Fred’s driving display from midfield broke up City’s early dominance last night and hauled Manchester United back into the tie.

The Brazilian was one of United’s best players and took on the responsibility of rising to the occasion in the semi-final.

Fred won six tackles, made two interceptions, and created three chances.

He’s a midfielder who can do it all, and he like star man David de Gea, he did not deserve to be on the losing side.

It is so good for Fred that he will be playing alongside Bruno Fernandes as of next month. He deserves better players around him. Not the likes of Jesse Lingard.


(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Praise and confusion

After being written off prematurely in his first season, Fred’s performances are commanding respect.

Former Chelsea and Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas took it on himself to praise the Brazilian.

There is one aspect of Fred’s game which requires work, his inability to score.

So it was puzzling to see him line up a late free-kick, with Juan Mata nowhere to be seen.

Former United captain Rio Ferdinand admitted he was bemused at this decision. Fred has not scored for United since October 2018, and has never done so from a set piece.

Mata had come on as a substitute only a few minutes beforehand.

We all remember his match winning free-kick in Turin against Juventus last season. He has proven to be capable on the big stage.

Instead he was nowhere near this one, and Fred predictably hit the wall.

Solskjaer explained after the game that it was not his choice, and that Mata had backed off.

He told the club website: “Juan is the best one when he feels like it. But they practiced yesterday and Juan told me that Fred was unbelievable in training.

“He scored six or seven on the bounce apparently, and they both felt this was his moment. That was the decision they made there and then. Probably the right decision, but it didn’t work out well.”

The right decision it clearly wasn’t. But we will never know if Mata could have done better.

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