Rio Ferdinand believes Fred was partly to blame for allowing Lionel Messi to score his second goal for Barcelona in a disastrous first half for Manchester United.

Trailing 1-0 from the first leg, the Red Devils started positively on Tuesday night but Messi soon took centre stage, scoring a quickfire double to make it 3-0 on aggregate in the opening 20 minutes.

Philippe Coutinho added a third goal just past the hour mark to secure a place in the Champions League semi-finals for Ernesto Valverde’s men.

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David De Gea could have done little to deny Messi for his opening goal but the goalkeeper really should have done better as the Argentinian’s second strike squirmed underneath him.


Ex-United star Ferdinand believes De Gea will be ‘so disappointed’ with the howler and also pointed the finger at Fred for a moment of carelessness in the lead-up to the goal.

‘Fred is in the mix there, he should just get rid of it,’ he told BT Sport.

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‘But De Gea, who has been in superb form for three or four years, he’ll be so disappointed.’

On Messi’s opening strike, Ferdinand added: ‘We said before the game that if he decides to turn up and take the game by the scruff of the neck then he can do it and he’s done that.

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‘Saying that, it was two mistakes from Manchester United. Ashley Young there will be disappointed – he didn’t clear the ball – but after that it’s all about Messi.