Home Page Link

 

Day Five - Game Day!

It was finally game day! I was eating lunch at a pub called The Old Monkey and I noticed lots of red jerseys walking by towards the Metrolink. It was still three hours until game time. But I figured I might as well go with the flow, so I went back to change and made my way back to the tram. It was absolutely packed with United fans and I was told it would only get worse; better to get there early.

From Manchester City Centre, the Metrolink is a fast and efficient ride. We were there inside of ten minutes.  From the Old Trafford stop, it’s a quarter-mile or so walk to the stadium. Luckily I had a few thousand of my closest friends to lead the way.

There are a few pubs near the stadium, but not as many as there should be. It was a bit of a wait to get inside. Once inside, I found that you can buy beer in the concourse area at quite reasonable prices – nothing like most US Stadiums. Oddly, you cannot bring alcohol into the seating area. 

Old Trafford
(Click to Enlarge)
Tunnels Leading to Gates
(Click to Enlarge)
Very Tight Seating
(Click to Enlarge)

I went over to one of the many betting stations and chatted up a fan to learn of the procedure. Quite certain of my impending wealth, I placed a bet that Dimitar Berbatov would score the first goal. He scored a hat-trick, but Park Ji-Suong netted the first, leaving me destitute.

When I purchased the tickets and saw the location, I figured it would be a terrible view, but at least I’d be there. This wasn’t the case. It was an impressive view, particularly considering the cost. I’d gladly sit in those seats again. And probably will.

Match Underway at Old Trafford
(Click to Enlarge)
Nani with a Shot
(Click to Enlarge)
Wayne Rooney
(Click to Enlarge)

United was in complete control the whole match. There was a lot of smart and skilled play and the result left the crowd happy and chanting away. When the final of Manchester CityWest Brom flashed as 0-0, the crowd erupted, knowing United had just tied at the top of the table. It was a great experience ton say the least.

Chicharito's Effort Falls Short
(Click to Enlarge)
Berbatov Takes a Penalty Shot
(Click to Enlarge)
Ali Al-Habsi Watches the Goal
(Click to Enlarge)

Walking back to the tram, I spoke with an usher who was curious about sports in the US. He asked if soccer was the dominant sport in the country and I felt sort of bad breaking it to him that It barely reaches the radar of most  Americans – if that. He was a great guy, though, and we talked the whole way. The tram was packed, but I made it on first attempt and before long I was back in the City Centre. Dinner was at the Revolution Bar and then back to The Old Monkey for a few more pints. I’m a regular there.

 

Day Six

Day12345678   England & Wales