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Veteran's presence an invaluable asset, as Saturday proved...

Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick has paid tribute to team-mate Paul Scholes after the veteran's strike won Saturday's Manchester derby in dramatic circumstances.

The 35-year-old rose unmarked in the 93rd minute to head home the only goal of the game against arch-rivals Manchester City, in the process drawing Sir Alex Ferguson's side within a point of Premier League leaders Chelsea. And Carrick was quick to praise Scholes' all-round contribution.

“Everyone can see the performances that he produces and the experience and composure that he brings to our game," Carrick told the club's official website.

“He’s just a normal lad who loves playing his football. He’s so talented, it’s hard to explain just how gifted he is until you see him at close quarters.”

With Schools having signed a one-year extension to stay at Old Trafford on Friday, the 28-year-old is delighted he will have another 12 months to learn from one of the best in the business.

“It’s great to know that we’ll have a player of Scholesy’s calibre around for another year,” Carrick added.

“He’s someone who the younger lads can learn from. I’ve learned a lot from him since I’ve been here and I’m sure he’s been great for the other lads.

“He’s just a top-class player, vital for us, and it’s great to have him around for a bit longer.”

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