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Manchester United star Carrick produces season best performance at what...?

Michael Carrick made 135 passes against Crystal Palace yesterday ... more than any other player in a single game this term.

It has been a tough campaign, and a tough year for Manchester United - but they picked up a vital win yesterday to end a brilliant week which saw Wayne Rooney commit himself to the club - even if he will be handsomely compensated for the pleasure to play for Manchester United.

Rooney impressed - as did Marouane Fellaini in perhaps his best performance in a Manchester United shirt.

But the performance of Michael Carrick was typically assured and as always under the radar.

Carrick is an ever-present in the United side and has been for many seasons now - and he has always been a key cog in the side.

His passing has always been his major benefit and his propensity to actually push forward with his passing - rather than go side-to-side or backward - he is perhaps the most probing midfielder in the Premier League.

In fact - he broke a record for the season yesterday, as confirmed by OptaJoe on Twitter:

135 passes in one game - well that is Barcelona/Bayern Munich like statistics and a real caveat for him and United.

Here is how it shapes up into the top ten for passing accuracy in a single game this season...

NameTeamAccurate PassMins
Michael Carrick Man Utd 135 90
Mikel Arteta Arsenal 122 90
Mikel Arteta Arsenal 112 90
Steven Davis Southampton 110 90
Yaya Touré Man City 110 90
Yaya Touré Man City 110 90
Jonathan De Guzmán Swansea 107 90
Jonathan De Guzmán Swansea 105 90
Michael Carrick Man Utd 102 90
José Cañas Swansea 102 90

Unfortunately for Carrick this type of performance has been rare this campaign.Carrick can be like the pendulum for United - keeping the team ticking over at the right pace and turning defence into attack as swiftly and efficiently as possible - and if he continues to make 100+ passes in every game United can only climb up the table.

His tally was a massive 33 passes better than his next best performance against Sunderland (102) and his passing has not been on the same scale as previous seasons - this table shows his best ten passing performances - with a big disparity between top of the list and bottom, suggesting his lacking consistency.

NameAccurate Pass
Michael Carrick 135
Michael Carrick 102
Michael Carrick 94
Michael Carrick 88
Michael Carrick 79
Michael Carrick 75
Michael Carrick 68
Michael Carrick 64
Michael Carrick 62
Michael Carrick 61

Carrick is still playing well, and those figures should not be shirked at - but he is good enough to do better, as he proved yesterday.

If he keeps that up United could start to rise up the table.

image: © Andrea Sartorati

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