Half-Time Report: Michael Carrick strike puts Manchester United ahead

An early Michael Carrick goal gives Manchester United a 1-0 half-time lead over Stone City in the Premier League.

Half time at the Britannia Stadium sees Manchester United leading Stoke City 1-0 after an early strike from Michael Carrick.

Sir Alex Ferguson's side took the lead after just four minutes when Carrick poked the ball into the bottom corner after a scramble from a corner.

United players congratulate Michael Carrick after a goal against Stoke on April 14, 2013© AP Photos

Minutes later Patrice Evra found himself in space, but his effort went wide of the post.

Robert Huth had Stoke's first real effort of the game on 20 minutes, winning a header in the area, but he could only head wide.

Carrick had another attempt on goal from a corner, but his flicked header went over the bar.

Robin van Persie had an effort on goal after 31 minutes, but Asmir Begovic just kept the ball out at his near post.

Wayne Rooney came close with a free kick on 43 minutes, putting his curled effort just wide of the post from outside the area.

Stoke pushed forward late on in the second half, but United's defence stood firm to ensure they led at half time.

United players congratulate Michael Carrick after a goal against Stoke on April 14, 2013
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