Fred

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Biggest flops of the Premier League season

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We’ll try not to be too harsh as our review of the Premier League season continues with the most disappointing performances of 2018-19.

[ SEASON REVIEW: Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal ]

[ SEASON REVIEW: Man United, Wolves, Everton, Leicester, West Ham ]


— Fulham — You can’t pin it on any single manager, nor a single transfer flop. There was just something around Craven Cottage that didn’t allow the men to mesh on the big stage. Andre Schurrle petered out, Alfie Mawson stumbled when healthy, Jean-Michael Seri wasn’t as advertised, and Claudio Ranieri couldn’t summon any saviors after Slavisa Jokanovic also failed to find the right chemistry.

— Max Meyer, Crystal Palace — The 23-year-old just couldn’t quite adapt after being hailed by many including us as a remarkable free transfer from Schalke.

— Gonzalo Higuain, Chelsea — Part of this blame lives with us: The expectation that came with Maurizio Sarri‘s favored man arriving to make good on the failures of Alvaro Morata was too high; Higuain finished with five goals in 1100 minutes.

— Mohamed Elyounoussi, Southampton — Maybe his Premier League adjustment will come in Season Two, but zero goals and plenty of days outside the Saints’ 18 hardly make for good value.

Fred, Manchester United — Cost the Red Devils about $3.5 million per league appearance. Shoulder shrug emoji, as Pep Guardiola also reportedly viewed the Brazilian as a fix for his midfield.

— David De Gea, Manchester United — While not a new signing, the Red Devils’ perennial savior was not close to his standards in 2018-19. In fact, the Spaniard was basically league average and couldn’t bail out his defenders (which underscores Jose Mourinho’s assertion regarding their quality).

Lukaku leads Manchester United in thrilling comeback win

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  • Lukaku scores twice in 2nd half
  • Saints lead twice on two beauties
  • Pereira, Valery score 1st PL goals

An absolute classic at Old Trafford saw Manchester United comeback twice against visiting Southampton, as the sides only scored thrilling goals in a 3-2 match on Saturday.

Romelu Lukaku scored twice including the last of the stunners, taking a Fred flick and ripping past a flying Angus Gunn.

Andreas Pereira also scored for United, while James Ward-Prowse and Yan Valery are on the score sheet for Southampton.

Four of the five goals were Goal of the Week contenders, with Lukaku’s first quite lovely but not in that category. Gunn stopped Pogba’s penalty late, as Lukaku did not get a chance at his hat trick.

United moves fourth, three points behind Tottenham, while Saints remain 17th with 27 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Brilliant goals were the name of the game, the first being Valery’s absolute terror from better than 20 yards away from goal.

The Southampton youngster laced a right-footed shot which beat David De Gea to the near post; The gorgeous would’ve been stopped by De Gea at his best.

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Saints continued to work for a surprise three points at Old Trafford, but that notion was spoiled by Pereira and Lukaku.

Pereira’s goal, like Valery’s his first in the Premier League, was sensational. The Brazilian cut in from the left and took a step before curling a pearler around Angus Gunn and into the goal.

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Gunn had been sensational himself over the course of the match, making numerous first half stops for Saints.

He wasn’t able to get to Lukaku’s 10-yards low drive inside the far post, as United took the lead with about a half-hour remaining in the game.

Ward-Prowse got his free kick in the 75th minute, and boy did he get full body on his strike. De Gea was left flying through the air as the ball tore into the upper 90. 2-2.

Lukaku then took Fred’s feed to score a stunner of a winner, and Stuart Armstrong fouled Marcus Rashford to allow Pogba his chance to score from the spot. The French star was saved by Gunn.

Matic misses Liverpool fight, out for weeks

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Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic suffered “a nasty knock” in training Saturday and will miss 2-4 weeks of action

Matic, 30, has started every match since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took the reins at United.

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He’s been replaced by Scott McTominay for Sunday’s match versus Liverpool, with Fred joining the bench to provide cover.

Ander Herrera could also slide into a more defensive role, but the Spaniard has been very good with increased attacking freedom under Solskjaer.

In addition to the Liverpool visit, United’s next month of fixtures includes the second leg of a UEFA Champions League tie with Paris Saint-Germain as well as league tests from Crystal Palace, Southampton, Arsenal and Wolves.

Wolves, Manchester United equal at Old Trafford

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  • Pogba makes star pass to Fred (video)
  • Moutinho with equally clever goal
  • United sits sixth

Joao Moutinho‘s terrific second half goal helped Wolverhampton Wanderers to a 1-1 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Fred scored United’s goal off a clever Paul Pogba feed, with the Frenchman having a decent day in the stalemate. United had the better of the chances, but could not find a second goal.

United is sixth with 10 points, behind Bournemouth on goal differential, while Wolves are 10th with one less point.

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David De Gea was called upon for a prime 7th minute save when Wolves unlocked the United defense to afford Raul Jimenez a point blank turn-and-fire.

Fred but United ahead in the 18th minute, the Red Devils’ Brazilian addition hitting a low ball past Rui Patricio after a breathtaking touch bass from Paul Pogba.

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Hold on just one minute, though, as Wolves leveled the score with a scintillating strike from Moutinho, who curled a pass from Raul behind a helpless De Gea.

Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard posted dangerous chances for United, and an offside Romelu Lukaku missed with a header from a Pogba cross.

De Gea and Patricio traded saves as the final 20 minutes began at Old Trafford, with Marouane Fellaini threatening the latter with a 72nd minute header.

Man United agrees to deal for Fred

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Manchester United have swooped to make their first signing of the summer as the Red Devils have agreed a fee with Shakhtar Donetsk for Brazilian midfielder Fred.

[ MORE: Latest transfer news ] 

The 25-year-old is said to have had a medical at United’s Carrington training HQ over the past few days and he is expected to cost $69.3 million from the Ukrainian giants.

United released the following statement on agreeing a deal for Fred.

“Manchester United is delighted to announce it has reached agreement with Shakhtar Donetsk for the transfer of Frederico Rodrigues de Paula Santos. A further announcement will be made in due course.”

It appears Jose Mourinho has got his man and Fred will be a perfect player alongside Nemanja Matic in the heart of United’s midfield but where this leaves the likes of Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera and others remains to be seen.

Fred has played 156 times for Shakhtar since joining them from Brazilian side Internacional in 2013, and has appeared in the UEFA Champions League regularly.

He was previously linked with a move to Man City but Pep Guardiola cooled his interested in the man who has eight caps for Brazil and is heading to the 2018 World Cup this summer.

Mourinho loves a midfield terrier and Fred is about to be a red…