Goal.com Singapore’s En Lim was recently at Old Trafford to watch the Red Devils ensure the EPL title race will go down to the wire
By En Lim from Old Trafford, Manchester | Goal.com Singapore
This was not my first trip to Old Trafford, and compared to my previous visits, the atmosphere among the fans was understandably muted, as United continues to chase after cross-town rivals Manchester City in the League title race.
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Before I headed to Old Trafford, I was walking around the city centre and stumbled upon the Swansea City team bus parked outside the Radisson Edwardian Hotel. Curious, I walked into the hotel lobby and was informed that the Swansea squad was indeed putting up at the hotel, and so I waited around (in my red United jersey no less) to catch a glimpse of the Swansea players.
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I was lucky enough to meet with goalkeeper Michael Vorm, winger Scott Sinclair and Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers.
So despite knowing full well that the title race was out of our hands, United fans continued to turn up in full force, making their way to Old Trafford as early as four hours before the game.
Getting to Old Trafford from the Manchester City Centre is only a 15 minute tram ride away, and another five minute walk from the tram station to the stadium. Thousands of fans clad with scarfs, jerseys, all turned up, full of hope that Newcastle United might do us a favour earlier in the day.
As I passed through the gantries of Old Trafford, along the corridors were huge LCD TVs hung from the wall, and many fans were glued to it, watching the City-Newcastle game unfold before entering the stadium proper.
United fans ooh-ed and ahh-ed as Newcastle failed to make headway in the game. Finally when Yaya Toure sealed the game for Manchester City with the second goal, the fans, without a word, just shuffled quickly into the stadium to take their seats, knowing very well that United was once again, chasing City and nothing less than a win on a cold Sunday afternoon would do for the Red Devils.
The atmosphere within Old Trafford was very subdued despite it being a full-house of 75,000 fans in attendance. Early chants of “attack, attack, attack!” by the United faithful quickly drowned out the taunts from Swansea fans who yelled “Eight points, and you f***ed it up!”
As the game wore itself out, early goals from Paul Scholes and Ashley Young gave the fans some hope that perhaps, United would be able to shave off the goal difference advantage that City currently held. But this optimism soon waned, as Old Trafford remained quiet for the rest of the game.
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Fans shuffled out of the stadium almost ten minutes before the game ended, a sign of lost hope and disappointment, but others, probably just keen to catch an early tram ride back to the city to avoid the crowds.
The post-match walk out of Old Trafford was a sombre one. Despite the 2-0, it was clear many fans were still feeling disappointed and dejected, and there were no celebrations on the way out, most just walked on quietly with their heads down, probably feeling that same way I did - it is beyond us and only QPR can help change the fate of the title race.
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