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07th Mar 2019

What Fred did before Rashford’s winning Manchester United penalty did not go unnoticed

Patrick McCarry

Arguably his best moment in a Manchester United jersey

There was always a feeling that Jose Mourinho was not exactly the driving force behind the £52m transfer of Fred to Manchester United.

The Brazilian had a decent start to life at Old Trafford but faded into the background so much that Andreas Pereira and Scott McTominay started getting minutes ahead of him.

However, with 10 players injured or suspended, Fred was drafted into emergency service in the United midfield as the three-time champions attempted to claw back from a 2-0 first leg deficit.

Fred was tidy and composed in what turned out to be a 3-1 victory that saw United reach the last eight on away goals. It looked to be in vain, though, until Diogo Dalot’s drive won United a penalty as it struck the arm of Presnel Kimpembe.

The game was held up for several minutes as the referee checked replay after replay before the spot-kick was rewarded. During it all, the Paris Saint Germain players swarmed in the box. When the penalty was given, Marcus Rashford was pushed, shoved and sneered at.

Keith Andrew, on commentary duty for Virgin Media, called their antics ‘niggly nonsense’.

Fortunately for United, Fred was straight on the scene to push Juan Bernat and two of his teammates away. He patted Rashford on the back and marshalled the PSG lads away from the scene.

The box emptied, it was up to Rashford to put his side ahead for the first time in the two-legged tie.

And duly, with his first ever senior penalty, Rashford thundered it home.

The diminutive Brazilian had Rashford’s back and the young striker paid him back in victorious kind.