Michael Carrick delivered another faultless performance at the base of midfield during Manchester United’s 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns on Saturday afternoon.
The Englishman, deployed in defensive midfield behind the now established pair of Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba, controlled proceedings all evening, acting as the lynchpin of what was a comfortable victory for Jose Mourinho‘s men.
A look at his stats from the game against Tony Pulis’ men tells you all you need to know about the commanding nature of his performance.
Carrick's game by numbers vs WBA:
92% pass accuracy
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) December 17, 2016
Carrick, after initially watching from the sidelines this season, has now made 13 starts under Mourinho. Man United have won 11 of those, netting 32 goals and conceding just now. Emphatic proof for the stat-junkies out there.
But you don’t need a series of numbers to understand Carrick’s importance to this United side. The evidence is there on the pitch, with every move almost naturally passing through the 35-year-old. He is the medium – a metronomic figure – quietly yet assuredly overseeing everything that happens, turning a group of individuals into an integrated, well-drilled unit through his ability to move play forward and generate space for his teammates.
United fans will know that, with Carrick in the starting, their team will always espouse an air of control – even in the most pressurised of situations.