Man Utd star Fred lucky to avoid red card for horror tackle that leaves Argentina hardman Montiel with bloodied legJuly 11, 2021
BRAZIL were almost a man down after two minutes of their Copa America final defeat, following a mad lunge from Fred.
The Manchester United midfielder went in hard on Argentina's Gonzalo Montiel with Saturday's final barely underway.
Uruguayan referee Esteban Ostojich chose to be lenient on the 28-year-old and hand out only a booking.
But River Plate defender Montiel was left with a nasty wound from the tackle.
Over the course of the game, his ankle became more and more bloodied – yet he played on nonetheless.
Argentine fans hailed the player as one of the heroes of their victory, provided by Angel Di Maria's fine chip in the first-half.
La Albiceleste won their first major trophy since 1993, also a Copa America, having lost five finals before this Maracana triumph.
Fred was taken off at half-time for Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino as Brazil tried in vain to score a leveller.
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The midfielder had cemented his place in Tite's starting XI during the tournament, playing six of his side's seven games.
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had praised Fred before the final, after he battled injury at the end of the season to make the Europa League showdown with Villarreal.
He said: "I have to put particular praise to Fred.
"I’ve got to say, at the end of the season, he got an injury in the last league game.
"We thought he wouldn’t make it for the final as he didn’t train the whole week before our own final, and he’s just put his head down and worked really hard. He trained the day before the final and came on and played.
"He’s just played throughout the summer and that’s some going. Some players with that injury wouldn’t be in training football now.
"He’s been a credit to Manchester United and himself in the way he’s conducted himself."
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