Despite only being in charge for a few days, Man Utd legends Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand believe Michael Carrick has made great improvements to their old club. Following the firing of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the weekend, Carrick has been named interim manager of the Red Devils.
United was in action on Tuesday night, traveling to Villarreal in Spain for their penultimate Champions League group stage meeting.
And the Red Devils delivered the performance they wanted, scoring two late goals to secure the victory.
After Etienne Capoue had lost possession to Fred, Cristiano Ronaldo scored in the 78th minute by lifting the ball over goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli’s head.
And in the final minute, Jadon Sancho smashed the ball into the top corner to record his maiden goal for United.
Scholes and Ferdinand both said after the game that United looked more ‘disciplined’ and like they had a game plan than when Solskjaer was in charge.
Scholes stated, “The discipline and team shape were there.” “It’s not easy obtaining results in locations like these.”
“The first half was a touch shaky, a little all over the place until [Anthony] Martial was shifted to the left side.
“By remaining in the game, we won a lot of games.” You know you’ll always have the quality to score goals at some time, and this might be a style of playing for United.
“You can see them playing like this against Chelsea on Sunday, though it will be against many superior opponents, that is a style of play he [Carrick] will persist with.”
Ferdinand agreed with Scholes that the Red Devils appeared to have discipline and a game plan against their Spanish opponents.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that they would have been pushing the clean sheet message in that dressing room, and that comes from a team performance,” Ferdinand remarked.
“Fred was instrumental in both goals, pressing tirelessly. [David] de Gea made a couple of wonderful saves, but this game was all about discipline and sticking to a strategy.
“These are the things we’ve been asking for, and it wasn’t a really lovely performance.” It was all about rolling up your sleeves, getting into your positions, and being difficult to beat.
“You’re in with a chance when you have players up front who are opportunistic and can score goals.”
And with the victory in Spain, the Red Devils have officially qualified for the Champions League knockout stages.
Carrick’s team faces Young Boys in their last group stage match at the start of next month, and a win could still be required to secure the top spot in their group.