• Premier League

Carrick: Title sweeter after last season

ESPN staff
April 23, 2013
Manchester United clinched their 20th title

Michael Carrick believes Manchester United's 20th title was particularly special because of the way in which they lost the crown to neighbours Manchester City last season.

United became champions again by defeating Aston Villa 3-0 on Monday, and midfielder Carrick said it meant more because of their dramatic, last-gasp disappointment in 2012.

Sir Alex Ferguson's side lost the title on goal difference thanks to Sergio Aguero's injury-time strike against QPR in the final game of the season.

Carrick said such a bitter blow could have sent a lesser team spiralling downhill - but United had instead shown their resolve.

"It is an incredible achievement," he said. "Every year we win, it just gets more special. The sense of achievement gets greater, for the manager and the club.

"This was a special one this year, [because of] the way we ended last year. We could have gone two ways and let it affect us and faded away. But we bounced back. We are proud of all the lads for showing their character.

"We were written off at the start of the season, as we are most seasons, but we have managed to come out on top. It is a special feeling."

Carrick singled out Ryan Giggs for praise after the 39-year-old winger, like manager Ferguson, won his 13th title.

He added: "It is sensational that he is still able to do that after all this time. It is not just physical, it is mental - having the drive and desire to do it every day.

"The standard he has set is unbelievable. He is a legend. It is a throwaway comment too often, but it is a pleasure to play with him and work with him every day."

Robin van Persie scored a hat-trick against Villa, including a stunning volleyed second and Carrick said: "The finish was textbook. There are not many people who can do that.

"He has had a terrific season. It is his first one here and, if he carries on like this, he will have a good career, that's for certain."

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