This was always going to be a tense encounter. United have never kept a clean sheet in Germany, the only win against Munich came in THAT came 11 years ago and the old England v Germany rivalry is always exciting. However, by the end of the night I was nothing short of distraught. The loss, in stoppage time, and the injury to Rooney could well shape the end of the season. It really is squeaky bum time now.
We arrived in Munich on the morning of the match to find bright sunshine, blue sky and t shirt weather. We took the tram from the airport to the city centre and found our hotel, nice and modern but not in the nicest of areas. It was a fairly long walk into the main square where Reds were already drinking the bars dry and the atmosphere was fantastic. Fans of both clubs were mixing in good humour and Munich’s numerous squares meant that wherever you turned there were nmore bars, red flags and singing.
A few hours before kick off we headed back to the hotel to get some warner clothes as the sun was vanishing, and then jumped on the tram to the ground. The stadium is absolutely fantastic - state of the art, not a bad seat in the house and amazing acoustics. Strangely, there was one ticket check for supporters of both sides on the approach to the stadium, after which you could roam anywhere. I opened a random door into the lower tier, walked in, took a photo right behind the goal two tiers away from where I was meant to be, then wandered around to the half way line and did the same. Then we spotted the TV stuidos so went in there unchallenged- only an hour before kick off when surely live broadcasts were about to start! The system relies on the steward at the entrance to each aisle/ block asking to see your ticket, so the moment lots of people walk through at once it all falls apart!
Eventually we walked up to the very top and chose a spot at the front of the away end, where even though it was in the third tier the view was stunning and not really any higher than Strettie Tier 2. The United end seemed full of foreign Reds and daytrippers getting upset people were in their seats, but similarly there seemed to be hundreds of Reds in the tier below us- and that became apparent after 70 seconds when they all jumped up to celebrate with us!
Obviously it all went downhill from there. Bayern deserved their win, it was just gutting that it came so late and that Rooney’s injury added to our woes. However, unlike 1999, we have a second leg and no trophy was won on the night. It is a hard ask and Bayern’s confidence will be skjy high now. Unless we get the early goal we will be chasing the game and, as happened to AC Milan, we could be picked off. Yet Bayern are also very beatable and at home we are able to carve teams open.
The next week will say a lot. If we fail then Ronaldo leaving will be cited as the number one reason- a lack of depth when Rooney got injured. But if we win - either against Bayern or Chelsea- it will send a big message out and I would definately take one of those two trophies with pleasure.