Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has reiterated fans’ concerns with the Fred and Andreas Pereira midfield pairing, suggesting their naivety away from home is what costed the team.
With Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay all injured, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had a decision to make in midfield and played the Brazilian duo alongside each other for the first time this season.
The former Molde man also attempted to compensate for a midfield lacking in quality by playing a three-man backline but the decision ended up backfiring tactically.
On paper and before the match the decisions seemed to make some sense but Sheffield United quickly took advantage before Solskjaer could turn it around.
Neither Fred nor Pereira could keep a hold of the ball against the tenacious home side and it ended up costing the Red Devils two points.
According to Goal, Scholes said: “He [Solskjaer] got seven minutes of a reaction, that was it. The first hour was probably as bad as you’ve seen.
“When you go to places like Sheffield United, anywhere away in the Premier League, you have to realise for 20-25 minutes it’s going to be a fight.
“You’re not just going to be left in possession with the ball. You’re going to be tackled, you’re going to expect challenges.
“I think as soon as Fred and Pereira realise that it’s not always going to be easy-oozy in a Premier League game away from home the better.
“If they ever get the chance to play again together they are going to have to improve massively.”
It’s difficult to criticise Fred given his recent upturn in form but it’s also safe to say many expected him to step up in the absence of some of the regulars.
It could be argued he was the victim of his manager’s poor tactical decision and now both he and Solskjaer have the chance to make amends vs Aston Villa later today.