Neville says he nearly named Fred MOTM ahead of Ronaldo

Gary Neville unsurprisingly named Cristiano Ronaldo as his man of the match on Sky Sports as Manchester United beat Tottenham.

Ronaldo hauled United to victory against Spurs, putting them ahead three times as they eventually ran out 3-2 winners at Old Trafford.

There had been plenty of talk about Ronaldo’s morale, happiness and fitness and he responded in the only way he knows how.

He is now football’s all-time record goalscorer, which is a sensational return when you consider the level he has played at throughout his career.

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But on Sky Sports, Neville also said that Fred was in the frame for man of the match, and was United’s next player after Ronaldo.

Around full-time, he said: “Fred’s been very good in midfield but it is Cristiano Ronaldo absolutely.”

On the 66 minute mark, Neville had already claimed: “Fred has been United’s best player apart from Ronaldo this afternoon.”

It was the Brazilian’s cute outside of the foot pass which laid on Ronaldo’s stunning wonder goal which put United in front.

Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

As per WhoScored, that was one of the three key passes Fred laid on on the day and only Jadon Sancho made more in a red shirt.

Nobody made more blocks for United and only Harry Maguire made more clearances and Fred stepped up to the plate in midfield in the absence of Bruno Fernandes and Scott McTominay.

He has had his doubters and the game was a poor quality one at times but Fred put in a strong display to help United game some momentum back.

Ronaldo was a deserved man of the match – it was never going to go to anyone else – but Fred deserves praise for his display.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.