Michael Carrick scored a brilliant goal to secure a 2-2 draw on his testimonial between the Manchester United 2008 side and an All Star XI on Sunday afternoon.
Former Real Madrid midfielder Gaizka Mendieta opened the scoring with a well taken strike before Nemanja Vidic popped up with a trademark header to level the scores on the stroke of half time.
Robbie Keane restored the advantage for the All Stars with a clever chip over Edwin van der Sar but Carrick, with less six minutes left, powered home a pin-point drive from Wayne Rooney‘s lay-off to provide a fitting end to what was an entertaining afternoon.
Here is a video of the 35-year-old’s strike, fittingly in front of the Stretford End.
Seeing Carrick line up a drive like that is something of a collector’s item these days. But with just one goal all season and Old Trafford willing the 35-year-old to score – Rooney, just minutes before, even attempted to lay the ball off for him instead of making a simple square pass to Dimitar Berbatov – the moment felt right, and the end product reminded everybody of the precision underpinning every single aspect of the 35-year-old’s game.
Carrick has largely dipped under the radar throughout his career, but as he came off and took in the roar of the Old Trafford crowd, his presence in that red shirt, number 16, suddenly felt huge, and indeed vital for next season.