Ole Gunnar Solskjaer accused former Manchester United star Ander Herrera of getting Fred sent off – after seeing his side crash to a damaging Champions League defeat.
United went down 3-1 to Paris Saint Germain at Old Trafford to leave their hopes of reaching the knockout stages hanging in the balance.
Marcus Rashford's equaliser on 32 minutes cancelled out Neymar's early opener, but Marquinhos made it 2-1 on 69 minutes before Neymar added a third in stoppage time.
Solskjaer's men now need a point at RB Leipzig next week to be sure of a place in the last 16.
But they will have to do it without Fred, who will be banned following his second half dismissal against the French champions.
Solskjaer admits the Brazilian was lucky to avoid a straight red before half time after appearing to headbut Leandro Paredes – but reckons Herrera made a meal of the challenge that resulted in Fred's second booking.
The United boss said: "In hindsight, having eleven men would have been better.
"But you can't fault the boy. He was really disciplined after half time. There was no reason to take him off and I think he was sensible in the second half.
"I thought Fred was lucky to stay on when I saw the referee going to look at the screen (in the first half). Fred shouldn't put his head towards him, although I don't think he touched him.
"The second yellow card is nowhere near and Ander (Herrera) knows that as well – he knows. It's human error (from the referee), but I can't do much about that now."
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PSG boss Thomas Tuchel said: "From the sideline I got the impression he gave him a headbutt. There was the confirmation with VAR so I was very surprised he got a yellow card.
"There were just two choices, he either hit him or he didn't. But what can you do? There was too much going on in the game to worry about this decision."
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