Michael Carrick has shouldered the blame for Jay Rodriguez’s opening goal during United’s comeback win over Southampton on Wednesday.
The Reds midfielder was caught out when his weak back-pass was pounced on by the Saints forward, who duly slipped the ball under David De Gea to earn Mauricio Pochettino’s side a shock lead at Old Trafford, where two Wayne Rooney goals were ultimately enough to seal a hard-fought triumph.
Afterwards, when quizzed on the matter, Carrick took full responsibility for the early concession and praised his teammates’ ability to overcome the deficit and secure a crucial victory, moving seven points clear of title rivals Manchester City in the Barclays Premier League as a result.
“I just didn’t get enough on it, it’s totally my fault and I take the blame for that,” Michael explained to MUTV. “As it popped up I just tried to flick it back to David and I didn’t get enough on it. But we bounced back from that and got the goal and played some decent stuff in the first half. We showed character, it wasn’t an easy game and we are happy with the three points.
“I think I gave us a bit of a bad start but we bounced back in the first half and played some good football. For the majority of the first half, we were quite happy with our performance but the second half was a bit of a write-off to be honest, we didn’t play well at all.
“We just found a way to get over the line so we are delighted to get the three points. There are a few things to work on but we can still take the positives and we are still in a good position.”
Despite dominating the first half and holding a comfortable half-time advantage, United struggled in the second half and were put under pressure from Southampton, who continually pumped the ball forward in search on an unexpected point at the Theatre of Dreams.
In the end, the Reds defended admirably and although fans were forced to endure a nervy climax, Carrick is convinced the result was rarely in doubt - citing the fact that De Gea had very few saves to make against the spirited Saints.