Coming on as a substitute late in the game, Carrick played his first football in a long time having been sidelined with a ruptured thigh muscle which he suffered in training.
The 33-year-old may not have played much for Man United this season thanks to a series of unfortunate injuries but he is incredibly important to the balance and make-up of the team, something which is symbolised by the fact Louis van Gaal named him as his vice-captain despite being injured for so long.
Ahead of a difficult few weeks which will see United play Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool, Carrick’s return is timely but there will now be questions asked as to where he fits back in the team.
Daley Blind has been getting progressively better in his holding midfield role while team-mate Ander Herrera has made himself one of the first names on van Gaal’s team sheet with his performances. If neither are to be dropped for Carrick’s return, then either an attacking player would have to be sacrificed or another switch in formation is on the cards.
Of course, there is also the potential that Carrick is used in certain games where van Gaal wants more control.
Wherever he fits back into the team, it’s great news to have Carrick back and available for selection because United will need his experience when the pressure starts to mount during this run-in.