Fred’s decisive strike for Manchester United against Leeds United does not make good reading for Lionel Messi who is struggling in his debut season at Paris-Saint Germain
Fred’s go-ahead strike against Leeds United put the Manchester United midfielder ahead of Lionel Messi for league goals this season.
The Brazilian, who has been put under immense scrutiny this season, scored the decisive goal for Ralf Rangnick’s men at Elland Road as they secured a 4-2 victory.
Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes put the Red Devils in a comfortable 2-0 lead before Rodrigo and Raphinha clawed Leeds back into the game with two quick-fire strikes.
Ralf Rangnick called on substitute Fred with the game all-square and he made an immediate impact making it 3-2 with a powerful shot past Illan Meslier.
Anthony Elanga put the game to bed on the 88th minute to restore United’s two-goal lead and wrap up the three points.
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
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Fred isn’t known for his prowess in front of goal, but it was his third Premier League goal this term which isn’t a bad return considering he hasn’t been a regular in United’s first team this season.
And the 28-year-old has actually notched one more league goal than Lionel Messi, who only has two, which gives a clear indication of how difficult his debut season at Paris Saint-Germain has been.
The Argentine is struggling to adapt to life away from Barcelona as he fails to mesh with Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.
Messi’s issues on the field were epitomised on Saturday night as the French side suffered a shock 3-1 defeat to Nantes, following his penalty miss against Real Madrid midweek in the Champions League last 16 tie.
Fred’s performances have improved as of late and even Roy Keane acknowledged his positive impact at Elland Road.
The Sky Sports pundit claimed: “Well deserved in the end. Fred has definitely improved his finishing and attacking play in the last few months.
“They made hard work of it but Manchester United were by far the better team.”
Keane has traditionally been one of Fred’s biggest critics.
After United’s defeat to Manchester City earlier this season, he said: “If (then United boss) OIe (Gunnar Solskjaer) walked in here now I’d grab him by the (collar) and say ‘why are you playing Fred?’
“All managers have to make their own decisions, they’re working with the players day in, day out, I would look at him and go ‘why are you playing Fred in the middle of the park?’
“And he has to take responsibility for that, I agree.”
In another damning assessment of Fred, Keane said: “Anyone who tells me Fred is good enough for United – they’re in cuckoo land.”
Keane has said of the Brazil international on Sky: “I think if you want to play for a big team in midfield you’ve got to hang your hat on something to say well, ‘you’re brilliant at going forward, or brilliant defensively or he’s got a goal in him’ – I don’t see any of them in Fred.”