Michael Carrick says the modus operandi – not to mention the opposition – made victory in the Carling Cup semi-final all the sweeter.
The midfielder looked to have cued up a comfortable finish at Old Trafford when his goal made it 2-0 on the night, 3-2 on aggregate, to the dominant home side. But plain sailing isn’t the United way, as Michael has learned – and enjoyed – in his time at the club.
“We could have finished it off earlier when we were in a commanding position but to win it like we did (in injury time) makes for a very special night,” Carrick told MUTV.
“The place was bouncing and we’ve sent everyone home happy on the red side.
“There was a lot riding on the game tonight, playing against City with the chance to get to a final bit we’ve come through it and we’re delighted.
“Our dressing room was a happy place to be.”
Carrick’s neat finish following a link-up between Nani and Darren Fletcher was his second goal in a Manchester derby – “my first one didn’t mean as much because we lost, so this one was a bit more special” – and he admitted he could have had another.
“We were playing well in the second half, on the front foot and creating opportunities. I missed a good chance to score what would have been my second goal (of the night) so when Wazza scored, it saved me a bit!”
Carrick heaped praise on the man who spared his blushes and booked United’s passage to Wembley, saying: “He (Wayne Rooney) is awesome.
“He just keeps improving. When I first came to the club, I thought he was a great player. But three years on he’s improved again. He just gets better