Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand agree that Fred was fortunate to escape a straight red card for his headbutt on Leandro Paredes in Manchester United’s Champions League defeat to Paris Saint-Germain.
Fred was eventually dismissed in the second-half for a challenge on Ander Herrera but was shown a yellow card after appearing to move his head towards Paredes midway through the first period.
Referee Daniele Orsato was advised by VAR to check his pitch side monitor and red seemed inevitable after actions that mirrored what got Nicolas Pepe sent off for Arsenal against Leeds last week.
On this occasion, the Brazilian midfielder was given a reprieve, but Ferdinand believes he was erratic and the incident warranted a straight red card.
“He’s a lucky boy, let’s be honest,” Ferdinand told BT Sport at half-time, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News.
“There’s been a few occasions in the first half where he could have got at least a yellow card. There was a coming together of players.
“There was a bit of a discussion about things and obviously he moved his head and motioned towards the player. He makes a meal of it, yes, but in today’s game Freds lucky to be on that pitch.”
“I’d have liked a little camera in the tunnel, it looked like it was going to go off in there.”
Scholes added at half-time that it would have been prudent for Solskjaer to substitute Fred for Donny van de Beek.
“He’s very lucky and he’s been involved in a couple of challenges,” he added.
“Ole might have to think about taking him off and bringing Van de Beek on because United have been in control of possession. It might be worth bringing another creative player on but Fred’s got to be very careful.”
Of course, hindsight proves that Solskjaer should have listened to Scholes’ advice because Fred was shown a second yellow midway through the second-half.
United supporters at half-time were pleading for Solskjaer to make a precautionary change as Fred had clearly lost his cool.
The Norwegian wasn’t short of replacements either, with van de Beek, Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba all warming the bench.
But he will now rue that mistake after a disastrous 60-second period which saw PSG take the lead and Fred dismissed.
Remarkably, Fred was actually unlucky to receive a second yellow, as he clearly won the ball going to ground against Herrera.
Solskjaer’s Reds will be without Fred for next week’s decisive final group game against RB Leipzig where a point is again enough for European qualification.