Heads Held High, We’ll Never Die – Manchester 5th of March 2013

Walking down Wharfside Way* tonight towards Old Trafford, the lights on the East Stand seemed to shine a little brighter than usual. I’m sure it was just an optical illusion but there was a real air of excitement and nervous anticipation tonight for the game and the senses were heightened. Besuited and grizzled old school reds, one or two smoking a stogie were hanging around on the forecourt and the tickets on the black market were coming to figures that could pay for some peoples season tickets. It’s been a while since a match involving United had such a magnitude of excitement in the build up. Even with the corny mosaic and plastic flags left in United Road and the officially sanctioned Manchester United banner without the legend ”football club” being in the crest, the atmosphere in the ground was the best I’ve witnessed since the semi final against Barcelona in 2008. Old Trafford is made for nights and matches like the one we had tonight.

 

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Lunatics with semi military power – Madrid February 13th 2013

Real Madrid have to play Barcelona twice immediately before the return leg at Old Trafford in three weeks time. I’ve heard it said that Jose Mourinho might shuffle his squad around for them matches but like United against Liverpool, pragmatism goes out of the window when el classico is played. Madridistas would, under no circumstances forgive a half cocked effort against Barcelona any more than we would against Liverpool.

Electronic sign outside the Bernabau informing us that the match was a sell out (photo courtesy of Pete Barry)

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