Manchester United

Solskjaer's Fred blunder as baffling as it was amateurish

The Manchester United boss was seemingly the only person who could not see that Fred was heading for a red card.

11:55pm on Wednesday 2nd December 2020
David Lynch

Who could've seen that red card coming? Well, everyone apart from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer it seems.

With 23 minutes of his side's Old Trafford meeting with Paris Saint-Germain gone this evening, the Norwegian received the sort of slice of fortune that you simply have to capitalise on at this level of the game.

Daniele Orsato must be the only referee in world football capable of watching Fred's headbutt on Leandro Paredes back in slow motion and adjudging it to be worthy only of a yellow card.

And yet that is exactly what the Italian did, allowing Manchester United's No.17 to get away with a moment of madness borne out of a frustrating start to the game for the hosts.

It was at this point that a better manager would immediately see the value of withdrawing the combative Fred, who tends to walk the disciplinary tightrope even at the best of times.

That teams are allowed five substitutions per game in the Champions League this season should have made the decision even easier for Solskjaer.


Man Utd 1-3 PSG: Neymar scores twice as 10-man hosts downed

Man Utd 1-3 PSG, Player Ratings: Neymar the star as Fred struggles

Instead, he elected to stick with his man not only until the break, but until a second yellow was inevitably flashed 15 minutes into the second half.

Yes, Fred was perhaps unfortunate in that the 'foul' that ended his evening was shown to be a clean tackle on replays.

However, he had already found himself on the opposite side of one such incorrect decision earlier in the game, when Paredes was somehow yellow carded for being stamped on by the United midfielder.

That his manager could not see what was about to happen is frankly bizarre and made a major contribution to United failing to take anything from a game where they carved out more than enough chances.

The consequences of that could stretch far beyond this defeat; should Solskjaer's side lose in Leipzig on the final matchday, it will represent a key moment in another failed Champions League campaign.

Latest news

Player Ratings

England 0-0 Scotland Player Ratings: Kane fails to deliver as Scotland impress

Gareth Southgate's team failed to produce against a spirited Scotland side who picked up a vital point in their bid to qualify

  • 6 hours
Predicted XI

Goretzka back and Werner to start - How Germany and Portugal could line up

Germany will be fighting for all three points against Portugal on Saturday following their 1-0 defeat to France in the opening round of Euro 2020

  • 19 hours
Predicted XI

Changes up front – How Spain could line up against Poland

Luis Enrique could ring in the changes up front as Spain look to pick up their first win of Euro 2020.

  • 19 hours
Predicted XI

Pavard rested? How France could line up against Hungary

Bayern Munich defender Benjamin Pavard has been at the centre of a controversial week and could be rested for France's match versus Hungary

  • 19 hours
Player Ratings

Netherlands 2-0 Austria: Depay & De Ligt impress as De Boer's side top group C

Frank de Boer's side weren't too highly rate prior to the tournament but his Netherlands side have picked up six points from six thus far

  • 1 day
Player Ratings

Denmark 1-2 Belgium Player Ratings: Kevin De Bruyne shines with goal and assist in just 15 minutes

Robert Martinez's side are now all but through to the knock-out rounds of the Euros after a convincing 2-1 victory over Denmark

  • 1 day

Most read