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The Red Devils were lucky not to be reduced to ten men after their Brazilian midfielder lashed out at him, but the referee pardoned him
Manchester United found themselves extremely fortunate not to be one goal and one 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 got sweaty following a fight between Fred and Leandro Paredes that was reviewed by the video assistant referee in the 22nd minute.
Subsequent replays showed both players facing off, with Fred seemingly guilty of initiating a header while leaning toward his opponent’s face.
Replays showed Paredes rushing to the ground while looking for his opponent to be ejected.
However, even though on-field referee Daniele Orsato, who led PSG in their Champions League final loss to Bayern Munich last season, reviewed the incident, he chose to hand the Brazilian midfielder a yellow card.
The controversial call from the Italian official came to the dismay of PSG manager Thomas Tuchel and to the surprise of experts and fans watching from home.
It seemed like Fred and Manchester United were in serious trouble when Paredes fell after this incident 😳
But the referee looked at the replay and only gave the midfielder a yellow card 😅
– Goal (@goal) December 2, 2020
– Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) December 2, 2020
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Vauxhall Jermaine @vauxhalljermain December 2, 2020
– Luis Miguel Echegaray (@lmechegaray) December 2, 2020
– Ian Darke (@IanDarke) December 2, 2020
– Jonathan Yefet (@JYefet) December 2, 2020
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With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team fortunate to avoid being reduced to 10 men, they managed to equalize just 10 minutes later when Marcus Rashford shot Keylor Navas with a deflected shot.
Fred risked receiving a second yellow card as the first half continued, with him and Paredes engaged in a 50-50 clash in the 39th minute that saw the PSG man this time with a referee caution.
PSG striker Neymar also received a yellow card following his protests to referee Orsato, and the Ligue 1 team was unhappy that the Brazilian remained on the field after these incidents.
The two teams entered halftime 1-1 with the Red Devils needing only one point to secure their place in the knockout stages.
Meanwhile, PSG need a win at Old Trafford, with Group H qualification for the knockout stages of the Champions League among the most contested of this year’s tournament.
Manchester United, PSG and RB Leipzig are very close in points, with only two teams qualifying for the round of 16.