Manchester United 2 Fulham 2: Michael Carrick slams 'criminal' performance for letting lead slip late on

United saw a late Darren Bent goal cost them victory and despite dominating possession, Carrick admits that they can't afford to let go of a winning position like they were in on Sunday

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The Independent Football

Michael Carrick has labelled Manchester United’s performance in the 2-2 draw with Fulham as “criminal” after agreeing with his manager David Moyes that the current team are mentally fragile.

Darren Bent’s late equaliser capped a poor day at the office for the reigning Premier League champions, who went a goal behind early after Steve Sidwell opened the scoring before taking the lead through Robin van Persie and Carrick. Having looked set to escape with the three points, the former England striker headed in to level the scores and leave the United players, staff and fans stunned they hadn’t held on to the win.

Moyes looked desperate by the full-time whistle and admitted afterwards that his first season in charge has been “worse than I thought” as the Red Devils dropped points once again this season – they are currently 21 points worse off this season than last when they were nine points clear at the top of the league – and Carrick has also explained that the results simply wasn’t good enough.

Speaking to MUTV, Carrick said: “Letting it slip like that is criminal. It’s a tough one to take, it’s hard to explain how we’ve only come away with a point. It was an incredible game, so one-sided.”

Carrick also backed up Moyes’ claim that bad luck is having an effect on their season, although the Scots’ tactics came under-fire after United resorted to a back-to-basics style of play with 81 crosses sent in from the wing.

“It’s one of those seasons – setback after setback – and we have just got to pick ourselves up,” Carrick continued. “We have to believe that with performances, things are going to change.

“There’s no better place to do that than on Wednesday night at Arsenal, and we still believe that we can go there and get the result we want.”

United can attempt to get their season back on track when they travel to Arsenal on Wednesday, with the Gunners coming off an embarrassing 5-1 demolition at the hands of Liverpool. United beat their rivals when the two met in October thanks to a Robin van Persie winner, and with Arsenal needing a win to keep their Premier League title hopes on course, United will be hoping to capitalise on the Arsenal’s heavy defeat on Saturday.