Carrick: The midfield was terrific

Sunday 28 November 2021 20:20

Manchester United caretaker manager Michael Carrick has praised the work of the Reds’ midfield in earning a hard-fought point at league-leaders Chelsea.

The hosts enjoyed much of the possession in the first half but were rebuffed by United, who took the lead through Jadon Sancho in the second, before Jorginho levelled from the penalty spot to make the final score 1-1.

Asked about the performances of Nemanja Matic, Fred and Scott McTominay, former midfielder Carrick said: “I thought the three of them were fantastic.

“We tried to make it as predictable as we could so we forced them into certain spaces and avenues that we could adapt to and I thought Nemanja, Scotty and Fred were top-drawer today.

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“Scotty at times had to drop into the backline and Hudson-Odoi was pulling into little areas, pulling wide at times, Alonso was inside off the line and they put five and six across that frontline so we needed Scotty at times to drop in. Between the three of them they were terrific.”

Carrick added: “We came here to win the game, at half-time we really believed we were right in the game and that in the second half we’d grow into it and being in front and having that opportunity and then suffering from a penalty that I don’t think was a penalty is disappointing.

“But at the same time it’s been a tough week. I'm immensely proud of the players for the effort that they’ve put in and the way they went about their business today.”

Jadon Sancho followed up his first goal for the club in midweek by also getting on the scoresheet at Stamford Bridge, with Carrick also proud of the performance of the attacking unit both with and without the ball.

“That’s part of football, you’ve got to do both sides of the game and we talked about how much you’ve got to earn your luck at times,” he said.

“It’s not easy to come to a place like Chelsea who are playing well and things are going for them at the moment. They’ve the momentum and confidence to certainly take the ball and dominate the game.

“We wanted to try and hide the ball and frustrate them and dominate in that way, but at the same point we were realistic. I thought the front three - Marcus, Jadon and Bruno did a terrific job and a real disciplined job of picking their moments to jump the press, picking their moments to block the middle and give a platform for the seven behind to kind of work off and spread the spaces so we weren’t chasing too much. I was really pleased with the effort today.”

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