You can’t beat Boxing Day football and you certainly can’t beat getting out of the house, back on the beers and watching United play on Boxing day. After a great but chaotic Christmas day at my folks place with all the close family it was nice to get some cold fresh air to clear the head after way too much red wine and a few lagers the day before. Away day Boxing Day fixtures are obviously better than home fixtures, I’ve done a fair few in my time but on this occasion I was glad to not having to travel.
Showered and then breakfast/lunch in one helping and out of my folks place for just after midday it was then. I didn’t bother asking for a lift as was happy with some fresh air and the short tram ride to Firsway to meet mates down the pub before kick off. I’d never got off at Firsway before but roughly knew how to get to The Quadrant pub just near Old Trafford cricket ground. Having not felt like a beer for the previous few hours, it all changed on arrival when the beers had already been bought and there was one sat there waiting for me. Happy Boxing Day!
Three beers and just over an hour in the pub later, it was time to leave for the game. I’d probably have sneaked another beer in if it wasn’t for the bar queues. No complaints from me though, it’s standard to be more popular over Christmas with everyone having the same idea. Plus you always have to leave that bit earlier now to get passed the various security check points which also cause delays getting into the ground. Still, managed to sneak another beer in before kick off.
I’d predicted 3-0 before I’d heard the team news, but wasn’t too hopeful we’d get that when it was announced. Don’t get me wrong we’ve been playing well recently but with the players selected I knew we wouldn’t have much width, as the only outlet would once again be Valencia from his right back spot. I wasn’t wrong first half as we stuttered to get going as predicted down the wings, unlike in our previous games. Saying that though, for some reason both Rojo was forward, along with Blind who received the ball back from Zlatan who in turn smashed it into the bottom corner to give us the 1-0 lead.
Down for half-time beers and a catch up with the usual crowd in the Stretford End, there wasn’t much football chat as it was mainly the usual mickey taking and everyone’s drinking plans for rest of the holidays. The second half came and I think most people’s thoughts were let’s get this second as soon as possible. Zlatan was outstanding on the day with 1 goal and two assists but everyone left the ground talking about Mkhitaryan’s “scorpion kick” goal!
I’ll be honest though, with my view from behind the goal and the quickness of how it happened I thought he had his back to goal when he flicked it in. Oh how I was wrong when I saw it later on at home. What a finish! Yes, it was offside but there were some incidents in that game that were also quite blatantly wrong decisions that weren’t even shown or mentioned on MOTD. Standard I suppose, but I’m not here to go on about those decisions. I never am. I just accept wrong decisions are always made in every single game that takes place. I just wish everyone else would except and realise that. Mkhitaryan, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, He’s our midfield Armenian.
Anwway, on to Brough at home this Saturday and hopefully three more points. Happy New Year all.