Fred has sent a message to Manchester United fans on Instagram following last night’s 3-1 defeat against Paris Saint-Germain.
The Brazilian midfielder was fortunate to avoid a red card for an incident involving Leandro Paredes in the first half.
He was cautioned before getting a second yellow card within a minute of United slipping 2-1 behind.
That passage of play saw the game get away from United, and Fred admitted it wasn’t his best night, but didn’t apologise.
Perhaps Fred shouldn’t be apologising, after all, it was his manager who kept him on. However, if his needless headbutt in the first half had received a straight red as it should have done, the Brazilian would have had to say sorry. He then dived into a tackle in the second half and picked up a predictable second yellow.
Many watching on may have wondered why Ole Gunnar Solskjaer didn’t substitute Fred at half time given that lucky escape.
Journalist Andy Mitten told On the Ball the United coaching staff didn’t feel they had a player on the bench who could keep pace with PSG’s midfield.
“Even Ole Gunnar admitted that he should have made that change,” he said.
“I know what’s going on inside there, they didn’t feel that they had a player who they could bring on for Fred with the pace to go up against an extremely fast PSG team.
“I asked why wasn’t Matic brought on. They felt that over five yards, Matic would keep getting done.”
That’s an interesting insight into the thoughts of the United coaches – but could Paul Pogba or Donny van de Beek not have been brought on?
Pogba’s defensive ill-discipline has been discussed at length, but he did win the World Cup as part of a midfield two and would have had a point to prove against the French champions.
Van de Beek is disciplined, quick across the ground and diligent at pressing – so Matic wasn’t the only option.
RB Leipzig are another opponent with a high-tempo midfield and it will be interesting to see how Solskjaer approaches that challenge without Fred.
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