United back Scholes and Saha
By Phil Jackson
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Man Utd duo Paul Scholes and Louis Saha have been praised by their team-mates.
Michael Carrick has praised team-mate Paul Scholes after their first competitive action together in Manchester United's 3-2 victory over Celtic.
All eyes were focused firmly on the new £18.6 million man before the game, but it was United stalwart Scholes who made the most significant impact with an assist and an incisive pass which led to the third.
It was only the 31-year-old's second appearance of the season, after a frustrating spell on the sidelines following his and Wayne Rooney's controversial three-match suspensions from the pre-season Amsterdam Tournament.
While Bhoys boss Gordon Strachan was left lamenting his side's passing display, Carrick knows that it was his midfield partner who was the decisive factor on the night.
"Paul Scholes is just fantastic," Carrick stated.
"When you play alongside him, you realise what a special talent he is. He is so intelligent and clever, he makes the game look really simple and showed it against Celtic by creating two goals.
"Believe me, it is a pretty hard skill to be able to slot people through gaps when everything is going on around you. Paul can do that and I felt he was the big difference between the teams."
Louis Saha also continued his fine form since the tail end of last season with the first two goals of the game.
The former Fulham man has had his doubters at the top level of European football, but went some way to answering his critics with his fourth strike in five games this season.
And team-mate Mikael Silvestre has backed his fellow Frenchman to continue his potency in the wake of Ruud van Nistelrooy's departure to Real Madrid over the summer.
"I do not understand why people have been questioning Louis' ability in front of goal," Silvestre pondered.
"He has been scoring goals for ages. Look at his record. Since he replaced Ruud in the United team, Louis has done really well.
"Like all strikers, he thrives on confidence, which he gets through scoring goals. I am really happy for him because he is making the team happy."
Saha himself would admit he has some way to go to match the departed Dutchman's 38 goals in 47 European games for United, but is content after notching his first ever UEFA Champions League goals.
"It was a good night to get goals and I suppose I might have had a hat-trick but we won the game, which is all that matters," Saha commented.
"I am enjoying myself at the moment. I don't feel extra pressure. I just keep giving 100 percent, which is what I will continue to do whether I am in the team or not."
With Ryan Giggs and Park Ji-Sung out through injury, United will be relying on their two star men to shine again for the important visit of Arsenal live on Sky Sports 1 on Sunday.