Sunday 4 June 2017

Carrick Testimonial: United 08' XI 2-2 Michael Carrick All Stars

The man himself fittingly rounded off the scoring for United's double winning 2008 side on an emotional and nostalgic day on his testimonial. 

Gaizka Mendieta put the All Stars ahead on 22 minutes, only for the Reds to roll back the years when Ryan Giggs corner found Nemanja Vidic to power in  a header.

Robbie Keane looked to have won it after the break only for Carrick to rifle home a 25-yarder eight minutes from the end to make it 2-2.

The match pitted United's 2008 Premier League and European champions - managed by Sir Alex Ferguson one last time - against a squad of decorated former legends to honour Carrick's 11 seasons the the club.

Edwin van der Sar, Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes, Giggs and Patrice Evra graced the Old Trafford turf once more, with Louis Saha, Dimitar Berbatov, Gary Neville and Michael's younger brother Graeme on the bench.

 Managed by Carra's first boss at West Ham Harry Redknapp, the opposition side featured Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher, Chelsea veteran John Terry, former United man Michael Owen as well as ex internationals Keane, Clarence Seedorf and Marcos Senna. 

The match was preceded by a minute's silence in memory of the victims of the terror attacks in Manchester and last night's atrocity in London.

Shay Given cleared well under pressure from Evra early on before Wayne Rooney lobbed over the bar after a typically pin-point pass from Scholes.

Seedorf had the crowd purring with a neat nutmeg on Darren Fletcher before the 41-year-old Dutch legend played a part in his side's opening goal.
His sublime cross field pass found Eric Abidal whom in turn found Keane to cut the ball back for Mendieta who slotted in from close range.

Rooney headed wide before Vidic's leveller two minutes before the half hour and Scholes and Carrick then both went close with efforts from distance. 

Van der Sar saved well from Senna and substitute Gary Neville skewed a speculative volley waywarddly wide, to the mass amusement of a packed Old Trafford. 

Given tipped wide from a Berbatov header, and Mikael Silvestre's lunging challenge thwarted Eider Gudjohnsen as the striker shaped to shoot.

That was to be only a brief respite as Keane lobbed Van der Sar in expert fashion a minute later after Richard Garcia had picked him out.

Saha fired over the bar but United levelled on 82 minutes and, fittingly, it was Carrick who had the final say when he lashed in with a trademark effort from distance. 

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