Carrick admits to 'funny' farewell
Skipper Michael Carrick spoke of a strange atmosphere in Manchester United's dressing room as Sir Alex Ferguson's record-breaking 1,500 game reign ended with a scarcely believable 5-5 draw at West Bromwich Albion.
United's squandering of a three-goal lead not once, but twice, would normally be expected to earn them the 'hairdryer' treatment from their manager.
But the reality was somewhat different as Albion snatched a point with three goals in the final ten minutes when all seemed lost.
"It was a funny time in the dressing room because of the situation," said Carrick. "It is starting to sink in, though (that he is retiring) and we've had a couple of weeks to digest the news.
"We're ready to move on. We've had a busy couple of weeks and there is a new challenge ahead for all of us to look forward to."
The game provided the first 5-5 draw in Premier League history and was a suitable post-script to the career of a man who has been dedicated to providing exciting, attacking football.
In successive weekends, Albion have now conceded three, four and five goals and appeared to be the sacrificial lambs on United's emotional afternoon of farewells, only for three goals by Romelu Lukaku to partly dent the mood of celebration among the visiting fans.
The Belgian hit the equaliser four minutes from the end and so joined Emmanuel Adebayor, former Albion man Robert Earnshaw, United favourite Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink in scoring a Premier League hat-trick as a substitute.
It was still Ferguson's afternoon, though, and Carrick expressed gratitude to his outgoing boss at the end.
"I want to thank him for everything he has done," he said. "He has done much more than us."