premier League start of the season, impressed Fernandes with his performance.
The United goalscorer said that Elanga gave his all against Villa, hailing him as one of the best players on the pitch. After the game, Fernandes told MUTV (via The Mirror):
"I said it last season already, Anthony is a kid that works hard and is prepared to be in the team, prepared to play. He’s being a top kid, waiting for his moment, training really hard, and he deserved the chance that he got today."
"He was, for me, one of the best on the pitch. He gave everything. I said to him that my goal started from his header because he won the header. It seems like nothing, but these are really important moments in games. We are really happy for him because he deserved his chance."
Interim manager Ralf Rangnick was also impressed with Elanga's performance on the night, saying:
"He had a good game, and he showed exactly those things that I expected him to show, and why I decided to play him from the start. He not only worked hard for the team defensively, he also had two or three good – if not great – opportunities to score himself. He confirmed his nomination from the beginning."
Elanga was replaced by Jadon Sancho in the 78th minute as the 19-year-old forward left without anything to show for his efforts against Villa.
Manchester United will look to bounce back against Brentford
Two dropped points against Steven Gerrard's team is a blow to Manchester United's receding hopes of finishing in the top four. Ralf Rangnick and co. remain seventh in the Premier League table, with 32 points from 20 games.
The Red Devils have been in poor form in the league recently, winning only one of their last four games. They will seek a return to winning ways against Brentford on Wednesday.