Despite Manchester City being erratic lately, I expected them to turn up at Old Trafford yesterday and for the first ten minutes, they did. They had Manchester United chasing shadows. In the 6th minute, Jesus Navas brilliantly beat United’s offside trap and only a poor finish stopped City going a goal up. Two minutes later, James Miner fed David Silva on the left flank who, in turn, set Sergio Aguero up to make it 1-0 in front of the Stretford End. Seeing this goal had me wondering if United’s defence will ever learn. Silva is the best player I have ever seen in a City shirt and over the years, I’ve repeatedly seen him tear down the left flank against United and set up a goal.
Up to and including the match against City on the 2nd of November, there’s only one United match that is not being shown live on television. That is United’s next home match against West Ham in a couple of weeks. By then, United’s first six games will have been shown live on television. That is quite something for a side that finished 7th last season. No matter what is going on at Old Trafford, for good or bad, United are the biggest show in any town it happens to be.
I’ve seen Liverpool beat United at Old Trafford before. Quite a few times in fact and one thing I can guarantee after a Liverpool win at Old Trafford is that the forecourt that faces onto Warwick Road would be a bearpit. Especially after a result like today. These are different days though. Despite the protestations of protagonists from West London, North London and East Manchester, this fixture has the similar worldwide enticement of Real Madrid against Barca, Inter against AC Milan and Boca Juniors against River Plate. That allure resulted in the forecourt near the Megastore being flooded with smiling Oriental tourists after the game, all wearing half’n’half United/Liverpool scarves. Such was the numbers involved that Man United Fans Blog can exclusively reveal that they can call off the search for the missing Malaysian Boeing 777. The flight covertly arrived at Ringway Airport last night for this match. Continue reading Call Off The Search – Manchester 16th of March 2014
Liverpool, having won the League after beating United at Anfield just under four weeks ago, have done what all teams do who win the title early and gone sloppy. Having lost at home to Southampton on Saturday just passed, tonight they lost at Old Trafford with a team that included the return of Bram Stoker’s favourite Uruguayan and also skipper, Steven ‘sussudio’ Gerrard. Prior to tonight’s match, a sizable amount of coaches carrying Liverpool fans entered Old Trafford from Trafford Park Road. Almost every single one of them had Liverpool fans banging furiously on the windows shouting all kinds of incomprehensible but clearly very excitable rhetoric. Once off the coach and mingling towards the turnstiles for the upper tier of the Scoreboard End, they weren’t quite as forthcoming. About forty five minutes before kick off however, I could clearly hear the Munich song being sung loudly on the corner of Trafford Park Road and Warwick Road by what was to my eyes, a firm of about 30/40 young Liverpool fans whom were obviously ‘up for it’. How they managed to get so close to the ground and evade the attention of both the local police and some of United’s more ‘lively’ fans is a mystery to me. Inside the ground, just before Luis Suarez hit the bar on 74 minutes, a Liverpool fan threw a live distress flare into the K Stand. I know plenty of reds who were unhappy about being placed under the scousers for tonights match. After the rarely reported but notorious incident at the FA Cup game at Anfield in 2006 where a plastic cup loaded with excrement was thrown onto United fans by Liverpool fans in the upper tier of the Anfield Road, I don’t blame them. I know that United fans are not perfect, only a one eyed fool would think so but bearing in mind that United have had ticket allocations slashed at Anfield for comparatively spurious reasons, after what happened tonight, I think it’s time United did the same to Liverpool for the League game that’s due to be played in March. I’m aware that strictly speaking, distress flares shouldn’t be lit in football grounds. Personally, they don’t really bother me but it is bang out of order when they get thrown indiscriminately at opposition fans in the tier below, no matter who’s playing who.
Liverpool fans about to launch a distress flare down into the K Stand (Photo courtesy of Rob Mager)
Such is the feeling of anti climax when United get a corner nowadays that when Kolo, Kolo-Kolo, Kolo-Kolo, Kolo-Kolo Toure conceded a soft corner into the Stretford Paddock on 46 minutes, I was expecting it to hit the first available Liverpool player before being cleared harmlessly. That was also the feeling around me in the K stand. When the angry, confused and most definitely revitalised Wayne Rooney found Continue reading A Very Welcome Dose Of Morphine – Manchester 25th of September 2013
Atmospherically, United against Liverpool is never going to be the Woodstock festival but passing by the Liverpool fans today on the forecourt, about quarter of an hour before kick off, both sets of fans were baiting each other, divided by police lines. It may have been a lot of hot air, the ‘hold me back’ bollocks that occurs when traditonal enemies see each other and want to put a bit of a show on. I didn’t recognise one person in amongst the crowd who were ‘firm’. The last time I saw Old Trafford this moody was in January 2002 when Danny Murphy scored a late winner for Liverpool in the Stretford End. That was post match but today, it was all pre-game. The corresponding match last season was played in the wake of the furore of the Suarez/Evra affair and a pretty sickening FA Cup defeat at Anfield two weeks prior. The atmosphere that day outside the ground was nowhere near as lively then as it was today going in. By United/Liverpool standards, the atmosphere in the today during the game was quiet subdued. Maybe it was the kick off time or maybe it was the freezing weather but after the pre match bravado outside, once inside people seemed more concerned with keeping warm than creating the raucous atmosphere we normally get at this fixture. A couple of minutes into the game, Liverpool fans made a statement of intent when a smoke bomb went off in the middle of their stand. Apart from the Scousers displaying their legendary self celebrated wit with songs about Bryan Robson having VD and implying Gary Neville’s relationship with his mother had not progressed past the oedipus complex, this was the sole contribution they made to first half atmosphere.