At the King Power Stadium, Manchester United were far too easy to play against and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made the decision to recall his trusted midfield duo Fred and Scott McTominay, for the crucial Champions League clash against Atalanta.

The pair don’t quite carry the glitz and glamour of having Paul Pogba and Donny van de Beek on the team sheet.

But their defensive discipline allows Solskjaer’s matchwinners to go and impose themselves on the match.

Amidst a tricky run of fixtures, it’s likely if fit following Fred’s late withdrawal against the Italians, Solskjaer will deploy the ‘McFred’ combination to give his team some much-needed balance.

Manchester United v Atalanta: Group F - UEFA Champions League
(Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

Against the Serie A side, Bruno Fernandes progressively dropped deep to get on the ball which meant at times we played in a 4-3-3 formation, but for the majority it looked more like a 4-2-4.

Whilst an ageing Nemanja Matic doesn’t cover the grass as quick as he once could and Pogba lacks the defensive discipline to protect his backline, Fred’s energy and ability to sit in front of the defence at least gives us a platform.


With us trailing 2-0, the Brazilian midfielder also showcased his ability to make runs from deep and had two great chances to get us back in the game.

But after Marcus Rashford made Old Trafford come alive once again and Gian Piero Gasperini’s side became increasingly panicky at the back, Fred ensured that whilst we maintained our gung-ho approach, he was on hand to mop things up.

He finished the game with three tackles, two interceptions and one clearance. The Brazilian international had 70 touches and completed 45 passes.

The 28-year-old can be frustrating when he gives the ball away cheaply or is weak into the tackle, but against the Bergamo-based club, he was the anchor which allowed our world class stars the freedom to roam.


Fred’s performance was praised by supporters and a former Premier League manager. Here is a look at some of the comments on social media.

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