Blip made United stronger - Carrick

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Manchester United's much-heralded late season 'blip' appeared much longer than the two weeks it lasted to star midfielder Michael Carrick.

That the home hammering by Liverpool and away defeat to Fulham was immediately followed by an international break, a comeback win over Aston Villa and a scrappy draw with FC Porto is probably the reason behind Carrick's extended pain.

"The dodgy spell only lasted a couple of weeks really but it seemed like about four or five," said the England midfielder. "There was never really any fear we would not come out of it. In fact it just made us more focused the other way."

He added: "We knew we had to perform and go on a long run of winning games.

"The atmosphere in the dressing room certainly wasn't negative. It was just a case of knuckling down to get the job done."

With a third successive Premier League title won, United now aim to become the first side to retain the European Cup since it was rebranded as the Champions League in 1992.

The task could not be any harder given Barcelona's dominance of La Liga under Pep Guardiola, achieved with a mesmeric style of play incorporating some of the brightest attacking talents in the world.

"It is a final between the best two teams in world football," said Carrick.

"The fact we have both won our respective leagues certainly puts us up there as the best two sides in Europe.

"It is going to be a huge game and one we are all looking forward to."

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European News
Premier League
Michael Carrick
UEFA Champions League
Manchester United
Aston Villa

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