Once it was obvious Fred would be playing in the second leg against Paris Saint-Germain after a spate of big injuries and Paul Pogba’s suspension, you’d have forgiven sections of the Manchester United fanbase giving up hope quite knowing he’d be leading their engine room.
However, they were in for a pleasant surprise on Wednesday night, when he led the charge in the remarkable comeback at the Parc des Princes.
In spite of having a daunting duo of Marco Verratti and Marquinhos pegging at him, Fred held his composure and gave his best performance in a United jersey.
It couldn’t have come at a better time. He helped them keep a level-headed approach in the game, distributing the little possession he got into promising areas, allowing United to attack in full throttle. The Manchester United way. At long, long last.
He blended in a perfect mixture of creativity, bite and energy in his performance to help his young companions Scott McTominay and Andreas Pereira be calm under pressure. Fred’s intelligence was showcased in his pressing and how he regained possession many times for the Red Devils.
The Brazilian had an 82% passing accuracy while making three successful tackles and recovering the ball seven times! (stats via Fotmob). Indeed, he drove United forward often, while also helping them soak in the pressure from the Parisien giants.
In the end, he helped the Red Devils on their way to the extraordinary victory and surely immersed himself as a fan-favourite.
Now his name in the infamous chant will be shouted even louder. If his bright showing in a pressure situation proved anything, Fred should more Champions League games in the near future.
United fans, do you feel Fred should start games more often? Join the discussion by commenting below.