Carrick appeals to red card ref

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Michael Carrick has pleaded with Italian referee Roberto Rosetti to overturn the red card which will rule Darren Fletcher out of the Champions League final.

Fletcher was sent off for a challenge on Cesc Fabregas at the end of Manchester United's 3-1 win over Arsenal, even though television replays suggest the Scotland international played the ball before sending the Gunners skipper flying.

"It is just so harsh for Darren," Carrick said. "He has been unbelievable this season and when a situation arises like that it is so hard to take."

Despite Carrick's elation at reaching Rome on May 27, he could not help but feel sorry for Fletcher, who trooped sadly out of the Emirates Stadium and sat alone on the United team bus to contemplate his unhappy fate.

"It was not deserved because we can all see the referee might have got it wrong. I could not believe it when the red card came out," he added.

"You can't blame the referee because these things happen. Hopefully something can be done to change it and he will be available for the final because we don't want him to miss out."

Paul Scholes may also offer a quiet word of consolation to Fletcher given he suffered a similar fate in 1999. Scholes eventually exorcised those ghosts in Moscow 12 months ago, a game Fletcher spent on the bench as an unused substitute.

And the Dalkeith-born star will be watching on the sidelines again as United tackle either Chelsea or Barcelona, looking to become the first team to retain the trophy since the Champions League era began in 1992.

"You aim to peak at the right time," said Carrick. "In the big games you want everyone at top form and thankfully everything came together really well."

United are now on course to repeat the Premier League-European double from last year, hosting Manchester City on Sunday knowing they only require seven points from four games to retain the title.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Manchester City
Premier League
Michael Carrick
Manchester United
Darren Fletcher
Paul Scholes

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