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Old Trafford
Manchester United v
Carling Cup Semi Final Second Leg
Wednesday January 22nd 2014, 7.45pm
Rory Murphy
(Sunderland fan)

11. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

Sunderland had won the first leg 2-1 thanks to a Giggs own goal and a Borini penalty. Sunderland had one foot in the final for the first time in 22 years. Man Utd weren't exactly in fine form so I was really confident. Old Trafford's obviously a famous stadium and this was my first visit.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

We set off from the North-East at 3pm hoping not to hit traffic. There was a bit of traffic on the M62 but apart from that the journey was fine. We reached Manchester at about 6pm. We had a cousin that lived near Old Trafford and he was fine with us parking there.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly

Me and my mate got a bite to eat from a burger van and headed towards the away end. The home fans seemed fine with the surrounding Mackems.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

The ground is HUGE. Maybe not as nicely designed as the Emirates but when you're in the stadium you can really see how big it is. Sunderland brought 9,000 fans down on a cold Wednesday night in January which is great for a club that's been in a relegation battle for the last few years. We were allocated the usual corner and the upper tier of the East Stand. I was up in the God's in the East Stand and the long climb was worth it for an incredible view.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

Well, what a game. United took the lead from the former Sunderland loanee Jonny Evans and the game was pretty dull. The Sunderland fans were excellent and tried to suck the ball in the net. United fans were very poor. Their away fans are excellent but very quiet at home. The game finished 1-0, 2-2 on aggregate so it went to extra-time. The game still didn't really pick up until the 119th minute. Sunderland were passing it round the box and the ball went to Phil Bardsley, he unleashed a shot and De Gea fumbled it in. We went ballistic. Just as we started singing "que sera, sera" United scored and it went to penalties. The penalties were truly awful and the penalties were 2-1 in Sunderland's favour with Rafael stepping up to take the last one to either make or break Sunderland's Wembley hopes. Mannone saved it and that was it. We were going to Wembley!

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

We stayed back for half an hour to celebrate with our fellow Sunderland fans. We got out of Manchester and the journey home was fine. We got home at 1.30am and went straight to bed!

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

What a great day. Best day I've had while supporting Sunderland.

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