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Man Utd 3-2 Celtic

This game was the second of three home matches in a week; a lot of travelling for us Southeners. We went up to Old Trafford fully expected an easy victory, knowing that behind the Battle of Britain hype Celtic are just a poor Scottish side. Predictions ranged from 2-0 to 4-1, but never did any of us think the victory would be in doubt. In some ways our thoughts were justified as United won the game and had so many chances over the 90 minutes, yet on the other hand Celtic will have reason to feel hard done by. They gave United problems from start to finish, put our defence under serious pressure, and generally made a nuisance of themselves. They should have gone back to Glasgow with their heads held high.

Also making nuisances of themselves were the Celtic supporters. United gave them 6000 tickets but it is estimated that over 20,000 travelled down and spent a day being boisterous in the city centre. Fights reportedly broke out constantly through the day and it was kicking off around the ground before kick off too. Stupidly, thousands of Celtics fans decided to wear green and white in the home sections. More stupidly the stewards let them in. Most stupidly at all, they cheered and mocked us when they took the lead. Unsurprisingly CCTV was not enough of a deterrent to stop many Reds seeking revenge. Many of the Celtic fans deserved what they got, but many others were unfortunate and were only trying to watch their team play football with no interest in trouble. Ticketing policy let everyone down again.

In any case, the mood was lightened when United equalized minutes later. A dodgy penalty was awarded, Saha converted, and the Celtic fans who apparently are the best supporters in the world (alongside City, Geordies and Portsmouth – massive supporters every one of them!), fell deadly silent. It was not long before United took the lead and, despite a stunning free kick to level the scores again, United went on to win the game. Ole deserved his goal at the Stretford End, he will always be our hero and to see him net there once again was magical. Especially apt that it turned out to be the winning goal (almost as if we missed so many other chances intentionally!). Celtic fought hard but ultimately they did not create clear chances and United did. The 3 points were deserved, however cheap the penalty award.

This was a cracking game of fast flowing, attacking football. The atmosphere was superb, the players responded, and the return match at Parkhead will now be even more hyped. United’s winning run continues, bring on Arsenal.

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