‘Away Days’ is a new regular column by Paul Liptrot..one of The Faithful’s new writers. It will be a road diary, and focus on the emotions of travelling away with the United die hards who spend small fortunes both financially and by sacrificing their voice boxes for the cause. We hope you enjoy Paul’s inside perspective.
Having a 9am start on a Saturday, leaving the sanctuary of the North West to saunter down the country into the Midlands, and on a bright but equally cold morning, you could have been forgiven for expecting United to turn up at Villa park, nick a goal and comfortably see the game out, heading back North with 3 points.
But this is United.
And we don’t do things the easy way.
For a game that we were quite comfortable for 60 mins, the United section was in full voice and the school of thought that it was only a matter of time, or stepping up another gear for us to get a goal and all three points. Then a blaze of 15 mins and the game is on its head. There’s over 2,500 United fans stood in collective shock at what we’ve just seen. Credit to Villa, they had pushed onto us …
but to be losing 2-0, and in such quick succession?!
A quick look up at the clock and there’s 9 mins of the game left….. Macheda and Obertan are on the pitch and our tempo has quickened. As I stood there I had a feeling I always do….. the “we can’t lose this game” emotion washed over me….. and the next thing I see is Macheda’s shot arrow into the top corner! Game on!
Everyone around me explodes into noise and you can feel that we believe we’ll get another. On the other side, you could see the look on the Villa fans faces…they knew what was coming… that it was inevitable. This is United. The minutes between Macheda’s goal and our equaliser were a blur, the whole world seemed to stop as Nani danced his way back and forward, crossed the ball in and Vidic heads in the equaliser!
Cue scenes of unbridled, stranger-hugging delight! The United fans rejoice the goal then cry out for a third, we are United and we want the win!
Unfortunately, despite a few efforts the winner didn’t come. The explosive finish to the game masking over what in reality will be a missed opportunity to close the gap at the top. We exit the stadium, still quite delirious at the finish. Many other teams would have stopped at 2-0 down. That is never the case with United.. that’s what kicked us on!
Sometimes you could wish that it was easier than this, that routine wins could be ground out and points taken…but that’s not what it is to be Man United.
“We’re Man United, We’ll do what we want!!”