Report: Carrick earns United a late 2-2 draw at Old Trafford


Manchester United’s 2008 side led by Sir Alex Ferguson in front of 70,027 supporters at Old Trafford against a Michael Carrick All-Stars side, drawing 2-2 with goals scored by Gaizka Mendieta, Nemanja Vidic, Robbie Keane and Michael Carrick.

Michael Carrick played his testimonial at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon, bringing back the likes of Edwin van der Sar, Wes Brown, Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra, Ji-Sung Park, Paul Scholes, Darren Fletcher, Ryan Giggs and current teammate Wayne Rooney, all starting the match. Gary Neville, Mikael Silvestre, Owen Hargreaves, Dimitar Berbatov, Louis Saha and Graeme Carrick, the brother of the veteran midfielder were all on the bench. Sir Alex Ferguson returned to the dugout leading the United 2008 side, which was minus a few of the players which made that team great.

Harry Redknapp managed the Michael Carrick All-Stars XI with Shay Given, Jamie Carragher, John Terry, Eric Abidal, Clarence Seedorf, Gaizka Mendieta, Marcos Senna, Damien Duff, Michael Owen and Robbie Keane all started, with Alex Bruce, Joan Capdevila, Phil Neville, Richard Garcia, Sinclair and Eidur Gudjohnsen all on the bench. Carrick entered the pitch from the old tunnel with his children and in the middle of all the players playing today were all the trophies Carrick had won with United, just the UEFA Super Cup missing with Carrick and United looking to add that to the collection in August against Real Madrid in Macedonia.

Before the match, Carrick and the Old Trafford faithful paid tribute to the Manchester attack almost a fortnight ago and the attack in London on Saturday night, which together both claimed the lives of 29 people, with many more still in hospital’s in Manchester and London recovering from their injuries. We all stand together.

United started the match well, looking to entertain the crowd with some attacking football, even though Rooney was the youngest player on the pitch, in a red shirt, there were some old faces who still looked like they could play at the top-level; Vidic, Ferdinand, Park and even Giggs. Evra has the best chance of the opening twelve minutes, getting taken out on the box but not given a penalty. A minute or so later, Scholes put in a pinpoint pass to Rooney, who tried to chip Given, hitting the roof of the net, just off target.The All-Stars took the lead through Mendieta in the 22nd minute of the match with a sublime finish by the Spanish midfielder. Rooney had a good chance to equalise after Evra crossed into the box, but the United captain could not get his head to the ball to make the difference.

Nemanja Vidic showed Rooney how to score a header in the 28th minute of the match, levelling the score with a decent finish from Ryan Giggs corner. Game on. United seemed to be the team getting the better possession, despite the All-Stars getting the opening goal of the game. United just seemed so much more capable of getting forward and making the difference, despite failing with earlier chances. Vidic’s goal gave the team the confidence to push for the victory. It only being a testimonial does not matter, Ferguson would be pushing for the plaudits and he will enforce that with his team. In the 35th minute, the All-Stars made a triple substitution with Phil Neville, Joan Capdevila, Eidur Gudjohnsen replaced Abidal, Duff and Owen.

After the changes, United looked even more resurgent on the ball, looking for that goal to put them in the lead. Scholes had a chance to put United ahead, just missing the target, which was unfortunate. Vidic, who had retired from the game around 18 months ago, but seemed to have more ability than Chris Smalling has, despite being nearly eight years his junior. The first half ended 1-1, which was fair. Carrick did have a chance to put his side ahead, but was off target. The break will be something many were waiting for, with changes expected in the second half with Ferguson and Carrick looking to end this testimonial with another victory under their belt.

At the start of the second half, Sir Alex Ferguson made a few changes with some players looking for a rest. Gary Neville, Mikael Silvestre, Louis Saha and Dimitar Berbatov all came on for Scholes, Ferdinand, Vidic and Rooney. Alex Bruce and Richard Garcia replaced Mendieta and Salgado for the All-Stars. Gary Neville had a chance to score early in the second half, putting it out for a throw-in, something which will no doubt br brought up by Jamie Carragher at some point next season, if not before. Just before the hour, Saha put in a great strike with Given making a great save to deny him from scoring. Neville, trying to prolong United’s attack got taken out by Carragher, with a free-kick being taken and Saha striking again.

In the 61st minute of the match, Graeme Carrick, brother of the midfielder replaced Wes Brown. Robbie Keane had the chance to put the All-Stars ahead, making a terrible attempt of it. Seedorf was replaced by Duff in the 64th minute. Keane put the All-Stars ahead in the 64th minute, chipping Van der Sar and finding the back of the net. The All-Stars were 2-1 up and United now had work to do. United had another change to level through Dimitar Berbatov in the 69th minute, but his effort was not threatening enough. In the 74th minute, Rooney came back on to replace Carrick’s brother, and Trevor Sinclair replaced Senna for the All-Stars.

Rooney could have changed the game for United, has he still had his vision for a pass. At the other end of the pitch, Keane went for the chip again, hitting the roof of the net. In the 80th minute, Garcia was replaced Salgado and Abidal replaced Capdevila for the All-Stars. United were still 2-1 down with less than ten minutes remaining. Saha was set up with a brilliant change to equalise, hitting the ball into the Stretford End rather than the back of the net. Unlucky. Carrick levelled for United in the 83rd minute from 20-yards to a standing ovation from the Old Trafford faithful. Fitting for his testimonial. Carrick was replaced by Scholes in the 85th minute of the match. Owen Hargreaves is the only player to not have been on the pitch for this United side, how fitting. The match ended in a 2-2 draw, which was a fair result.

Goals: Nemanja Vidic 28′, Michael Carrick 83′

Assists: Ryan Giggs 28′, Wayne Rooney 83′

Manchester United 2008 XI: Van der Sar; Brown (G. Carrick 61′ (Rooney 74′), Vidic (Silvestre 46′), Ferdinand (Neville 46′), Evra; Park, Carrick (Scholes 85′), Scholes (Berbatov 46′), Fletcher, Giggs; Rooney (Saha 46′)

Substitutes Not Used: Hargreaves

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