Considering Roy Keane’s comments on David De Gea before kick-off on Sunday, many expected him to eviscerate the goalkeeper at half-time of Manchester United’s win over Southampton.
But Roy Keane actually reserved the harsher half-time criticism for Fred for his role in the hosts’ second goal.
Manchester United conceded two goals to Southampton in the opening 45 minutes of their trip to St. Mary’s, with struggles from set-pieces bringing the question-marks over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s suitability for the manager’s role back to the fore.
Southampton clearly identified the near post as a weakness for United as James Ward-Prowse repeatedly whipped corners into that area and Jan Bednarek opened the scoring by beating Marcus Rashford to a glancing header from close range.
Rate this James Ward-Prowse free-kick out of 10 ?
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) November 29, 2020
Ward-Prowse left David De Gea with his head in his hands 10 minutes later with a free-kick that crept in despite the best efforts of the United goalkeeper to get a hand to the ball.
But De Gea’s failure to keep the shot out was not as concerning for Keane as the fact that Fred committed the foul in the first place, opening up the opportunity for one of the Premier League’s greatest free kick specialists to double Southampton’s lead.
“I don’t expect my goalkeeper to be beaten from there,” Keane said on Sky Sports at the break.
?"It is like giving away a penalty, I have been criticising Fred for years and my eyes don't lie to me, really poor decision, really lazy"
Roy Keane was not happy with Fred giving away the foul which resulted in James Ward Prowse's goal against Manchester United pic.twitter.com/C94OKutS8k
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) November 29, 2020
“From Southampton’s point of view, it’s fantastic. As I said, it’s like giving away a penalty but from United’s point of view… before the game, they’d have been saying ‘don’t be giving any daft free kicks away!’
“The corners are going to happen obviously, you take that.
“But for the free kick and if you look at Fred closely… I’ve been criticising Fred for years and my eyes don’t lie to me, it was a really poor decision and really lazy.”
De Gea was replaced at half-time of the 3-2 win for the visitors, with Dean Henderson replacing the injured Spaniard for his first Premier League appearance for United.
It was a tale of two halves for United, who secured all three points thanks to a late winner from Edinson Cavani, who doubled his personal tally after Bruno Fernandes added to his terrific record on the hourmark.