Giggs and Vidic praise Carrick

Nemanja Vidic and Ryan Giggs have highlighted Michael Carrick's importance to United after the midfielder's exceptional display at Chelsea.

Carrick shone throughout the Champions League quarter-final win at Stamford Bridge and it was his inch-perfect pass to the left flank that allowed Giggs to create the only goal of the game for Wayne Rooney.

By making several notable interceptions and full-blooded tackles, the 29-year-old helped the Reds control the midfield and secure a priceless first-leg advantage.

Speaking exclusively to at Stamford Bridge, United captain Vidic said: "From the players' point of view, Michael is a very important player for us. He brings a lot of balance to the team – he's a link between defence and attack.

"Maybe he's not the most attractive footballer – he doesn't often do fancy tricks – but for our team he plays a key role.

"He takes up good positions so the defenders can always pass to him and he defends very well. He's a top player and has a lot of passion for the game."

Giggs echoed those sentiments, arguing that the former Spurs midfielder has been back to his best for some time.

"Michael's a top player," Ryan told "I've felt he's been outstanding over the past couple of weeks, to be honest with you.

"He's got good feet, he can pass long and short. But he also defends well and screens the back four."

Giggs' comments on Carrick's defensive capabilities make interesting reading when you consider he's started more Champions League matches than any of his colleagues this term, and that United have still to concede a goal away from home in this season's competition.