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Ratings: Carrick scored a 20-yard stunner, Vidic and Evra were stars too

Manchester United’s 2008 side, minus a few big names, drew 2-2 with the Michael Carrick All-Stars at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon for Carrick’s testimonial. The United side managed by Sir Alex Ferguson twice came back with Nemanja Vidic equalising after Gaizka Mendieta scored the opening goal and with Carrick equalising after Robbie Keane chipped Edwin van der Sar late in the second half. Missing the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Carlos Tevez, John O’Shea etc, this United team played well, but so did the All-Stars. Carrick may have wanted a win, but a draw was a fair result and send him into his summer holidays in good spirits, aiming to get back to business in the new season. Here are the player ratings from the match at Old Trafford this afternoon.

Starting XI:

Edwin van der Sar: The safe pair of hands were back at Old Trafford. Despite his age, Van der Sar looks like he still plays at the top-level. Calming and assured in his area, doing what he does best. Conceded a goal scored by Gaizka Mendieta in the 22nd minute of the match, which was not something he could have come between in all honesty. Conceded again in the second half, a chipped effort by Robbie Keane, but again he had already committed himself with his effort just before the chip. 3.5/5

Wes Brown: Made his return to Old Trafford his Michael Carrick’s testimonial. Played well in the right-back position during the first half of the match, and for much of the second half. Was replaced by Graeme Carrick half way through the second half, making his return to the Theatre of Dreams memorable. 3/5

Nemanja Vidic: The Serbian put the game on level terms in the 28th minute, scoring a header from a Ryan Giggs corner, showing Wayne Rooney how to score from a header being that the captain missed his opportunity to score minutes before. Vidic played a good first half for United, showing Chris Smalling what is expected from him and considering the Serbian has been retired for 18 months now, Smalling should be embarrassed. 3/5

Rio Ferdinand: The former world record defensive signing made his return back to the Theatre of Dreams a few years after he ended his career as a footballer. Ferdinand was back to his best in the first half, showing his skill and class as a player. United have missed players like him and Vidic, but with Bailly and a capable partner coming in the summer, we could see something similar once again. Ferdinand only played in the first half, resting the second on the sidelines. 3/5

Patrice Evra: The Frenchman loves this game. He loves Old Trafford and Old Trafford loves him. Evra showed the likes of Luke Shaw what is expected. Shaw has not lived up to his own expectations and Evra did that with his 90 minute display for Carrick in his testimonial. Evra set Rooney up for a headed effort, the United captain failing to hit the target. Evra has turned back the years with his performance, showing glimpses of United of old, which was much welcome. 3.5/5

Ji-Sung Park: The South Korean with three lungs was back at Old Trafford this afternoon, doing what he did best, running throughout the match. Park was a great player during his time, not the star and certainly not the worst player at the club, doing what was expected, not actually expecting to be credited with anything. Park was a model professional, as he was during the 90 minutes he played today. 3.5/5

Michael Carrick (C): The man of the moment, after all, this was all for him and his achievements during his amazing career at United. He’s won everything, well apart from the UEFA Super Cup, which will see United go head to head with Real Madrid in August. Carrick played well, doing what he needed to do during the match. Got his name on the score sheet in the final seven minute of the match, scoring from 20-yards to equalise for United, avoiding the defeat. Was replaced five minutes from time by Scholes, the man he effectively replaced at the club. It’s Carrick, you know. Hard to believe it’s not Scholes. 4/5

Paul Scholes: The master of the midfield, back at the Theatre of Dreams. He still cannot tackle, which was something only Scholes could get away with, but boy were his passes still on par. His effort to set up Rooney was great, with the United captain chipping Given, not getting his shot on target. Scholes could still play today, at the top-level for United. Scholes did not come back out with the team at the start of the second half, but played the last five minutes, replacing Carrick himself. 3.5/5

Darren Fletcher: Not missed a league match for West Bromwich Albion since he left United two years ago. Has now signed for Stoke City to prolong his career. Seemed to turn back the time for United in the first half, pushing forward and generally helping United’s midfield advance into the All-Stars final third, pushing to win the game. Inspired by the boss, Sir Alex Ferguson. Played 90 minutes, doing what was expected, without praise or wanting to make a big deal of what he had done. Model professional and one for some of the younger players to look up to, despite him no longer being at the club. 3/5

Ryan Giggs: The Welsh winger made his return to Old Trafford three years after hanging up his boots. Giggs turned back the time, putting in a 90 minute performance on the wing, assisting the first equaliser from the corner with Vidic heading home. Giggs marauded up and down the wing to help inspire United to the victory, but the draw was good enough. Giggs is a player who had mountains of skill and potential, achieving everything he wanted to as a player. As a manager, if he is given the chance, he could prove himself there too and possible return to United at some point – wishful thinking. 3/5

Wayne Rooney: One of the youngest players on the pitch today, one of a few still playing. Not the greatest on the pitch. The likes of Scholes, Giggs and even Evra to a point showed Rooney up. Clarence Seedorf seemed to have more ability than Rooney, who has had a long season, but should be in peak physical condition. Made a big deal of not being awarded a penalty, which was perhaps pathetic, it only being a testimonial match. Came off at the end of the first half, replaced Graeme Carrick 16 minutes from time. 2/5

Substitutes:

Gary Neville: Came on at the start of the second half for Ferdinand, had a shot on goal, which seemed to go nowhere and out for a throw-in. Monday Night Football next season will have a pop at that, I am sure Jamie Carragher will bring it up at some point. Seemed to be rising to the occasion using banter to help him succeed. Good to see him play again, though. 2.5/5

Mikael Silvestre: Replaced Vidic at the start of the second half. Put in a good shift in the second half. 2.5/5

Graeme Carrick: Replaced Wes Brown in the 61st minute of the match. Did a job on his brothers testimonial. Was replaced by Rooney in the 74th minute of the match. 2.5/5

Owen Hargreaves: Did not get onto the pitch. Not sure I actually saw him in any of the coverage of the match. 0/5

Dimitar Berbatov: Came on for Scholes at the start of the second half. Could have scored for United, but did not get his shot on target. Played well, despite being out of position. 3/5

Louis Saha: Replaced Rooney at the start of the second half. Had a great chance to equalise at 2-1 down, but put the ball into the Stretford End rather than into the back of the net. 3/5

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

Confirmed XI: Carrick the captain, Vidic and Ferdinand are back

Sir Alex Ferguson returns to the dugout at Old Trafford this afternoon for Michael Carrick’s testimonial which will reunite some of the players from 2008 when Manchester United won the Premier League and UEFA Champions League double. Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Edwin van der Sar, Patrice Evra, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes – it will be a great match showing some of the best players to play for the club in the last decade. Steven Gerrard pulled himself out of the opposition team for this afternoon’s match, leaving Frank Lampard, Michel Salgado, Eric Abidal, Gaizka Mendieta, Clarence Seedorf, Michael Owen and Robbie Keane, managed by Harry Redknapp. This will be a big occasion for Carrick, who recently signed a new one-year contract at the Theatre of Dreams, aiming to win the only major trophy he has not won in his career at United, the UEFA Super Cup. Here are the starting XI’s for each of the teams, including the substitutes;

Manchester United 2008 XI:

Van der Sar;

Brown, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra;

Park, Carrick, Scholes, Fletcher, Giggs;

Rooney

Substitutes:

Neville, Silvestre, G. Carrick, Hargreaves, Berbatov, Saha

Michael Carrick All-Stars XI:

Given;

Carragher, Terry (c), Abidal;

Seedorf, Mendieta, Senna;

Duff, Owen, Keane

Substitutes:

Bruce, Capdevila, P.Neville, Garcia, Sinclair, Gudjohnsen.

Wayne Rooney will be involved for Manchester United this afternoon, which could be his final farewell to the Theatre of Dreams as his future is up in the air with a decision on his future possibly already made. The return of Louis Saha and Dimitar Berbatov will be a good sight, especially for the latter, who was a fans favourite, at least once he had left the club as many did not appreciate his brilliance on the pitch on his day.

copyright: JW