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How Our Fans Had A Bigger Impact Than Angry Stoke – Ronaldo vs Delap

The Stoke fans were singing about their hate for “Man U” even before kick off this afternoon, in what became the most venomous travelling support we’ve had for some time. Forget the scousers or the bitters, Stoke were there to abuse today, giving Cristiano Ronaldo a harder time than any other fans.

“Wanker! Wanker! Wanker!” were the deafening cheers whenever he was fouled or lost the ball. “Wanker, give us a wave, wanker, wanker, give us a wave!” got a couple of rounds, as well as songs about him being a cheat bastard and wanting to go to Real Madrid.

So, did it have the desired effect?

For a while, it looked like it might have done. Ronaldo still isn’t as sharp as he was last season, despite scoring more goals now than he had this time last year, and was clearly becoming frustrated by them.

He opened the scoring for us with just a few minutes played, a sensational freekick which seemingly made all the efforts we’ve seen come crashing back off the wall more worthwhile. But after that, he was on his arse far too often, Stoke playing a rougher came than he was comfortable with.

Still, Ronaldo kept trying, he persisted in bursting forward, and in the end his hard work paid off, scoring his second goal of the game just before the final whistle. There we have it, the worst abuse he has endured at home, but his 100th and 101st goal for the club. Cheers for giving him the incentive Stoke!

In contrast, Rory Delap’s long-throw, which United had been confident in dealing with before kick-off, had no impact whatsoever. Stoke didn’t have a single shot on target in 90 minutes and had just two shots off target, in what was arguably the most woeful performance we’ve seen from an away team this season.

The away corner rumbled as Delap prepared to take his first throw-in, but nothing came of it. “What the fuck, what the fuck, what the fucking hell was THAT?!” shouted the Stretford End. With every throw-in came another failed attempt to get a shot on target, with our question becoming louder and louder. By the end of the match, Delap didn’t even attempt to get the ball in to the box, opting for short throw-ins instead.

Stoke sang more songs about Ronaldo than they did in support of their own team, as well as the usual rounds of “We support our local team!”. It amazes me how original and clever away fans think they are in singing that chant. We hear it every week, and every week it is met with a sarcastic cheer. “You support a load of shite!” booms our Mancunian response. We forget that Mancs support City…

All in all, today was a good day. I haven’t been shy with my feelings on Ronaldo, however the more the opposition hate him, the more I feel the need to jump in to defend him. This is how he became so popular after the World Cup, I remember it well now. We took great pride in singing of how he made England look shite, and although I’ve still yet to be broken in with singing any Ronaldo songs this season, I am starting to wonder how long I can hold out.

Ronaldo got the last laugh and the angry Stoke fans, who are more intent on hating Ronaldo than they are on supporting their own team, were the mugs in the end. A big thanks for the entertainment though, as winning 5-0 feels all the better for being against a bunch of mouthy, small-time wankers like those lot who showed up today!

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Failsworth Devil says:

    It was really funny today at the match, i was pissin myself at the stretty end, as they was whistling, mocking Delap everytime he had a throw.. was quality…

    Quality goals… Quality mocking… was a great day.. apart from the Stoke Twats thinkin they are Leeds Scum, chanting Munich songs on the way back up Sir Matt Busby Way after the match…

    They was brave… well they would be in the coach park.. with a police cordon surrounding them…

    Scumbags… and they got ripped on the pitch and off it.. they deserved everything they got..

  2. Chrisgal says:

    Stoke fan here. Have to say thanks for the football lesson today. Sat with a load of United fans and had a great afternoon a bit of friendly banter and we even had a pint togeather at half time. Never expected to get anything at Old Trafford but hoped not to loose by so many.
    The Premier League is probably the best in the world and to be in it is a credit to a small club like ourselves and to be able to visit the likes of Old Trafford again for the first time in nearly 30 years was a fantastic feeling.

    All the best for the rest of the season (except Boxing day)

    Stokie Chris.

  3. Tevratov says:

    Ha ha ha, Rory Delap….woefull.
    You’re totally right Scott, that was probably the worst away performance from any team, at any ground this season. Their fans made every goal so much more satisfying.
    I still won’t sing viva ronaldo just yet, but I’m starting to put the Madrid demons to rest.
    How class was Danny Wellbeck’s goal?

  4. Failsworth Devil says:

    Fair play to ya Chris…… seem like a decent fan of football…

    Just really pissed me off today when your fans outside were giving it the “Munich” song…

    Was good banter in the ground… and you all seemed to have a good day, regardless of the score…

    But i am still narked about what was obviously a stupid gang of your supporters that let the rest of you down..

  5. Failsworth Devil says:

    Welbecks goal was class… in fact all the goals were mint today…

    Thought we was better second half…was a slow tempo first half…

    Tevez seems to be trying to hard, and thought we tried to walk a lot in today…

    Fletch looked good and Carrick…

    Berba the fine player he is… still needs to get a grip of the “Teamwork” theory… but that will come with time..

    Johnny Evans was excellent… CR7 took his free kicks as well… and was very unselfish trying to set up Manucho twice especially last minute when he could have got his hat trick…

    I think in all honesty today Stoke couldnt handle our movement and the way we can switch play and positions…

    Suppose they are lucky Rio, Rooney, Scholes, Giggs, Nani, Anderson etc etc didnt play… coz imagine what the score could have been..

    SAF got a great reception just before kick off for his 50 years in footie..

    Good day at the office if you ask me… even though we was never in any kinda danger at all of conceding… i think the only chance they had was when EVS had to punch a ball away, that was it.

  6. Red-Manc says:

    Was a good atmosphere today which i wasnt expecting against stoke, rory delap throwings were funny as fuck “woooaohhhhh OOHH… what the fucking hell was that”! and “you’ve only come to see your throwings”.

    stoke have a loud set of travelling supporters but i thought we were louder than them today, but rightly so we are the home side. bit of trouble outside the ground with some stoke fans though they tried kicking off.. and failed. Now this isnt meant for all stoke fans as ive heard a few just saying they enjoyed the match etc etc but why some stoke fans felt the need to sing munich chants and trying to start fights when we dont even have a rivalry with them, another set of ABU’s unfortunatly.

  7. Sam says:

    when the fixtures were drawn and sky went to stoke all their fans were talking about boxing day and us visiting, meaning the next fixture they looked for was the day out for their cup final. small club mentality making the most of their day out, plus they’re only gonna see ronaldo play one more time in their lives (unless they draw us in the cup)

  8. Gary says:

    Red-Manc: Sorry mate as much as I would like to agree with you, I thought the atmosphere was drab today! I am getting increasingly frustrated how our atmosphere is declining year after year, I sit in the North West quad and I sing on my own most the time, I end up abusing our own fans shouting sing ya bastards, I dont expect everyone to sing full voice for 90 minutes like some of us, but at least make an effort to create an atmosphere.

    Trouble is football isnt a working class mans game no more. The big clubs have sold out to corporates and tickets for our home games end up floating about offices, and we have pencil pushers turning up who dont even support the club, it makes me fall out of love with football, its so sad to see. Man United dont give a shit about me or you anymore, I live in in Luton and have been making the trip to Old Trafford with my dad since I was a little boy, and I cherish every moment, I absolutely love the club but they couldnt care less about the likes of us.

    I opted this season to pull out the carling cup on the automatic cup scheme, because its expensive enough for me with travel and so on, and midweek games are a pain because of work. So what do the club do? They send me a letter saying because I did that, I wont be considered for any away games I apply for! Fucking cunts! Thats some way to treat a fan who has spent his entire life devoting himself to the club. The club should be ashamed of its self, but it wont be, as long as they get our money there happy, someone else can replace us as far as they are concerned!

  9. AlexofMancunia says:

    Gary, well what do you expect sitting in the fucking North Stand?

    I sit in the East Stand, which is pretty loud, and obviously there’s the Stretty End, but the North and South (South especially) are always quiet, full of all the day trippers and corporate suits who either don’t know the songs or don’t even care.

    As for Stoke fans, I’ve never been to a match involving Stoke before, but a mate of mine who is a cop told me some of them can be quite a nasty bunch (obviously Chrisgal isn’t one of those), and they didn’t fail to live up to their reputation.

    Like you said Scott, they were more concerned with slating Ronaldo, or with the usual ABU chants than getting behind their team!

  10. Infectioner says:

    5-0 the scoreline, 50 years for Fergie ;)

  11. Zoota says:

    As a real Stoke fan who appreciates football as a game, we got all we deserved yesterday – nothing. A lot of us won’t be surprised, I wasn’t. In terms of our moron element they embarrass me as much as anyone, but face it – every club has an element, hardly fair to say that we are somehow far worse than everyone else.

  12. dave (stoke fan ) says:

    to start with i don’t think its anything personal against ronaldo , but we have to be honest we (stoke) were never going to outplay you at football so we have to give ourselves any sort of edge we can by putting your players off .

    we did have an off day which made it look EVEN worse for us .were just trying to survive which will be a major accomplishment in itself , without trying to bankrupt our club . credit to yourselves for the football played and the goals scored .
    but i’m still confused about why ronaldo never got booked for kicking amdy faye from behind right in front of the referee , not that it would have made much difference though.

    fingers crossed we’ll be there next season but with more quality in our team .

  13. Red-Manc says:

    Gary, I can see what your saying mate but then again you were in the north stand which is very poor for atmosphere but fair play you tried to get it going up there (impossible task imo).

    I normally sit in the Stretford end tier 2 and the atmosphere up there is always good, but for the stoke game i was in the East stand and that was good aswell, when stoke fans started the usual ABU “we support our local team” everyone got going with “you support a load of shit”

    The atmosphere wasnt as good as barca last year or any big matches dont get me wrong, but considering we were only playing stoke the atmosphere was class imo. stoke fans tried acting like thugs and failed, they all went to a pub in IRLAM! hiding away from all the United fans. stoke fans outside the chippy got bullied aswell they hurled 1 can and then got drenched with 20 odd cans by United fans. ;)

  14. Failsworth Devil says:

    I seen all the shite outside Lou Mac’s chippy…. and the Stoke fans thought they were getting cheeky with us… and yeh seen them get peppered with lager n cider…

    I dont mind the cheeky banter between any of the fans coming to OT.. but what i despise is the Stoke fans that thought they were Leeds giving it the sick Munich chants… really put me off yesterday that..

    I am a manc…. always been red… and been going for years… 28 years… since i was 5… and what pisses me off is that i took my missus for the first time yesterday coz our kid couldnt go… and she loved it… and then had to hear that shite on the way back up Sir Matt Busby way, when them muppets were cordoned off in the car park…

    Yes, the majority of Stoke Fans, probably were well behaved… but its about time they turned round to this minority of lob ons to curb shite like Munich chants… coz i tell ya.. if any of our fans could have got at them in that car park yesterday there would have been blood everywhere… and even a copper commented to me that he was disgusted with them..

    With regards to the atmosphere well………many years ago.. used to go in the Stretty Paddocks… and jib over to the Stretty End.. what a fuckin buzz as a kid i tell ya.. and had a LMTB for years.. then ended up with a Season Ticket K Stand for years…and been going in West Stand up until last year..

    What a mistake i made going into North Stand Lower… yeh the seat was great… but do i wanna listen to 2 women next to me chatting about what they been upto all week… ?? Nope… Do i wanna listen to a girl in front of me during the match, asking how her digital camera works… For Fucks Sake…

    If these people spent more of there energy on our songs rather than the offers on at Gap, or “Shall i zoom in with this button”… then we might get an atmosphere going again…

    My missus said to me yesterday…and bear in mind she has never been to a game before….”Why is it so quiet in here… I wanna be up there where they are all singing, it looks fantastic”… she was of course going on about the Stretty End… and all i could tell her was the reason that its so quiet in North Stand is coz of “complimentaries…freebies etc etc”… it was a shame… my missus loved the match.. love the chanting outside… loved the mickey taking by the stretty end boys… just a let down in North.. .as it must be even worse in South.. coz the amount of camera flashes that come from that side of the ground is ridiculous…

    West stand is pretty good especially upper west.. can get some really good banter up there…

    I just wonder and wonder just how much of a fortress we could get OT to be again if we got North and South going again… thats why i think we are desperate for singing sections in every part of the ground.. we are desperate for it… not only will it give us more noise…it might encourage others who wouldnt normally sing to get involved… not only that.. it would intimidate the away teams… it would drown out the muppet away fans… it would give the players a lift when needed… and last but not least.. make OT feel like it used to when i was a yipper… and that is the most fantastic atmospheric place to be…

    United Is Life… United Is The Religion…. and i just wish the who ground would get involved rather than East and West having to carry the North and South all the time.

  15. salford red says:

    In response top Gary, I was in the stretty end and sand my heart out along with probably 80 percent of all the others in that area. From where I was the atmosphere was electric at times. If you cant handle the fact that no-one sings get your tickets transferred to another area of the ground. All I can say is how glad I am to support our team. We played nowhere near our best yet came out five up. However I must say Stoke as perhaps the worst footballing side I have seen in a long long time. Hand on heart I can honestly say I’ve had better experiences watching my local Sunday league team. No wonder they were such bitter and resentful bastards. If I had to watch that dire effort week in week out it would either be that or suicide! Dealp is a joke, he filled his pants and got lost somewhere amongst the Old Trafford crowd, unlike Ron who was baited all game but stuck it to them with a good free kick (although Sorensen should really have saved it) When they beat Arsenal I enjoyed it, I found it funny that as so called big team can capitulate to such a lame style of football. But if that was us there would be some serious issues.

  16. Red-Manc says:

    Failsworth devil totally agree about the singing sections we’re fucking crying out for some. and i think we would easy be able to fill them up with people wanting to stand and sing. Theres enough supporters in Old Trafford singing to make a good atmosphere the problem is there all split up and so far apart because the stadium is so big that all their noise is lost because we’re not all singing together.

    Stretford End and East Stand create top atmospheres but north and south truely shocking.

    Our away support is amazing, streford end is amazing and outside and in the pubs its amazing we just need to get it sorted in the fucking stadium!


  17. Failsworth Devil says:

    Red Manc…totally and utterly with ya mate…i just wish the powers that be would ready our comments and act on them bud.

  18. Failsworth Devil says:


  19. North Stand,Tier 3,Back Row says:

    I agree with comments on the atmosphere. Yer being hard on Gary though lads, I think its fair for any fan sitting anywhere in the ground to expect a decent atmosphere, and to expect a few randoms to join in with the singing, its not Garys fault that its too quiet for sitting in the quadrant, its everyones elses fault for not joining in. You cant accept that the atmsophere is crap in certain sections so Gary should move, fuck that, we need Garys around the ground to get the atmosphere going again. I do think singing sections is the way to go. I said it on here before, you could scatter 20 or 30 singing sections through the North and South stands, maybe 100 lads in each, thats only 2,000 or 3,000 out of the 76,00, hardly too much to hope for? that would encourage a few more to sing, cause there HAS TO BE many a die hard in those stands that want to sing, but dont at the moment.

  20. Red-Manc says:

    Nobody is blaming gary mate, we said fair play to him on doing his best up there. Glad theres others on here that want a singing section its something i’ve thought we’ve needed for a while now like im sure others have. theres already 4 of us on one thread wanting a singing section so imagen if we asked a fair 100 to sign a petition for a singing stand or maybe getting in touch with the club, anyone know how its done?

  21. North Stand,Tier 3,Back Row says:

    Red-Manc, you could count me in for starters. I go to games with 3 or 4 other mates, all would definitely be up for it.


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