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Fred avoids red card for headbutt in Champions League clash between Manchester United and PSG



The Red Devils were fortunate not to be reduced to ten men after their Brazilian midfielder lashed out, but he was reprieved by the referee

Manchester United found themselves very lucky not to be both a goal and player down after 20 minutes against Paris Saint-Germain in their Champions League clash on Wednesday. 

Neymar had opened the scoring after just seven minutes at Old Trafford, before the Red Devils were left to sweat following a scuffle between Fred and Leandro Paredes which was reviewed by the Video Assistant Referee in the 22nd minute. 

Subsequent replays showed both players squaring off, with Fred seemingly guilty of initiating a headbutt as he leant into the face of his opponent.

Replays showed Paredes was quick to fall to the ground as he sought to get his opponent sent off. 

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Yet despite on-field referee Daniele Orsato – who officiated PSG in their Champions League final defeat to Bayern Munich last season – reviewing the incident, he opted to just hand the Brazilian midfielder a yellow card.

The controversial call by the Italian official came much to the dismay of PSG manager Thomas Tuchel, and the surprise of both pundits and of fans watching from home. 

With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side lucky to avoid being reduced to 10 men, they went on to equalise just 10 minutes later as Marcus Rashford fired past Keylor Navas with a deflected strike. 

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Fred risked getting a second yellow card as the first half continued, with he and Paredes involved in a 50-50 clash in the 39th minute that saw the PSG man this time handed a caution by the referee. 

PSG goal scorer Neymar also picked up a yellow card following his protests towards referee Orsato, with the Ligue 1 side unhappy that the Brazilian remained on the pitch following these incidents.

The two sides went into half-time locked at 1-1 with the Red Devils only needing a point to secure their spot in the knockout stages.

PSG meanwhile are in need of a win at Old Trafford, with qualification from Group H for the Champions League knock-out stages among the tightest in this year’s tournament.

Manchester United, PSG and RB Leipzig are all close on points, with only two sides qualifying for the round of 16.

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