Instead of taking Fred off at halftime after a yellow card in the first half in last night's match against PSG, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer apparently told the Brazil international to play ‘sensibly’.
The Man United boss was criticized for not taking Fred out of the game, having been on a yellow and with PSG’s players clearly targeting him.
But the Norwegian has defended his decision to keep him on the pitch, praising Fred’s performance, and feels he was very unlucky to be penalized for a legitimate challenge on Ander Herrera in which he clearly won the ball.
‘It was not a foul. Fred played a really disciplined second half so when he makes a tackle like this you can’t fault the boy,’ said Solskjaer.
‘We spoke about it at half-time, just be sensible, and he was. He played well.
‘But of course, when you know the decision the referee made, maybe you look back and say maybe you should have [subbed him].
‘But there was no reason from his performance to take him off.
‘He was lucky to stay on in the first half, but that had no bearing on the referee making a mistake there. So that’s allowed.
‘But Fred knows he shouldn’t put his head towards someone, even though he doesn’t touch him.’
What happened during the HT break?
On his half-time warning to Fred, he expanded: ‘We spoke to him at half-time to be sensible and I thought he was. I thought he played really well. I thought he was very, very sensible in the second half.
‘He covers the ground, he gets up to men without trying to tackle, the tackle that he actually gets a yellow card for, that’s nowhere near a foul.
‘If you see that again, that’s a mistake by the referee. So that’s all, human error is allowed, I can’t sit there and complain about that now.
‘I thought Fred was unlucky there, but he was probably lucky not to come off in the first half.’
The Red Devils’ hopes of progressing to the last 16 of the Champions League will go down to the final group game after they lost 3-1 to the French giants, who netted two late goals after Fred had been shown a second yellow card.