Michael Carrick has praised Manchester United’s trio of midfielders after a hard fought 1-1 draw at Chelsea.

Fred, Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic all started the game as the Manchester United caretaker boss looked to make his side more resilient after a run of poor league results.

Carrick also praised United’s front three for their contribution, and insisted he was proud of all his players.

Chelsea v Manchester United - Premier League
(Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Carrick told United’s official website: “We had a plan, I thought Fred, Scott, Nemanja were terrific, I thought the front three were terrific and I thought the back four defended ever so well when they needed to.”

He also commended Scott McTominay for the way he dropped in and helped the defence out, adding: “We had to drop Scotty in there at times and we had a plan for that.”

Unusual approach

It is not very often Manchester United line up with three defensive midfielders, and this said a lot about the team’s respect for Chelsea, and the team’s recent defensive struggles.

After conceding four goals away at Watford in the last game, a cautious approach was understandable.

 

United were also without captain Harry Maguire who was suspended, although this did not turn out to be a negative.

The tactics could have backfired if United conceded early, but instead the Red Devils took the lead through Jadon Sancho.

It took a penalty for Chelsea to score an equaliser, with United looking comfortable defensively despite being tested regularly.

Chelsea v Manchester United - Premier League
(Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

This Chelsea side beat Juventus 4-0 at home in midweek, and United made them look ordinary from an attacking perspective.

Fred’s performance earned praise from United fans and could almost have won the game with a late chance.

Carrick added: “Fred, with that interception at the end, pressing high, which is what Fred’s so good at. Just the other bit on the end wasn’t quite there.”

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