Paul Scholes claims Fred offers “nothing going forward” and hit out at the Man Utd midfielder for failing to do his job in their Europa League semi-final first leg victory over Roma.
Having fallen at the semi-final stage of various competitions on four occasions over the last two seasons, the Red Devils took a giant stride towards the Gdansk showpiece by winning a 6-2 thriller on Thursday evening.
Roma had gone into half-time of the first leg ahead after Bruno Fernandes’ fine opener was cancelled out by a Lorenzo Pellegrini penalty, before ex-Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko bundled them into the lead.
But Edinson Cavani fired home a stunning leveller early in the second half, before tapping home from close range.
The 34-year-old was then taken down for the penalty scored by Fernandes and, after Paul Pogba headed home, provided a superb pass for substitute Mason Greenwood to make it six.
However, Scholes was annoyed by Fred’s lack of contribution in the match with the former Man Utd midfielder claiming the Brazilian failed to do his “absolute job”.
When analysing Roma’s second goal on BT Sport, Scholes said: “That’s what Fred is in the team for, he’s in the team to stop this type of thing.
“From their best midfield player he gets in behind them [United’s defence]. Fred… please stop that. He contributes nothing going forward and his absolute job is to stop that type of thing. And he’s been left wanting again.”
“Oh! That miskick!”
“Scholsey you meant that, didn’t you?”
😂 Paul Scholes as deadpan as ever describing *that* semi-final goal against Barcelona, 13 years on… pic.twitter.com/YI3ar9xvM1
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 29, 2021
Meanwhile, Scholes and fellow pundit Owen Hargreaves disagreed over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s starting XI with Marcus Rashford coming under particular scrutiny.
“Ole still loves his two defensive midfielders, doesn’t he?” Hargreaves said.
“With Bruno playing as a 10, he wants his two defensive (midfielders), but Marcus (Rashford) off the right-hand side is a very good option and Cavani through the middle is as lethal as anyone.”
“Sorry, Owen, I slightly disagree,” Scholes replied.
“I don’t think Marcus enjoys playing on that right-hand side, I don’t think his numbers are anywhere near as good.”
“No, I agree, but I think he’s a good crosser of the ball on the right-hand side,” Hargreaves conceded.
Scholes added: “He’s an option, yes, but I think for this team to evolve, especially against, you’re not playing Manchester City here where I’d expect to have two holding midfielders, you’re going to have a lot of possession.
“You can afford an extra body. You can play Paul (Pogba) as a midfield player, he can link with Bruno all day long as a number 10. Mason (Greenwood) is in the best form of his life and I cannot believe he’s not playing, he’s so much better from the right-hand side.
“Marcus (Rashford) is so much better from the left-hand side and Cavani through the middle is a great option.”