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Man Utd verdict: Fred answers critics with superb midfield display despite costly error which led to Arsenal goal


THIS game was indicative of Fred’s career at Old Trafford.

The Brazilian midfielder put in one of his best performances in a Manchester United shirt…but also gifted Arsenal the opening goal by stamping on the foot of his own keeper David de Gea.

PA

Fred battled with the Arsenal midfield all night and gave superb protection to the United defence[/caption]

AFP

Fred answered many of his critics with his display against Arsenal[/caption]

Reuters

Fred embraced caretaker boss Carrick moments before it was announced the coach was leaving[/caption]

The 28-year-old impressed against Villarreal in the Champions League last week, pressing high up the pitch to win Man Utd the ball and allow Cristiano Ronaldo to score the vital opener.

But he then struggled to keep up with the pace of the game at Stamford Bridge on Sunday as the inconsistency many Red Devils fans have moaned about continued to frustrate him.

However, he responded from that setback with a superb midfield display at Old Trafford against an Arsenal side buzzing with the creativity of Emile Smith Rowe, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard.

Fred snuffed out everything in sight, breaking up play before setting the potent attack on their way to do what we all know they can do.

And while his defensive duties were imperious throughout the 90 minutes, he also showed he could contribute going forward.

He drove into the penalty box before delicately laying the ball off for Bruno Fernandes to draw the hosts level before half-time.


With his confidence brimming, he then continued to hustle and harry the Arsenal midfielders, pushing further and further forward as the second half wore on.

And, when the ball fell to Bukayo Saka unmarked at the back post late on, Fred burst back to make a goal-saving challenge and ensure his side take home all three points.

New Man Utd boss Ralf Rangnick – famous for implementing the gegenpress – was watching on from the stands for the first and last time before he takes charge of the home game against Crystal Palace on Sunday.

It’s safe to say the German, who does not have any time for lazy passengers with his energetic style, will have enjoyed what he saw from Fred.

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Rangnick has a decision to make as to which midfielders he uses in his team out of the quartet of Fred, Scott McTominay, Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba.

But the Brazilian could not have done any more to impress the incoming interim coach.

And, with Dean Henderson out in the cold, he’s even keeping De Gea on his toes.

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