RoM gave away two tickets to the Champions League semi-final to Mike Parkinson from Ashton under Lyne.
The experience of going to watch United is the same every time. You get yourself to Stretford, walk down the Warwick Road and enter Old Trafford to see the reds.
The good weather made it a warm balmy night so good for football. The walk to the ground soundtracked by songs for the reds and laughing and talking. It was in contrast to those cold nights in winter when only the warmth of the edifice and light of Old Trafford is able to lift chins in an upwardly direction out of their scarves.
The fanzine sellers, now sold at £2, unlike the day when they were 50p and drawn by hand, badge men and burger stalls have all changed but still make me feel like I’m 10 again.
When you get inside its no different but I still smile when I see the green of the pitch and hear the crowd.
After some trouble from a few of the German ultras (most fans behaved impeccably) who decided they were going to make themselves heard, and kick the stewards, the Stretford End decided to sing songs from players of old. Keano, Ronaldo, Solskjaer, Stam, Cole, Robson and Butt were paid tribute as their names rang inside Old Trafford one more time.
After the display in Germany last week, where United looked confident and were only held back by the heroics of Neuer, on Wednesday, United looked a little edgy until the first goal. It was a lovely through ball from Gibson in to the path of Valencia, who yet again had a big impact. Pressure off and a half chance from Gibson bounced off Neuer and in to the net a few minutes later, prodding United fans into life as the Shalke ultras attempted to show they were not just here to see United.
Second half showed a much calmer display of attack and with Rafael off for Evra, United moved up a gear, playing much more like the away leg 1st half in Germany.
Better pressing gave Anderson the chance to get forward and prove what he’s worth with an assist from Berbatov for his second. It could have been more but for some dodgy decisions on the line, particularly against Michael Owen, late in the half.
So, we got the result and have booked a place at Wembly on the 28th against Barcalona (again). Our third final in four years. It took Matt Busby and Jimmy Murphy ten long years to build a team that was capable of winning the European Cup after Munich. As we go to our third in four years it becomes paramount to make this game counts. Get stuck in lads!
The tickets came from Sony Ericsson. ‘Like’ them on Facebook for a chance to win tickets to the final.
To mark the anniversary of United winning the Treble with a team that had academy products at the core, Made in Manchester is available for just £3 for today only. Some of the best football writers take a player each, from Sir Bobby Charlton to Ryan Giggs, George Best to David Beckham, Duncan Edwards to Paul Scholes, and many more, with 30 articles in total. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.