In his first match as caretaker manager of Manchester United, Michael Carrick decided to recall Fred for the crunch Champions League clash at Villarreal.

After playing no part in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s last game in charge of the club, the Brazilian international was brought back into the heart of the midfield alongside Scott McTominay.

Donny van de Beek was also alongside the ‘McFred’ partnership as Carrick opted to go with the Dutchman ahead of Bruno Fernandes.

For all of Fred’s critics, there is no denying his tenacity and desire to get about the pitch and win the ball back for his team.

Villarreal CF v Manchester United: Group F - UEFA Champions League
(Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

There may be times he frustratingly loses the ball cheaply in possession or gets bullied by a more physically imposing player, but one thing you can guarantee from him is that he will put a shift in for his team.

Both of United’s goals against the Yellow Submarine came through Fred’s pressing and harrying out of possession.

 

He forced Etienne Capoue into a mistake which gave Cristiano Ronaldo the opportunity to open the scoring which he was never going to miss.

Villarreal v Manchester United - UEFA Champions League
(Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

And despite the game being in its latter stages and the onus being on Villarreal to make something happen, Fred was still eager to win the turnovers.

His determination resulted in Marcus Rashford and Fernandes combining which allowed Jadon Sancho to smash home first goal for the club, to complete a dream start for Carrick.

Fred finished the match with a 92% pass accuracy, 10 recoveries, won five duels, completed 4/4 long balls and made two tackles and blocked one shot, as per SofaScore.

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Fred’s crucial contributions and impressive performance saw him come in for praise by some Manchester United fans on social media…

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