Something strange happened during United’s home defeat against Liverpool. With around twenty minutes left to play, and United trailing 2-0, the Stretford End starting singing “20 times, 20 times, Man United. 20 times, 20 times, I say. 20 times, 20 times, Man United, playing football the Matt Busby way.”
The Stretford End were on their feet and this started to spread. The Sir Alex Ferguson stand joined in, block by block getting to their feet. The East Stand did the same. Even some of the South stand!
And the singing went on, and on, and on. The same song was sung over and over. Whilst this behaviour is nothing new on the road, it’s not something that happens at home, certainly not when we’re getting outplayed by our hated rivals.
Real Madrid last season after the ridiculous red card and Barcelona in the semi-final in 2008 are two games in recent years that stand out. It was entirely different circumstances on Sunday.
Wayne Rooney has praised the fans for their support, which didn’t even pause when Liverpool scored a third, when the final whistle was blown, or when the players had left the pitch.
“I thought the fans were magnificent,” said Rooney. “Towards the end, they were fantastic for us. Us, as a team in the dressing room, we really appreciate that. They were fantastic. The support they gave us was really great. Under such difficult circumstances, it was probably the best it’s been. They stuck behind us until the last minute and, as we were walking off the pitch, they were right behind us. As a group of players, we really appreciate that.”