Today is the day I head up to Manchester to watch my beloved Manchester United tackle Liverpool FC in the Europa League. This is just to show there is a little bit of fun and games going on at the same time as studying. There are many opportunities to relax and see what the UK has to offer!
It’s a two hour train ride from London Euston to Manchester Picadilly stopping in at Stoke (passing by Britannia Football stadium), Macclesfield and Stockport before finally arriving in the place I loved and left five years earlier. It was a surreal feeling stepping back out into the streets of Manchester again, before hopping on a tram to the hotel on my latest adventure to Old Trafford – Theatre of Dreams, the home of Manchester United Football Club.
The build up to the game was immense, two fierce rivals facing off in European competition for the first time in their club history, Manchester having lost the first leg 2-0 away at Liverpool had a tough task ahead of them to turn this fixture around. The crowd were loud, rowdy and ready to get behind their football team in what was an amazing atmosphere prior to kick off.
The away supporters would sing their chants and songs but would quickly be drowned out by the 70 odd thousand United supporters (in some instances by the radio which would cheekily be turned up in volume when they decided to let their voices be heard). The game started brightly with our boys rising up to the challenge, enthusiasm and passion showing through their display which led to the opening goal scored from a penalty.
Unfortunately as in football, Manchester conceded a goal which effectively killed the game at the worst time possible – the last kick before half time. Whilst they tried their hardest the fluidity was nowhere to be seen in the 2nd half and we were knocked out by our fiercest rivals in a bitter ending to a hopeful night. Following the match I made my way to the VIP post match party where I met a legend in a sense of Deja vu – Alex Stepney from the 60s & 70s a United Goalkeeper whom I had met 5 years earlier in a similar setting.
The following day held a bit of exploration where I went for a walk along the river over to the Manchester Megastore where I had hoped to pick up some goodies and souvenirs.
Which I did! I picked up a cute little jersey for my niece along with some gifts for the rest of the family (and some token selfies in front of the stadium).
All in all a pleasant trip back to Old Trafford. Hope to make this journey many more times in the future, hopefully with family and friends by my side to share in the excitement and passion that is the Manchester United faithful who turn in week after to week to support their team.
Glory glory Man United! 🙂