Fred miraculously escapes red card for headbutt on PSG midfielder Leandro Paredes
"Straight Fred", more like
Manchester United midfielder Fred has somehow escaped a clear red card for headbutting PSG midfielder Leandro Paredes in their Champions League clash at Old Trafford.
Shortly after PSG went 1-0 up through Neymar, a melee erupted in the middle of the park with Paredes down, holding his face. Manchester United midfielder Fred seemed to be the culprit as he was surrounded by PSG players.
Players from both sides were embroiled in a scuffle, and then turned their protests towards the referee - who then reviewed the incident through VAR.
It looks as though Fred is a very lucky boy 👀
He appeared to move his head towards Paredes off the ball, the referee took a closer look, and gave a yellow card ⚠️
Already down a goal, that was a close call for Man Utd... pic.twitter.com/4c2JvDhxGO
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) December 2, 2020
After getting a first glimpse of the incident, co-commentator Robbie Savage thought it looked like a clear sending off.
As the referee headed towards the pitch-side monitor to review the footage, BT Sport called on retired referee Peter Walton to share this thoughts on the incident.
Walton said: "It looks as if Fred has made a forward movement with his head there towards the PSG player. It's something that the VAR will be carefully looking at, because if it is a headbutt then I'm afraid Fred will in trouble."
When pressed for his personal take, Walton added: "I think it's a headbutt. He's moved his head towards him - obviously no play on the ball, it's a missed incident from the referee. The referee will come over and take a look at it and I think Fred will receive a red card."
After struggling to locate the VAR monitor at first, Orsato got a chance to see the incident play out in full.
Walton deemed it worthy of a red card, but referee Daniele Orsato saw it differently.
He only produced a yellow card for the former Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder, much to the amazement of commentators Darren Fletcher and Robbie Savage - and most fans on social media.
"How is Fred still on the pitch?" asked social media users, to the extent "How is Fred" became the top UK Twitter trend while the game was ongoing.