Rio Ferdinand “shocked” Fred did not start for Manchester United vs Newcastle United
Manchester United icon Rio Ferdinand was “shocked” to see Fred start on the bench for the Red Devils in the 2-0 loss to Newcastle United on Sunday (2 April).
The Old Trafford side took on Eddie Howe’s team in a crutch Premier League clash that could prove paramount in the top-four race. However, the Manchester-based club ended up on the losing side.
Casemiro was suspended for the game, having picked up a straight red card for the second time in the season in the 0-0 draw against Southampton. However, Erik ten Hag opted for a midfield pivot of Marcel Sabitzer and Scott McTominay.
However, the Scotland international’s man-marking role on Bruno Guimaraes in the first half saw Man United leave spaces in the middle of the park. As a result, the Tyneside outfit dominated the proceedings.
In the second half, the 26-year-old played a more traditional role. However, Guimaraes then created a chance for the Magpies in the 65th minute, which Joe Willock slotted in the back of the net.
“I was shocked that Fred didn’t play. Understanding what’s needed and what’s required for this game, Fred has the energy, the legs, the tenacity.”
Eventually, the Brazilian did come on in the 82nd minute as a substitute, replacing McTominay. However, Callum Wilson then secured the three points for Newcastle in the 88th minute with his header.
Earlier in the season, Fred man-marked Frenkie de Jong in the second leg of the Europa League playoff tie against Barcelona. We went through on the night with the 30-year-old putting in an impressive display.
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Ten Hag’s plan to mark Guimaraes to keep him quiet was a decent tactic. However, it would have been wise for the gaffer to put in an extra midfielder in the team or have the former Shakhtar Donetsk star in the starting lineup. Hopefully, we will learn from this experience for the upcoming fixtures.