Manchester United will need at least a point from their trip to RB Leipzig next week if they want to be playing Champions League football in the New Year after slipping to a home defeat to Paris Saint-Germain.
Neymar fired the French champions ahead in the opening stages at Old Trafford, before Fred somehow escaped a red card after an apparent headbutt on Leandro Paredes.
Marcus Rashford saw his effort deflect in for United’s equaliser, with Anthony Martial also missing a glorious chance to make it 2-1 early in the second half and then Edinson Cavani hitting the bar against his old club.
Marquinhos then poked PSG ahead midway through the second period, before Fred finally was sent off for a second bookable offence, and then Neymar added a third late on.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has never hid from criticism since taking over at Manchester United.
So he must accept he is completely to blame for United’s failure to clinch their place in the last 16 with a game to spare.
Quite why Solskjaer did not replace Fred at half-time, with the midfielder destined to earn the red card he eventually did in the second-half, only he knows.
But with United down to 10 men for the last 20 minutes, a minute after going 2-1 down, their hopes of getting anything from the game went with Fred’s enforced exit.
An experienced, top-level manager would not have allowed Fred to have emerged for the second-half, given how dangerously the midfielder had lived in the first 45 minutes.
He should have been sent off for a head-butt on Leandro Paredes in the 20 minute, but somehow escaped with a yellow, then continued to live on the edge with a series of rash challenges.