Old Trafford Manchester United v Blackburn
Saturday December 31st 2011, 12.45pm
By Tom Croft (Blackburn Rovers fan)
you were looking forward to going to the
ground (or not as the case may be):
Although we were expecting to go to Old
Trafford and receive an absolute kicking, it
always been a ground I was determined to
visit and now with a bit of money behind me,
I had to go. I was really looking forward to
it mainly due to all the hype connected with
Old Trafford; Being such a large and famous
stadium and with the fact that on Boxing Day
we gained a point at Anfield (1-1 vs
Liverpool) I was rather optimistic about
this day out.
2. How easy was your journey/finding the
We travelled by club coach so a very easy
journey. Once we arrived we parked in the
park which was roughly opposite the away
turnstiles probably about 100 yards away.
3. What you did before the game
pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?
I asked a Police Officer about any pub's in
the vicinity of Old Trafford
that welcomed away supporters but he didn't
know so we decided against going to find any
and instead accompanied our friend who had
lost his ticket to the ticket office to see
if he could get it replaced. (Fortunately he
managed to). We walked into the ticket
office entrance - all dressed in our blue
and white - and didn't have any trouble
whatsoever. United fans didn't seem to
bother with us too much although I imagine
this would be different for teams such as
Man City and Liverpool.
4. What you thought on seeing the ground,
first impressions of away end then other
sides of the ground?
When we first saw the ground I was amazed by
it. It really is such an impressive stadium
all the way around outside and inside
doesn't disappoint either. The view from the
away section is probably the best I have
ever experienced although there isn't much
leg room. The segregation however between
the home and away fans wasn't massive which
led to a lot of banter between both set's of
fans resulting in one Man United fan being
called Rooney, all good natured banter
though and nothing went too far.
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere,
stewards, pies, facilities etc..
The game was absolutely brilliant. United
threatened a lot early on but didn't seem to
have that killer instinct in front of goal.
The game changed however fairly quickly when
in the 16th minuted Yakubu was brought down
by Dimitar Berbatov in the penalty area
resulting in a penalty to Rovers which the
Yak calmly slotted in to put Rovers 1-0 up.
Again United poured on the pressure but
couldn't find that killer goal. We got to
half time 1 up and the 2nd half began much
the same as it ended in the first half.
Rovers then made a counter attack which
resulted in Yakubu darting past former Rover
Phil Jones to drill the ball through De
Gea's legs to make it 2-0 to Rovers. At this
point we couldn't believe it and were going
wild although our celebrations were short
lived as straight from kick off United
pushed forward and sloppy defending allowed
Berbatov to make up for giving away the
Penalty and putting united back into it with
a cool finish from close range. 2-1.
Ten minutes later and the same again. Sloppy
defending by Rovers resulting in Berbatov
cooly finishing to make it 2-2. We thought
it was over then however ten minuted from
time De Gea seemed clueless as he came for a
cross and Grant Hanley headed it past him
into the net to make it 3-2 to Rovers!
United then pressed more but just couldn't
break through Rovers stubborn defence. Great
result for Rovers and the atmosphere we
generated was electric as we were singing
for the full 90 minutes. The United fan's
weren't in great voice although the roar
when they scored was impressive.
The facilities in the ground are very good.
The concourses were very spacious and
toilets clean. When in there we bought a
bottle of Singha Lager (£3.20 I think for a
330ml) and a bottle of Bulmers (again £3.20
I think) so not the greatest choice of
alcoholic refreshments but better value than
some ground's I've visited. We had very
little to do with the stewards but they
seemed fairly relaxed and were helpful when
helping us to our seats.
6. Comment on getting away from the ground
after the game:
Getting to the coach wasn't a problem
however once we got on the road it was a
good half hour at least before we got moving
properly. The roads were extremely congested
so I would advise taking an extra hour out
of your time for the journey away from the
ground just to be safe. Once back on the
motorway there were no problems at all
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day
Overall I would rate this as one of my
favourite away days ever. Most likely
because of the result but Old Trafford
really is a splendid stadium and as an away
supporter a MUST visit in my opinion. The
pictures on television really don't do it
justice because when you're there in your
seat just knowing you are in what is
regarded as one of the best stadiums in the
world really brings an extra buzz about the
place and if you are
lucky enough to get three points as we did
on this particular day (however not
forgetting the humiliating 7-1 defeat last
season) then your day will be even better.
Definitely a ground I would recommend