David De Gea
David de Gea was named man of the match against Liverpool Getty

Michael Carrick, Manchester United's versatile midfielder, says "sensational David De Gea" was the key behind his team's 3-0 victory over Liverpool on Sunday 14 December, as the "scoreline probably didn't tell the whole story".

Although it appears United had a comfortable afternoon against the Merseysiders, thanks to goals from Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and Robin van Persie, De Gea was named man of the match for a good reason.

The club's player of the month for October and November was once again superb between the sticks, denying Raheem Sterling and Mario Balotelli on a number of occasions to secure a clean sheet and lead his side to their sixth back-to-back victory.

Carrick even admitted that "if Liverpool had scored their chances, the result may had been completely different".

"We'd take that result every day of the week against Liverpool. But the scoreline probably didn't tell the whole story. David had to make some good saves and I think that was down to us giving the ball away at times," Carrick said to Manchester United's official website.

"We were in control but if Liverpool had scored from one of those chances, it could have changed the game. David's been sensational, he's stepped up again. Hopefully we can make it a bit easier for him next time."

But having played as part of a back three alongside Jonny Evans and Phil Jones, Carrick also praised his defender teammates for their good performances following their returns from injuries.

"I thought that Phil and Jonny both stepped in and did really well. It's not so easy after being out through injury. They showed what good players they are, and made it easier for me because they're top defenders. It's obviously a good day when you come out on top against Liverpool," he said.

United start the busy Christmas period sat in the third place in the Premier League table, eight points behind leaders Chelsea.

Carrick said: "We're always looking up, we always want to get better and reach the top. We're in a decent position but we need to stay in touch. If we're up there later in the season we'll have given ourselves a great chance. We want to keep this run going and see where it takes us."