Watch: Man Utd’s Fred pulls off THREE outrageous backheels v Atleti

Fred for Manchester United during the Premier League match at Carrow Road, Norwich. Saturday December 11, 2021.

Manchester United’s Brazilian midfielder Fred has been playing well of late – and he carried that improved form into the Champions League last-16 second leg against Atletico Madrid, pulling off three delightful backheels in the first half alone.

Going into the game against the reigning Spanish champions, there was palpable tension among Manchester United fans.

Having been knocked out of the FA Cup and having long since dropped off the pace in the race for the Premier League title, the Champions League was the only chance United still had of rescuing some pride from the 2021-22 season.

But, having beaten Tottenham 3-2 in a fantastically entertaining game on Saturday afternoon, Ralf Rangnick’s players also went into the home game full of confidence.

And that confidence was on display in the actions of two players in the first half.

First, Cristiano Ronaldo, with his first touches of the game, did a few keepy-uppies by the touchline, drawing a roar from the Old Trafford crowd.

Then Fred got in on the act with three magnificent bits of skill, carrying on what he had started with a fine display against Spurs.

First up, he received a sharp pass from Bruno Fernandes in his own half and, with his first touch, managed to send a backheel pass on to Jadon Sancho.

A few minutes later, Fred was up the other end of the pitch and this time the skill was even better. He received the ball inside the area, before taking one touch with the inside of his right boot and another with the heel of his left, flicking it around Stefan Savic and collecting it on the other side.

Robbie Savage, on co-commentary duty for BT Sport, certainly sounded like he enjoyed it. Perhaps a little too much.

Anyway, Fred completed his hat-trick of backheels not long after. After charging in a nabbing possession off Hector Herrera’s toe, Fred turned and flicked it to Bruno Fernandes, who was set loose on the Atleti defence.

Unfortunately for United fans, Fred’s best efforts came to little. Atleti took the lead late in the first half through a Renan Lodi header and did not relinquish it, holding on to progress to the last eight.

Still, we’ll always have time for skills like these.

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