A very Happy New Year to all our Manchester United supporters and readers, hope you had good Christmas and festive season over all. United going well aren’t they? They continued their good run over the holidays as well didn’t they? Before I went to West Ham we’d won six on the trot, we have now won seven on the trot. Fantastic! It was close the other day though wasn’t it against Middlesbrough, like the old days with a couple of goals in the space of a few minutes to come from behind to win! Old Trafford was bouncing once again.
Onto West Ham away. As soon as this fixture was announced and then the kick off date/time was confirmed I was a yes to going. I had to go, finally another new Premier League ground to tick off, which would mean for the very first time I would have been to every single ground of all the teams currently in the league. After West Ham’s move to a new ground and after getting to Bournemouth earlier on in the season this was the chance to complete all twenty.
All I needed to do was to get a ticket and I did. Myself and my dad booked onto the regular coach we go on and headed south. I was already concerned about making kick-off time when we hit the M6 as it was its usual bad self when trying to get onto it. It didn’t help either that it was a bank holiday and everyone seemed to be heading somewhere. I think it took us twenty minutes to get onto the motorway and once on there we hardly moved. By the time we got a couple of junctions down, which took an hour, it was always going to be difficult to make it.
After a cross-country diversion down and across the A34, A500 and A50 to the M1, the coach did it’s very best to get there. By the time we hit the M25 I thought we were back in with a chance of making it again. Even more so when we got with touching distance of the ground with 45 minutes to go, only to then have to literally do a full one and a half circles of the ground and then got stuck in even more traffic!
The best was still to come, it then took us an age to get into the away coach park as they asked us “where we were going?”. Then you realise the coach park is still a 10 or so minute walk to the ground and the game has just kicked off. Having walked under a bridge and then up a mound, the ground lit up spectacularly in front of us. However, the walkway we were on was pitch black so you couldn’t see how to get down or see any signposts. Absolutely disgraceful that West Ham have not sorted something out with the council, after getting the ground itself for pennies when you consider it.
We eventually clambered down the mound as we couldn’t see an exit as such, so there we are, trying not to slip on the mud, climbing down the ridge and over a fence. That a couple of us also held down to let a few others over and then on and into the ground. Thankfully as no one was about we got into our seats, only to be told that West Ham and just had a player sent off.
A lot of fans were getting annoyed about our first half performance, I heard afterwards so was Mourinho. We weren’t great but I’ve always thought it’s always hard to break down ten men, and this as it turned out was no different. I think it’s all about tiring them out and then hitting them where they’re hurting myself and I have to give Mourinho credit for that. He got our substitutes spot on, getting Rashford on down the left with his pace was excellent and he run them ragged and eventually pulled it back for Mata to finish superbly.
The second came not long later when Zlatan smashed in the second from an off-side position. We could have had a few more but the biggest moment of the game was De Gea’s save from Antonio just before Mata’s goal. West Ham had not been in our half at all really, then on the break they should have gone 1-0 up but De Gea was focused and in position to get out and quickly stop him. Yes, West Ham had 10 men for 75 minutes but we still had to break them down and we did and our run continues. Safe to say, the journey was good and we were back before midnight after no traffic delays. Up next for us are a couple of cup home games before the scousers at home too.