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Liverpool 0 United 1

The trip to Anfield is always one of the most anticipated fixtures of the season. 3000 Reds braving it into the Anfield Road end not knowing what disgusting objects they will be pelted with, and having to endure both Munich songs and You’ll Never Walk Alone. Getting a result here, regardless of the title race or form of either club, is huge. This was my first match for a while as I have been in the States for the Ricky Hatton fight, and was a great one to get me back into things and to get over my last game at Bolton.

The pressure for this game was on Benitez and his side rather than United. Lose and they would be 9 points adrift of us, with away trips to Old Trafford, the Emirates and Chelsea still looming. There was tension in the air outside and the away end filled up before kick off with most needing coffee to warm up from the freezing weather. Before kick off their fans passed around the same boring banners and made the same ‘5 times’ jabs that we are used to, before droningĀ out their anthem not realising how un-intimidating it has come for us.

United started brightly but the game was scrappy and disjointed. Neither side found good rythym and the home fans, as usual, were quick to fall silent. The away atmosphere has never been that great by United for some reason at Anfield, but this game was different. Even watching back the game later on TV the away end was buoyant from start to finish with great banter between the fans, although we could have done without the Munich gestures from start to finish.

The game had 0-0 all over it, apart from when Van Der Saar was spilling crosses, but United popped up shortly before half time to take the lead. Liverpool’s marking from a corner was shocking, Rooney was unmarked on the edge of the box, and Tevez stabbed home his shot. Queue crazy wild scenes in the way end. Not quite as chaotic as last season, but almost as good. I lost my hat, food went flying and ended up hanging over a seat being hugged by about 20 people. Amazing.

The rest of the game was awful. United sat back and countered ineffectively. Liverpool pumped the ball forward but failed to create chances. The game slowly ticked away with us always fearing an equaliser, but them never really being problematic. The away fans baited the ‘fat Spanish waiter’ Benitez and ‘circus freak’ Crouch much to the Liverpool fans’ annoyance.

The relief at the final whistle was huge, and the away fans stayed in the their places locked in my the police and the home fans with their heads down drifted to the exits. The next 20 minutes were spent rejoicing in our victory singing a full catalogue of songs, culminating in the 12 Days of Cantona. This video captures it nicely:

Great result that puts us firmly on Arsenal’s toes and effectively rules Liverpool out of the title race. Another failed year for them of over-expectation and wasted money, but a lot of promise still for us between now and May. What a result.

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1 Comment

  1. Char :: December 20th, 2007 8:50 am

    Cheers for taking the time to do the write up Oli. Review is very entertaining. Video is excellent though I must say. As you said it captures the full range of songs nicely.

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