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Celtic 1 United 1

Memories of two years ago came flooding back as we took the same flight up to Glasgow, dumped our bags at the same hotel and sat in the same rush hour traffic en route to Celtic Park. There was already the smell of tension in the air as the locals lined the streets and the pavements outside every pub through the city. This was going to be one hell of a night and United would be looking to avenge the loss last around. We got into the ground at  seven o’clock and it was already getting loud in the away end. There was taunting of the home fans with “hello, hello” which is also sung by Rangers but it was not too long until they got their own back with a 60,000 strong rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone. I hate that song with all my heart and we jeered and whistled throughout it, but at least Celtic do it properly with the bar scarves and it is not the watered down, touristy Merseyside version. The roar that came at the end of the song was fantastic, but the home fans went on to let their team down after that and I was amazed at how quiet they were.

United made six changes to the team and resting Rooney and Berbatov immediately raised some eyebrows. Through the first half United were second to every ball, did not look up for it, and then went a goal down after just 13 minutes. The roar from the home fans was more like the atmopshere I expected for 90 minutes, but amazingly they fell quiet again soon after despite their team playing well and, admittedly, playing us off the park. But they did not have much quality and as the game went on United took more control. In the last few minutes of the first half the Reds played some fantastic football and were unlucky not to get level.

The second half was a different game. United taught Celtic a football lesson and passed the ball through them with ease. The link up play with Berbatov, who had just come on the pitch, was incredible and Ronaldo also started to look dangerous. Chance after chance started to be wasted and you felt like it was going to be one of those days. But after 82 minutes finally Giggsy headed home and the away end went mental. Berbatov should have scored another but at the final whistle we were all delighted to have salvaged a draw and be on course to win the group.

After the game we were held in and sang for 15 minutes or so before being led out by the police into the street. The Red Army went very quiet and walked with heads down back towards town trying to avoid scenes like 2 years ago! All in all we silenced Celtic Park both with our play and our away fans, and it was a big improvement on last time we went there and lost. Now for Arsenal.  

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