Glory, Glory

Glory glory Man united,
Glory glory Man united,
Glory glory Man united,
As the reds go marching on on on!

I went to a soccer game for the first time last night: Champions League Manchester United vs. Basel.  It was seriously, SO. MUCH. FUN.  I’m not a soccer fan in the least, everytime FIFA World Cup fever begins I don’t even bother trying to watch a match because I know I don’t like soccer. But this game honestly has completely turned me around.

My ticket! Yes you're reading that right, I paid only 17 pounds thanks to the UMSU.

I got my ticket from the ticket booth at the Student Union as soon as I heard it was only 17 pounds and tons of other exchange students were also going.  Watching a Man United game was on my list of to do’s while in Manchester, but I was fully aware that it’d come with a price.  I don’t even like soccer, it just seemed like attending a game was necessary if I was going to be in Manchester so I was prepared to shell out some money. The fact that it was so cheap was icing on the cake.

Getting there was pretty straightforward: all we had to do was hop on the 250 bus and get off when we saw everyone wearing a red t-shirt/scarf get off the bus.  It was like a carnival atmosphere just walking to the stadium!

tons of scarf carts and food trucks lined the streets around the stadium

Old Trafford - home of Manchester United

Inside it was just as hectic, with vendors trying to sell souvenir scarves and and just as many food carts.

tons of police were inside to make sure people didn't get too rowdy

We had to climb eight flights of stairs (that was my workout for the day) to get to our seats, which were in the second to last row, but I’ve got to say for the price we paid they weren’t bad at all.  I’ve been to tons of hockey games while sitting in the nosebleed seats, which is alright but it’s a little hard to follow the puck.  Soccer is awesome!  The field is massive and the ball is huge in comparison to a puck so it doesn’t matter if you’re not front row, you can still see everything.

my view of the field - I thought the massive slanted ceiling would be obstructive but it really wasn't, you just couldn't see the other side of the seats but who cares

I said it earlier, I’ll say it again.  I was so surprised I got into the game as much as I did.  A quick run down: the first five minutes of the game looked like an even match between the two teams, but as soon after Basel started to just looked sloppy.  Manchester completely dominated the play and kept everything in their end.  The times where Basel managed to get it over to their half of the field and shoot the ball, it wouldn’t even make it to the net, either going way over or off to the side.  The best scoring chance they got was when one of the players had a clear shot at the net and aimed for the top left corner but hit the bar instead.  Manchester got two goals like two minutes apart and it started getting almost boring to watch because Basel was just a mess on the field and it seemed obvious that the home team would win.

with Manchester dominating the first period, all the action was on my end

Holy cow though, second period got me right back into the game.  Basel came back with a vengeance and Dominated with a capital D, quickly tying the game 2-2.  It stunned the crowd, but everyone seemed to think that Manchester would pick it up and soon reply with a goal of their own. But no.  Manchester took a penalty so Basel got a penalty shot (kick?) …and scored.  Game was now 2-3 for Basel, which was sooo upsetting for me, because everytime I go to a Canucks game, they always lose.  I was really hoping to be part of a winning home team for once.  The game started getting so intense and I was so into it, doing the whole oohhhHH…. oooHHHHH??!… OOHhhhhh… thing when we got a chance, another chance, but missed.  Time was not on our side and Basel kept substituting players or just taking their sweet time to toss the ball went it went out of play to kill time. It really seemed like we were going to lose.  But – in the last minute, literally with something like probably 25 seconds on the clock Manchester SCORED.  The crowd went nuts, me included, with everyone hollering and screaming on their feet.

3-3 TIE GAME!

The 4 minutes of overtime ended scoreless, so game over.  I was really surprised when everyone started leaving after those 4 minutes, I just sat there for a bit until it was obvious people were trying to get past me, at which point I was like, “what? It’s ..over? Oh…”  I guess I’m used to watching sports with a clear winner and loser like hockey.

Such a fun game to watch, I really didn’t go in there expecting to enjoy it but I’m so glad I did!  The experience was well worth the money.  I thought about buying a scarf, but I really would never ever wear the thing again.

My goodness, getting back home was a nightmare though.  I’ll save my rant about transit in Manchester for another day, but I’ll just have you know it took me nearly 2 hours to get back to my hall, when it only took about 25 minutes to get to the game.

Overall though, great night!   And I can now officially cross it off my bucket list.

My Bucket List

watch a Manchester United game 

yay!

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