Fred was Manchester United’s unlikely goal hero in their win over Club Brugge, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was as surprised as anyone!
The Brazilian midfielder, having struggled at the start of his Old Trafford career, has been one of the United’s best players this season and struck twice in the 5-0 victory against Brugge on Thursday night.
They were Fred’s first goals for the club since September 2018 as he inspired their progress to the last 16 of the Europa League.
“I wasn’t sure if I was going to be alive the next time he was going to score a goal because he’s had so many attempts,” said Solskjaer with a smile.
“But one with his right, one with his left. It’s been an ongoing joke between us of course, but he got that goal and I’m very pleased for him.”
Teammate Tahith Chong, who set Fred up for his second goal, was also delighted to see the 26-year-old get on the scoresheet.
“It’s amazing for him to get a goal as he does a very good job in midfield, winning the ball and playing it forward,” Chong said. “For him to get two goals is amazing.”
On a pleasing night for United, January signings Odion Ighalo and Bruno Fernandes also impressed, with both finding the net.
“I’m very happy with the contribution of Odion, doing what he does,” said Solskjaer of his new striker.
“He’s a target man, we can play up to him, he’ll hold it, he’s got Juan (Mata) and Bruno (Fernandes) next to him and you’ve got runners then.
“I think as a fellow striker I know how important that first goal is. He’s been close a couple of times, you can see he sniffs goals. He wants to be there where it sometimes hurts. That goal, he’s sharp in his head. That’s a natural striker.”
Fernandes has had a huge impact since his move from Sporting Lisbon, and Solskjaer said: “Bruno coming in obviously makes a big, big difference. You can see he’s got a hand in all the three first goals. What a pass, what a goal Odion’s goal was.”