Manchester United midfielder Fred found himself in Roy Keane’s crosshairs after allowing Kevin De Bruyne to burst into the box unopposed and restore Manchester City’s lead
Roy Keane has launched a verbal scathing barrage against Fred – having appeared to soften his stance on the Manchester United midfielder last month.
The outspoken pundit has often found himself discussing the Brazil international this season and declared he had “improved his finishing and attacking play” after he scored in February’s 4-2 victory over Leeds.
It was surprising to hear Keane praise Fred given his withering criticism for the 29-year-old following November’s 2-0 defeat by Manchester City.
The Irishman questioned why then-manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer kept persisting with Fred and claimed fans are in “cuckoo land” if they believe he is “good enough for United”.
It appears Keane has reverted to type regarding his opinion of the £53million star as he tore into his work rate after Sunday’s 4-1 thrashing away at City.
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“Look at Fred. You are fighting for your life and you have got a midfielder who is standing there like he is waiting for a bus,” the Irishman told Sky Sports.
“Your instinct must be, ‘I’ve got to go back towards my goal’. [Victor] Lindelof’s defending has got to be better, [Harry] Maguire’s got to do better of course. But Fred is just stood there. And you tell me he can play?
Keane was speaking about City’s second goal, which was converted by Kevin De Bruyne after United failed to clear their lines.
De Bruyne arrived late in the box to pounce on the loose ball after excellent work from Phil Foden to create the chance.
Instead of following the Belgium international, Fred could be seen standing motionless on the edge of the penalty area. Summing up his dismal afternoon, he only completed one of eight attempted tackles in the derby.
The former Shakhtar Donetsk star was one of many United players Keane accused of not pulling their weight in his lengthy post-match rant.
Others who faced the fierce judgment of the Old Trafford legend included defenders Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Maguire as well as Marcus Rashford, who was introduced in the second half to minimal effect.
Keane added: “Your own pride has to kick in at some stage. I was getting really frustrated, I can forgive mistakes but you have to put your body on the line.
“Wan-Bissaka, Fred, Maguire, Rashford came on, I could go on, gave up four goals and City didn’t have to be at their best at all. Shame on them.
“Once the third goal went in, the game was over. They threw the towel in, the white flag came up.”
United will aim to bounce back from their seventh Premier League defeat of the season against Tottenham on Saturday.