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Saturday 3 December 2016

Carrick: Wins to follow good form

Veteran insists victories will follow for United, while Maradona phone call cheers up Mourinho

Michael Carrick is pictured during the 1-1 draw with Arsenal on Saturday
Michael Carrick is pictured during the 1-1 draw with Arsenal on Saturday
Jose Mourinho gestures to the crowd at the end of the game

Michael Carrick has no doubt results will soon start going Manchester United's way after once again failing to turn Old Trafford dominance into victory.

Much was expected of Jose Mourinho's men after starting the season with three straight wins, yet they have won just two of the subsequent nine Premier League matches.

The latest frustration came on Saturday lunchtime, when Juan Mata deservedly gave the hosts a lead that substitute Olivier Giroud cancelled out in the 89th minute to earn Arsenal a fortuitous 1-1 draw.

It was the Gunners' only attempt on target and meant United stuttered to a third straight league draw on home turf for the first time since 1992, having wasted the chance to win all of those matches.

Unluckiest

Mourinho claims his side are the unluckiest in the league and Carrick, captaining the side with Wayne Rooney starting on the bench, believes United are not far off from things turning.

"Any game you look to take positives from - you have to, you have to go away and take something," the midfielder said.

"But it is a lot sort of easier to deal with a result like that when you know you've played well, you've done everything you can and you deserve to win.

"I think the problem is when you come away and it hasn't gone to plan and you think we could have been so much better, we should have been so much better and there's problems there we need to solve.

"I don't really see problems we need to solve. I think, of course, the result aren't (ideal) and that's the major thing, but playing like that more often than not we are going to win games.

"I am sure that will happen between now and the end of the season."

Giroud's last-gasp header means a six-point gap remains between United and fourth-placed Arsenal, who rode their luck at Old Trafford but were rewarded for digging deep at the end.

The France striker came off the bench in the 73rd minute to power home a cross from fellow substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, which Francis Coquelin says underlines the impressive options at Arsene Wenger's disposal.

"It's a massive relief because it was a tough game," the midfielder told the club website. "We were 1-0 down so to come back and get a point at Old Trafford is a great result for us.

"We've shown this with the depth of our squad. Every time someone comes on, it puts quality in the team."

Meanwhile, Mourinho was cheered up by a call from Diego Maradona after United's frustrating raw against Arsenal. United manager Mourinho revealed the 1986 World Cup winner rang him following the 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.

Although he would rather have been able to celebrate a Premier League victory on Saturday night, Mourinho's spirits were lifted by the 56-year-old Argentinian, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time.

Mourinho posted a picture on Instagram of him being embraced by Maradona at a previous event, and wrote: "after a great perfomance but a bad result i had a phone call from king diego..gracias amigo.with you,with my family,with other friends,with my players and with utd amazing supporters...monday i will be ready again!!!"

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