A youthful Manchester United team kicked off their Europa League campaign with a much-needed victory at home to FC Astana last night – with Mason Greenwood stealing the headlines due to a stunning goal.
However, there would have been no Reds victory if it weren’t for midfield control. With Paul Pogba injured, Fred was tasked with chance creation, keeping hold of possession and being the driving force. It’s fair to say he did that job excellently.
Statistically, the 26-year-old dominated Astana as he made the most passes, most final third passes, most ball recoveries and most chances created. He also picked up an assist to top off an impressive first start this term. Thanks to @StatmanDave for the numbers.
Completing 128/136 passes is no mean feat, while 43 of those came in the final third. What I find most intriguing are the 15 ball recoveries. Not only can Fred be the creator, but he also doesn’t mind getting stuck in and doing the dirty work.
Sure, he’ll face tougher opposition as the season progresses, but as a starting point this was good for Fred. No doubt his confidence is pretty low given the nature of how his first season in England went. Though he should look at Victor Lindelof’s second term as inspiration.
Start as you mean to go on, as they say. Well Fred certainly impressed me last night.