United 1 – Arsenal 1. The final home game of the season against Arsenal then. Time to meet up with everyone for a few pre-match drinks down The Gorse pub. It’s been our regular drinking spot before a game for many a year now. We don’t all get there as often as we like these days, due to changing situations in all our lives. It was good to have a few drinks and a little catch up before next season though.
Qualifying for a Champions League play off game might be seen by some as a success this season, but not for me. Although I do appreciate if van Gaal couldn’t win a trophy this season, finishing in the top four was the bare minimum required by most of the fans and in particular the board.
Thanks to Liverpool losing to Palace in Steven Gerrard’s Anfield farewell party on Saturday, qualification was mathematically confirmed, so we could relax, enjoy the day, but hopefully win!
As we headed off to Old Trafford. We glanced up the TV’s to see City had just won their game at Swansea 4-2, thus pretty much securing them second place. Anyway, match day programme purchased inside the ground. Then just enough time for another quick beer, before heading up to the stands for kick off.
After the ups and downs of both this season and last, I hoped we could go out on a real high ahead of next season. As I headed for a few half time beers we were on track to do this, as we were well on top. Young was playing like as he has done all season and it was his cross from the left (how many times after we said that recently) that found Herrera. He was unmarked at the back post and volleyed home from close range for his eighth goal in all competitions this season.
Falcao quite clearly said goodbye to the fans after being taken off 15 minutes into the second half. There is no doubt he’s tried but it clearly hasn’t worked. Shame though as I do believe if we can get him for a cut down price he would go on to be a success next season. I can’t see it happening though and I don’t think the club or Falcao himself can risk taking that chance now.
The speculation goes on about De Gea too. If that was to be his last ever United game at Old Trafford, I don’t think hobbling off with an injury is how he would have planned it. We’ll wait and see though, I’m still quietly confident he’ll be here next season still.
The subs on both sides changed the game. Arsenal came back into it with more pressing of the ball which allowed them to attack. United then just looked to see out the game towards the end. Then with eight minutes to go, the third deflected goal in as many games gave Arsenal the equaliser. A Theo Walcott shot hitting Blackett’s legs to divert past Valdez for an own goal.
The final whistle went and the usual goodbyes were said to our fellow Stretford Enders until next season. Louis van Gaal did a short speech which was “amazing” before he did a lap of honour with all the staff and players.
The day started in the pub so I finished it there too. This time in the Bishop’s Blaze. Home supporters only, a few cans of Stella, fruit machine, sing along with Boyle and then home to bed.
Hull away next week, they have to win to avoid relegation. We can just go there all relaxed, enjoy the day, try and win and give the United travelling support a good send off. There’ll be a happy jovial atmosphere as always. No celebrating finishing fourth though, we are not Arsenal.