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Arsenal 1 United 3

“We’re on the march of Fergie’s army, and we’re NOT going to Wem-ber-ley, we are going to Rome instead, to dress the Pope in red, cos United are the greatest football team” was the cry before kick off in the Drayton Arms pub, in the shadow of the Emirates Stadium. Reds lined the pavement in the sunshine surrounded by police horses, confident of an away victory and of going to Italy later this month. Inside the ground the away end was filling too, and we made our way in at around 7.15pm to check the teams and get ready for what we thought would be an epic battle that would just about swing one way or another.

As the teams came out the tunnel the home fans all waved pathetic plastic flags that the club had laid out for them. They should have saved on the cost and invested in decent some studs for Kieran Gibbs instead. The home fans were pretty impressive for around 6 minutes and with Arsenal’s slick passing I have to admit I was concerned. Ten minutes later and the tie was over. United had been more clinical than the first leg and had scored twice to effectively kill the game and reds were immediately on the phones trying to sort flights instead of watching the rest of the match!

The atmosphere in the United end was, as you can imagine, absolutely mental. Flares were lit as if it was a real Euro away, people fell over seats and it was general mayhem. This continued throughout the game and, unsurprisingly, the Arsenal fans stopped waving their flags at 2-0 and sat in silence instead.

“Without killing anyone, we’re going to Rome” and “we’re going to Rome, and that’s a fact” became the chants of the night as the game went on. It then emerged that Federico “Kiko” Macheda and all the other players not in the squad were sat above us in a box and they celebrated with us clapping back down and doing a jig for us on request. A certain Mr Beckham was there too grinning from ear to ear, and was later pictured in the United dressing room.

61 minutes gone and the game really was over. A sweeping counter attack started and finished by Ronaldo who was sensational for 90 minutes. The Arsenal fans exited the ground as quickly as Ronaldo had run down the pitch. The stadium was at least 25% empty with half an hour to play. What great fans they have. Yes they got a consolation and yes Fletch was disgracefully red carded, but Arsenal never got back into the game and United played them off the park.

This was a night to celebrate and at the final whistle everyone stayed in the ground. The players came over to us and threw their shirts into the crowd, Rio making sure his went to a child at the front who no doubt will never let go of it. “One Darren Fletcher” was the loudest chant, to which the entire United team applauded us, also aware of how devastated he must of felt. As the players left the field we made our way out but, like many others, just did not want to go home and stayed around outside singing and winding up the home fans- those who were not long gone by then that is. It was then on to a bar for champagne all round- bottles of Moet to toast our trip to Rome were oh so sweet. What a night.

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2 Comments

  1. Jonny :: May 6th, 2009 3:41 pm

    Outstanding write up of a phenominal night mate.

    Fingers crossed that Rome is every bit as enjoyable as last night

  2. EUGENE GARVEY :: May 6th, 2009 7:09 pm

    One of Uniteds greatest games they destroyed Arsenal, only wish I was amongst them United fans going mental. The Arsenal fans with them flags looked so sad and pathetic

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