Fred

Boss explains why Fred took our late free-kick

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has explained why Fred took a late free-kick at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday, with Manchester United needing one more goal to force a Carabao Cup semi-final penalty shoot-out.

The Reds were 1-0 up against rivals Manchester City on the night, 3-2 down on aggregate, and chasing a late goalscoring opportunity when, with time running out, Harry Maguire was blatantly fouled by Nicolas Otamendi on the edge of the Blues’ box. 

Placed centrally around 20 yards from goal, the free-kick looked like it was perfect for substitute Juan Mata, but the Spaniard, a set-piece expert, eventually left it for Fred and the Brazilian struck the wall with his effort. 

Solskjaer 'proud' of United's effort Video

United went on to win the game, thanks to Nemanja Matic’s first-half goal and a battling performance, but unfortunately suffered a 3-2 aggregate defeat that means our Carabao Cup campaign is now over.

Speaking after the match at the Etihad Stadium, during his press conference with the media, Solskjaer was asked to provide an insight into the late free-kick and how its taker was decided.

“Juan is the best one when he feels like it,” admitted the manager to journalists. “But they practiced yesterday and Juan told me that Fred was unbelievable in training. 

“He scored six or seven on the bounce apparently, and they both felt this was his moment. That was the decision they made there and then. Probably the right decision, but it didn’t work out well.”

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