Carrick never considered penalty

PA Sport
Manchester United's Michael Carrick celebrates scoring their first goal against Galatasaray
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Manchester United's Michael Carrick celebrates scoring their first goal against Galatasaray

Michael Carrick never considered passing up the chance of a rare goal at Old Trafford in the 1-0 Champions League win over Galatasaray on Wednesday night.

The Manchester United midfielder's seeventh-minute effort proved decisive, yet in converting it, Carrick was not just scoring his first European goal for three years, he was also allowing Fernando Muslera to escape without sanction for a definite red card offence as the goalkeeper tripped the midfielder as Carrick stepped inside onto Shinji Kagawa's pass.

Had he not managed to score anyway, referee Wolfgang Stark would have had little alternative but to dismiss the Uruguayan in addition to awarding the hosts a penalty. But Carrick said: "I didn't go down because the way we are taking penalties we might not have scored!"

He added: "I don't get many goals anyway so when you get a tap-in you have to take it. I wasn't going to pass that one up from five yards out."

It was Carrick's first goal since January and only his 20th in a United career now approaching 300 games.

The statistic might be one reason why he has been overlooked so often for international duty.

Even after he declared his availability after missing Euro 2012, the 31-year-old failed to start either of the recent World Cup qualifiers against Moldova or Ukraine.

"People say I should get more but it is about the position you play in," he said. "You look at other defensive midfielders around Europe and they don't necessarily score a lot of goals.

"In an ideal world I'd like to score more but I am not really around the box that much."

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