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Liverpool 1-2 Man Utd

If there is one game we needed and wanted to win it was this one. After five consecutive defeats to the shell suit wearing granny stabbers, every Red was up for this game. The rivalry aside, the points were vital to keep the pressure up on Arsenal and show the world we are not ready to cast aside a decade of domination.

The journey up was easy, although getting up at 6 am doesn’t suit me too well. Knowing the Scouse love for hubcap stealing is not just a malicious rumour, we parked in a secure car park and went to the ground.

After mingling with a few familiar faces the atmosphere outside was getting a bit heated and we made our way inside all too aware of the high police presence. Everyone was desperate to lay into each other, but all the aggression had to be saved for the stands.

Early kick offs destroy the atmosphere, especially when the police had closed all the pubs too. And so the former fortress of Anfield became a pathetic, quiet, morgue as their halfhearted version of You’ll Never Walk Alone drifted through the air. After the American style team huddle by the Scousers the game started, and our team had a rather make shift appearance.

Confidence was not too high. After recent years we know full well that in these games current form and ability plays no part: anything can happen. And with Becks, Veron, Butt, Keane, Rio and Blanc missing it was no wonder there were doubts.

United took control of the game quickly. Their passing and possession was far superior to Liverpool’s, and Ole had a goal disallowed after 6 minutes that may well have stood on another day. As the half United looked at ease and it became a matter of when, and not if, we would score. I hate complacency and was terrified that we almost looked TOO comfortable, it didn’t feel right, and when the half time whistle went I was a bit surprised how easy it had been. Special mention must go to superb Gary Neville. I do not think that one person watching this game could deny his rightful place as the England right back; he was truly world class.

I was convinced we would be punished for not scoring despite our domination of the first half. I fully expected Liverpool to come out stronger and more determined, but they did not. Instead the half carried on where the first had left off, with United players silencing the home fans. All we needed now was a goal.

I have a lot of respect for Dudek. He is a reliable, consistent goalkeeper of the highest quality, and one who is usually very hard to beat. Yet today he was a United fan, and decided to give the ball to Diego to help him boost his confidence with a goal. We all owe Jerzy a big thank you and a round of applause for handing us the game on a plate. Shame.

“Dodgy Keeper”
“Are you David James in disguise?”
“Jerzy Dudek is a red, he hates Scousers”

The United end went mental, as crazy and delirious as I have ever seen. The home fans stood shattered, we baited them again and again. Random objects flew over from the bitter Scouser’s end but we didn’t care. This was our day and nothing they could do would ruin it.

Two minutes later a rather quiet and anonymous Giggs finally made an impression on the game. He slipped the ball wide to Diego on the edge of the area. Diego, high in confidence from endless months of Reds standing by him, and still high from his goal, blasted it past Dudek to double the lead.

Mad scenes ensued. Bitter stewards manhandled our celebrating players, and threw punches in at our fans up in the stand. But yet again we didn’t care, this was our day. We sang louder and harder than before, we wanted every single one of those poor thieving bastards to have to remember this day for a long time.

The rest of the match is all pretty irrelevant. They got a goal back but Barthez made the save of the season to answer his critics (again) and give us victory. Scenes after the final whistle were a bit nasty, but overall it was all good fun. Gary Neville made the day complete when we walked over to the away fans and made a few gestures to send us into mad celebrations. He really does hate the Scousers as much as us!

The Red army was kept in the ground for half an hour after the game. We watched their fans cry in their seats, each tear triggering off another song.

“Feed the Scousers, let them know its Christmas time”
“Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way. Oh what fun it is to see United win away.”
“You’re going home in a stolen ambulance”
“You’re not famous anymore”

Three points are three points, and there is no use getting carried away. This is a vital win, but it has to be kept in perspective. However, after having been written off and ridiculed by their supporters it was great to get one over them. Their 12-year wait for the championship is far from over, it could well be 12 more years at this rate!

Oh when will they learn medals aren’t given out in November!

And as for United, this announces us back in the race. If this is a crisis, there really is not too much to worry about. Remember the injuries and the players yet to come back; we are in a superb position now.

As for Alex Ferguson, full respect. He stuck by Forlan, Barthez and Gary Neville who were instrumental in our victory today. Every Red who slated these players ought to be ashamed.

If today doesn’t excite you, then give up football, as this is as good as it gets. As we left the ground, an old United classic filled the air; “Always look on the bright side of life.” And this week I certainly will.

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