Manchester United FC midfielder praised team-mate Wayne Rooney for the "brilliant finish" that secured a dramatic 3-2 victory over AC Milan in last night's UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg.
Sir Alex Ferguson's team fought back from 2-1 down at half-time to win through two Rooney goals – the second one minute into added time - and earn a narrow advantage ahead of next Wednesday's return in Milan. Recalling the England forward's decisive strike past Dida, Carrick told uefa.com: "What can you say, the last finish was brilliant. He could see the gap and to put it away was brilliant for us. He is a world-class player already and he is still young and I am sure there is more to come from him. He more than did his job tonight."
Reflecting on the ebb and flow of a thrilling encounter, Carrick added that United were worthy winners for the manner of their second-half fightback. "We conceded two goals in the first half which was a big blow for us but we showed what we are made of and we bounced back in the second half. I thought we deserved to win. The tie is by no means over yet but it's a good start for us."
After taking an early lead through Cristiano Ronaldo, United found themselves behind at the break thanks to two goals from Kaká. However, Carrick explained that Sir Alex Ferguson's half-time words helped put them back on course. "Kaká's a world-class player and give him half a yard and he'll score - and that's what he did. He managed to get two and we had to start again and refocus on what we had. At half-time, the manager said, 'Just believe in yourselves, trust in yourselves and play the football you can play'. We couldn't afford to get impatient but had to keep playing and passing the ball as we can and getting the right players on the ball in the right areas."
With their slight advantage, the Premiership leaders can travel to Milan confident of completing the job next week and securing their passage to the final in Athens. And Carrick promised another bold attacking display: "We are not getting carried away but we know we're good enough to go away from home and win. We'll not be going over there to defend as such. We're not a team that can do that – we haven't got the players. We want to attack and play good football and it's going to be a good game."
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