Well, the day has arrived. The day we meet the most successful English club in European football. The day the most successful club in England comes up against those scousers from scouseland in the Europa League round of 16. It’s only eight years since we both nearly met in a Champions League final in Moscow. Back then we beat Barcelona in the semis but Liverpool lost a dramatic semi final to Chelsea.
The last closest away game in Europe was when we played Wrexham back in November 1990 when we won 2-0 on the night and 5-0 on aggregate en-route to winning the Cup Winners Cup against Barcelona in Rotterdam.
Gutted to not be there tonight but totally understand why I’m not. It’s been a few years now since I’ve been able to travel ‘abroad’ to watch us play. Hopefully I’ll be able to get back into it in a few years time and back watching United play in Spain, Portugal and Italy once again. For now, it’s every home game and the six or seven domestic aways I get to.
United’s allocation for tonight’s game is 2,685 and with over 13,000 applications (including ours) were received by the club, meaning that they were very heavily oversubscribed for this match. Europa League or not, this is still the away game that everyone wants to get to.
Van Gaal has four wins out of four currently against these lot, lets hope that continues tonight. Of course we want to see United play well though, but as things stand I’ll happily take a poor performance and a result tonight, rather than playing well and losing.
We went backwards against West Brom last Sunday with less attacking football once again. All our recent goals (in particular Rashford’s) have come from our full backs and wingers getting around the back and crossing to create chance for those in the middle. Against West Brom we simply didn’t do that, with Liverpool’s current form I can see us playing a similar way and hope we come away with maybe a 1-0 win or at least a 1-1 draw.
TV job at home it is tonight then with my son. He understands what beating Liverpool means but to him this is just another match in just another cup competition. I think it’ll only be in years to come before he understands how far both teams have dropped in recent years. We’ll be back though, I’m sure of that.
With regards to winning the Europa League to get into the Champions League? I couldn’t care less to be perfectly honest. Yes, I want to be competing against the biggest teams in Europe in the biggest competition but at the end of the day I want to win a trophy. Let’s win the Europa League to just win a trophy.
We have a chance in both the FA Cup and Europa League currently but David Moyes tried competing on all fronts a few years back and we came away with nothing. Let’s hope van Gaal can at least win us a trophy! Come on United!