No other club could attract the a full house at Southampton for such a insignificant end of season game. No other club could take the volume (in both senses) of support to the other end of the country, that United took today for such a meaningless game. United fans decided that no matter what, we were going to have an end of season party today. The noise from reds was, apart from a five minute lull/breather in the second half, relentless. The concourse at half time was like an experience in a time machine which took us back to the ’80’s. In that respect, it was a reminder of The Dell, the decrepit old shitheap that Southampton used to play in. A toilet that was too small and which had only one entry/exit caused a crush and could’ve caused a riot if it wasn’t for well ordered and self policing reds. Inside there, the air was thick with tobacco smoke and other exotic aroma emanating from extended hand rolled cigarettes. The United calypso started half way through the second half and lasted until the end of the game. Reds at the bottom of the stand were dancing a conga, with news seeping through that Liverpool were losing and City being two up, the atmosphere was relaxed. Our biggest fear of Liverpool winning the title was not to be realised.
It was no surprise Bayern Munich won, If they’re not the best side in the world at the moment then they are certainly amongst them. The trepidation last week prior to the match about the potential humiliation was a genuine one. Bayern historically have no respect for reputation. Last season, Bayern annihilated an excellent Barcelona side both home and away. On present form, especially after the recent games against City and our biggest rivals Liverpool, it certainly had a plausibility of happening. Nobody would’ve been surprised if it had happened. A tight, disciplined if unspectacular United performance was undone tonight with three Bayern goals in eighteen second half minutes.
Reds in the city of Munich this afternoon (photo courtesy of the Ralph Milne Ultras)
Nobody I know fancied this tonight. Bayern Munich are to my eyes the best team on the planet at the moment and it’s fair to say that United are a street or two behind them. The bookies were offering 1/2 on a Bayern win and I personally thought prior to kick off, they were relatively generous odds. Reds had all seen that video in the past week of Bayern literally running rings around City, the same City side that had outclassed United at Old Trafford exactly a week ago. Bayern Munich were confirmed champions of Germany the very same night that City murdered United. To say things didn’t bode well tonight was an understatement.
This was so bad as to be comical in the Karaiskakis Stadium tonight in Piraeus. Throughout the team is a recurring theme of a bad dream. There’s no heart, no fight, no desire and no apparent idea. Excellent has-beens like Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra are beginning to become ruthlessly exposed to being on the wrong side of the proverbial hill. Never-will-be’s like Tom Cleverley, Ashley Young and Chris Smalling are being shown up even worse, through not having the quality around them that they have had in the last couple of years. This is through to the obvious decline brought on by Old Father Time of the aforementioned trio.
View for United fans in Karaiskakis Stadium tonight (photo courtesy of Lee Thomas)
It’s funny how quickly things can change and the mood around a result can shift. In this fixture eleven seasons ago, a 2-2 draw had Sir Alex Ferguson skipping to the United fans at the Clock End of Highbury with a clenched fist of celebration. A draw away at Arsenal can rarely be classed as a bad result. Whilst there was nothing wrong with tonight’s result, it was the turgid performance put in from United which has angered most United fans of my acquaintance.
The Arsenal stadium, just after the second half had kicked off