Saturday 5th August was an exciting day for me. I wake up at 7.15am, I have breakfast in bed, poached eggs on toast (I know, spoilt), get up and have a shower, get dressed in a special top, get picked up by my foster brother and his son, my foster dad and I get in his car and off we go; we have a two-and-a-half-hour journey in front of us. We are all very excited and the conversation is all about where we are going and what the outcome will be.
We arrive at probably, and in my opinion one of the most amazing stadiums ever (anyone guess where I might be yet?), there were roughly 57,000 people there, the noise and the singing was just electrifying! I’ve never heard anything like it. I was caught up in the atmosphere. (You must have guessed by now that I was at a football match) and watching, again in my opinion one of the greatest football teams ever, Manchester United; they were playing a friendly match against R.C Lens at Old Trafford.
Outside the stadium I saw the statues of Sir Matt Busby, Sir Alex Ferguson and The Holy Trinity statue of George Best, Denis Law and Sir Bobby Charlton. I then walked through the stadium, my first stop was the MUFC shop where I purchased a new cap, 50% off for members, I then walked into the stand. I found my seat and waited for the game to begin. The introduction was sensational, with the reveal of new signing, Rasmus Hojlund, made just five minutes before the kick off! With everyone cheering for him and our now increased anticipation for the game, the players come through the tunnel and get introduced by the announcers. The players then enter their positions on the field and prepare to play. New signing Onana played in goal in his first game at Old Trafford, similarly to new signing Mount, who was playing left center midfield. Shaw was playing left back, Dalot was playing right back and Martinez, my foster brother’s son’s favourite player, and Varane, who used to play for RC Lens were the center backs. Casemiro, my favourite player, played as a right center midfielder and Fernandes played as a central attacking midfielder. Garnacho played as a left winger, Antony played as a right winger and Rashford played as a center forward.
The game started and both groups of fans were electric right from the kick-off, both teams were even in the first five minutes. This would be until Man. United got an opportunity for an open goal, unfortunately Mount overstepped and missed the ball… Onana was incredible with his feet throughout the whole game and really showed it here. Unfortunately, Dalot lost the ball whilst Onana was outside the box, which would allow an RC Lens attacker to score a half pitch chip goal, we were now 1-0 down. The Lens fans roared in celebration and started singing and chanting in French, so I couldn’t understand them. United got multiple attempts at goal, but failed to score.
In the second half, Antony, who hadn’t really impressed in the first half, stepped up his game and ran up the pitch with the ball at his feet, he then passed to Rashford, who scored, this made the United faithful roar in celebration and know that we were back in the game. Five minutes later, Antony ran the ball up the pitch again and scored a goal himself, making it 2-1 United, which made the fans roar and sing even louder, knowing that we were now in the lead. Six minutes later, a United player (I couldn’t tell which one it was because they were attacking away from me) would shoot at goal but a deflection made it bounce into Casemiro, who somehow scored without even realising it! This confused a lot of fans that couldn’t see the goal and didn’t realise that a goal had been scored, but ultimately they roared when they realised. There were no more goals after that, but the team played really well throughout the second half. Casemiro made crucial challenges, Onana made great saves and passes with his feet, Antony improved significantly and Mount stayed consistent throughout the game.
Being a MUFC Member I get priority to buy tickets. I received my welcome pack, which had lots of useful goodies in and I can’t wait to go back.
For a friendly match the game was amazing, the atmosphere and stadium were incredible and it was an experience that I will be reliving many times as a proud MUFC member.
The Nameless Onion