Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Hails 'Breakthrough' Performance from Fred vs. PSG

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistMarch 7, 2019

PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 06:  Fred of Manchester United in action during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United at Parc des Princes on March 6, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)
Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Fred produced a "breakthrough" performance and proved why Manchester United signed him in Wednesday's 3-1 win at Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League, according to caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. 

The Brazilian, who has struggled for game time all season since moving to United from Shakhtar Donetsk for £52 million, was paired with Scott McTominay in the middle of the park against PSG, as Solskjaer was forced to put out a makeshift side because of multiple absentees:

The Red Devils overturned the 2-0 defeat from the first leg of their last-16 tie to book their spot in the quarter-finals thanks to Marcus Rashford's late penalty.

Romelu Lukaku had scored a first-half double to give United hope, but they still needed a third at the death to qualify because Juan Bernat got the hosts a goal in the 12th minute (U.S. only):

Fred and McTominay were two of United's standout players on a remarkable night, as they went toe-to-toe with Marquinhos and Marco Verratti, who had bossed United's midfield in the first leg at Old Trafford.

Solskjaer praised the pair after the match, and he particularly singled out Fred's performance, per Sky Sports:

"They did a fantastic job, screening in front of their high midfielders, putting pressure on Verratti and Marquinhos. They were excellent. 

"Fred, that was probably his breakthrough for us as well. You can see why we signed him. He's got the mentality of a Brazilian international. He is a Brazilian international. He gets on the ball, no fear, no doubt whatsoever. 

"We played a system today that he used to play at Shakhtar, and that's why we signed him."

After moving to United in June, Fred was given few chances by former manager Jose Mourinho in the first half of 2018-19.

And before Wednesday, the 26-year-old had started only three of the 16 games since Solskjaer's appointment in December, even with United's injury problems:

However, Fred proved against the French champions he could be a vital player for the Red Devils this season and beyond.

United spent much of the match at the Parc des Prince without the ball, but Fred made things as difficult as possible for PSG when they were in possession:

Solskjaer will have Paul Pogba back available for Sunday's trip to Arsenal, and the Frenchman is all but guaranteed to return to the starting XI.

Fred has made a case to be lining up alongside him, and it is clear Solskjaer believes there is more to come from the Brazil international. 

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