United 2 - 1 Liverpool - Another Experience To Savour

I've been to Old Trafford three times before last Saturday's visit. I've seen United play M'Boro and Wigan and I wasn't impressed with the atmosphere in the stadium at all. Last year I visited the Theatre of Dreams for the game vs City. The atmosphere was intense and I was lucky enough to witness that goal by Rooney in front of my very eyes. BUT what I experienced last Saturday was something of a different level. 

Michael and I at the Bishop's Blaize
First of all, you just cannot go to Old Trafford without visiting a decent place where a bunch of United faithful meet and sing their hearts out before the game. Bishop's Blaize and Sam Platts are a couple of bars that first spring to mind and in fact we visited the former. We had to wait for 45 minutes in the looooong queue that formed in front of this bar but it was bloody worth it. I've known about this place ever since some nice chaps uploaded videos of it on Youtube. However, I never really thought about going there for a pre-match drink. Maybe the fact that you have to wait quite some time in the queue or that you have to leave your hotel early on match day, never really appealed to me. Furthermore, I always thought that when you visit OT once a year, you must make sure that you enjoy every second of the MATCH, because you won't be there the following week. I thought everything else was irrelevant. I was wrong and anybody visiting OT should go to a bar like this and be prepared to sing. If you don't know a single chant and visit Old Trafford just for the sake of it and to take half a million photographs, then fuck off to the market and waste your time there. Like I used to do. While I admit that my voice is equivalent to that of a crow,  I still sang my lungs out without causing too much ear damage to the other attendants.

The Players Looked Tiny But I Ain't Complaining
At 12.30 we went to the stadium and it was absolutely buzzing. Now, I've been to the real geographical derby last year but the atmosphere didn't hold a candle to this. The banter between the sets of supporters was quality and the Stretford End was in full voice. My friends and I were in the East Stand and, although a lot might give us that odd look just because we're 'tourists', we were the ones who got some people singing chants from our side. The occasional "sit down" could be heard every now and then so we couldn't stand for the whole match but the game as a whole was an enjoyable experience. Still, I'd love to one day STAND in the Stretford End. Last year I sat there but somehow I ended in the 'posh' area and had to endure 90 long minutes on my arse. 

Two decent goals by Roo!
With regards to the game, I honestly don't remember much. I remember the goals and the brilliant moments, obviously, but the rest is just a blur. The first half wasn't really what you call an entertaining encounter but the second half exploded with two fine goals by Rooney. Since Rooney scored the two goals, he must have won the man of the match award. Fair play to him. But I was really, and I mean REALLY, impressed by Scholesy. Holy shit that football player is immense. I don't think you can appreciate his work as much if you see him on TV. He looks like he's playing better football than he did during the past couple of years. Maybe he needed that 6 month break. What a legend. 

Another one of the best performers last Saturday was Evans who cleared everything that got in his way. He's been doing well lately so well done Johnny! Danny Welbeck is another player who is best appreciated by people who go to the stadium to watch the games. In fact I was mightily impressed by his contribution. He busts a lung for the United cause and most of his work isn't given coverage on TV. Maybe the input of a superstar like Wayne Rooney always overshadows Danny's contribution, but I honestly thought that throughout the game Welbeck played better than Rooney. Maybe it's just my opinion.

The game had everything, good finishes, great tackling, majestic cross field passes and drama. I cannot really say I realised that Suarez refused to shake hands with Evra but I saw everything that happened just after the ref whistled for half time and then full time. Although Evra, on the basis of performances, hasn't really been on my good books lately, he showed great passion and emotion in his post match celebrations and I am pleased I saw that in front on my very eyes. He's a player who encapsulates the United spirit, it's just a pity that his performances haven't been up to scratch in the last months. 

Nothing Wrong In Evra's Celebrations
Now, I'm not getting dragged into commenting too much about that repulsive twat Suarez. I just pity the fool and the fools who think that Liverpool are still a massive football team. How Dalglish handled the situation showed what a first class idiot he is and their supporters who keep blabbering about how great their number 9 is are close minded imbeciles who do not understand the utmost gravity of racist remarks. Their Yank owners had to intervene and force the club to issue an apology because otherwise neither Suarez nor the almighty 'King' Kenny would have issued an apology for their abhorrent behaviour. It's about time Liverpool FC supporters wake up and smell the coffee. Their football team is not a massive team anymore. They are a massive club, no doubt  about that, but presently their football team is not up to standard. 

The Scousers Being Escorted After The Game. What A Surprise there's a 5!
Anyway, after the game we waited in front of OT for the Liverpool supporters who were escorted out of the area by a number of policemen. Obviously, we were only there for some good banter with the scousers and as we sang chant after chant, their only response was their old and boring 5 finger salute. Last year I waited near the North Stand to see the players leaving OT and hoping one of them signs my match programme. This year, when the area was cleared by the police, we headed back to Bishop's Blaize to sing a song and drink a drink in honour of the boys in red who rarely let us down. What an experience. Yearning for more.

George and Mark Wearing Their Evra Mask With Mike

Mike and I with one of the leading entertainers at the Bishop's Blaize, Mr Miyagi. This chap is up there with Pete Boyle. In fact, I think he's better at getting the crowd going. 

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