It’s still always the biggest and most anticipated game of the season when the scousers come to town and this was no different. The new generation of United fan has more hatred towards Manchester City, not me, it’s still towards Liverpool and for all I had to put up with as kid as I grew up. Of course with social media these days it’s even more hyped up so I get might more hatred is aimed towards City these days. City have had success in recent years and that brings jealousy and jealousy brings hatred. Don’t get me wrong, I love the banter and haven’t missed an away game at City’s place for ten years or so now but the it just doesn’t bring out the same rivalry in me as it does for the scousers.
The game itself meant we’re now still unbeaten in 17 but our run of 9 straight victories in all competitions comes to an end. Milner scored their goal from the spot after Pogba handled in the ball in the area, it was clearly a penalty but stupidly the rule states “it has to be deliberate handball”. Which it wasn’t, he’d lost his man, he’d lost the ball, he’d lost where he was and just jumped. Change the wording in the rule book. Still a penalty though.
Thankfully we scrambled a late equaliser from our star man Zlatan. How on earth he got that low from a standing position so quickly, to then get enough power and uplift on a header to take over Mignolet I’ll never know. It was then that it dropped millimetres under the cross-bar too that made it even more special as I celebrated wildly. Most disappointing to not beat them but we carry on fighting on all four fronts still.
The first half against Hull City wasn’t great and we allowed them to play a little and have some chances, we just didn’t seem at the races from the off and I’m sure Mourinho got into them at half-time. To be fair to Hull though, something has clicked for them under their new manager Marco Silva. He’s got them playing and working as a unit once again and I’m sure he’s only had a few training sessions with his new team.
Once we lifted the tempo and pace of the game a few more chances started to come, Pogba was fantastic overall as he got more and more time on the ball we then allowed to ping the ball around everywhere. Finally the goal came as Juan Mata tapped in a volley from close range just before the hour mark. More chances did come, but then just as we thought we’d only be taking a slim lead into the away leg, Fellaini got his first goal of the season just before the end. I’ll take that!
Good to see old Jaap Stam back at Old Trafford, not forgetting Tyler Blackett now of Reading too, as we got our FA Cup run under way in the 3rd Round of the competition. Stam only played for us for three years but in those three years he won a league title every season, as well as the European Cup, FA Cup and Intercontinental Cup in 1999.
He is fondly remembered as the big lovable fella who was outstanding at the back with whomever he played with. After his shaky start in the Charity Shield he went on to be a colossus at the heart of our defence. Surprisingly though with him being so good in the air that he only ever scored one goal for us, away to Leicester when we won 6-2 and he actually volleyed that in. Less said about his dance celebration after the better. Stam’s tune still gets sung at certain away games every now and again it is still great to here as it is one of the best player songs out there:
“Yip Jaap Stam is a big Dutchman,
Get past him if you f*cking can,
Try a little trick and he’ll make you look a dick,
Yip Yap Jaap Stam”
Brilliant! As for the game, we were convincing from the off as we got two early goals from Rooney (7) and Martial (15) to pretty much kill off the tie from the start. Rashford (75 & 79) then finished them off with two late goals of his own as we march in to the next round to face another familiar face in Warren Joyce at his Wigan side.