Lifting the gloom: Carrick hoists Rooney up onto his shoulders in celebration
An relieved Michael Carrick thanked Wayne Rooney for his injury-time intervention that catapulted Manchester United into the Carling Cup final at the expense of rivals Manchester City.
England midfielder Carrick had put United in control of the tie with a clinical low drive on 71 minutes and, after Tevez had restored parity on aggregate, had another guilt edged chance that he swatted wide from inside the box.
Cue Rooney for his late, late winner. The striker's header was his 21st goal of the season and Carrick was delighted to have his blushes saved.
He said: 'I missed a good chance to score what would have been mysecond goal (of the night) so when Wazza scored, it saved me a bit!'
Carrick claims he never lost faith that United would progress and the manner of their progress made it all the more sweet the midfielder.
He added: 'There was a lot riding on the game, playing against City with the chance to get to a final but we came through it and we're delighted.
'We were playing well in the second half, on the front foot and creating opportunities.
Late winner: Rooney (centre) wheels away in celebration
'We could have finished it off earlier when we were in a commanding position but to win it like we did (in injury time) makes for a very special night.
'The place was bouncing and we've sent everyone home happy on the red side. Our dressing room was a happy place to be.'
United will play Aston Villa in the final at the end of February.
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