Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted he considered bringing Fred off at half-time as the midfielder walked a fine line before eventually being sent off in the Red Devils’ loss to Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday.
Fred was sent off in the 70th minute of Wednesday’s match, which saw Manchester United’s Champions League future cast into doubt as they fell 3-1 to PSG.
The midfielder picked up an initial yellow card in the 23rd minute, with many thinking Fred should have been sent off for a headbutt.
Among those that believe Fred could have been sent off is Harry Maguire, who questioned referee Daniele Orsato’s decisions.
That second yellow eventually came, with the Brazilian’s foul on Ander Herrera leading to his marching orders.
At the time, Man Utd were down 2-1 with Marquinhos scoring the winning goal just one minute prior to Fred’s dismissal.
Following the loss, Soslkajer admitted that he did consider bringing Fred off at half-time, having told the midfielder that it was imperative that he keep his head in the second half.
“Yeah [I considered it],” he told BT Sport. “Fred has played really well. We spoke about staying calm and on your feet. The second yellow card was nowhere near a foul. Ander knows that.”
He added: “Fred shouldn’t put his head towards him [for the first yellow]. I don’t think he touched him. He was a bit lucky to stay on.”
Making matters worse for Manchester United was an injury to Marcus Rashford, who was forced off in the second half with a shoulder injury.
Solskjaer was not concerned, though, as he hopes the forward will be back quickly as United look ahead to a meeting with West Ham.
“It’s a niggling shoulder injury,” he said. “Let’s see how quickly he can recover. Hopefully, he will be ready for the West Ham game.”
After facing the Hammers, Man Utd will then face a vital trip to RB Leipzig, knowing that a loss to the German side would see them knocked out of the Champions League.
“We go into a game wanting to win,” Solskjaer said. “The games against PSG and Leipzig show how much we’ve developed in these types of games. It was just about finishing today.”