Sunday 5 March, 2023
The darkest of night is descending on Manchester United supporters. A few years ago a great humiliation to its team took place at Anfield, home of its greatest rivals, Liverpool.
The run up had been spectacularly successful. In the space of two weeks the team had won a tight European knockout match against Barcelona, another of the sport’s glamour teams. A week ago United triumphed winning the Caraboa Cup, the old league cup now renamed after its new sponsors, a high-energy sports drink.
A year ago, Liverpool was competing with Manchester City for the rankings most successful and strongest team in Europe.
Manchester United was continuing a slump in form that had persisted like some terminal malady since the glorious era under super-manager Alex Ferguson.
But this season was to see a remarkable shift in success for the leading premiership teams. Liverpool plummeted until even charismatic manager Jurgen Klopp appeared a shadow of his previous self at inquests after the most recent loss.
Manchester City had acquired a phenomenal goal scorer smashing all records for the club.
After a shaky start, Manchester United under new manager Van Hag rediscovered the lost art of defence. An out-of-form striker Marcus Rashford rediscovered his mojo. New signings were justifying their eye-watering contracts. New heroes were emerging as precocious youths, or as the returning successes of the recent World Cup.
And to add to the surprises, Arsenal had taken the lead in the Premiership and retained it since the early weeks of the season.
During the week, the clash against Liverpool began to build up headlines. Former stars of Liverpool and United were back in the spotlight allowed to reminisce over past glories and to predict a result. The rediscovered pundits were mostly anticipating a United victory, disregarding the famous intimidating nature of Anfield stadium, fans, and team.
The drama is captured on Twitter
A few hours ago, Jamie mufc Gretton tweeted
Our record stinks at Anfield. I’d easily take a point. Liverpool back on form. But we’re also playing well and hard to beat. So it’ll be a good game!
Andy, another supporter, replied
Be more optimistic mate easy 4-0 for us today
I join in
Don’t send your hopes flying too close to the sun. I am fearing the worse, hoping for the best
I am trying a new approach, being optimistic.
I’m trying an old approach. Start the mourning early and the worse pain has gone before the match ends.
Tweets during the match become more and more desperate, singling out players who generally receive plaudits.
Jamie, tears dripping from every tweet.
I can accept losing at Anfield but not losing 7-0. It doesn’t make sense.
A Liverpool supporter tweets an image of MU’s favourite drink, 7 up.
A new day breaks. There has been an explosion of interest on the result. BBC Sport is playing time and again the seven goals.
A discussion is held about the mystical properties of the number seven.
Liverpool supporters are in their seventh heaven.
The red side of Manchester is in mourning after the Liverpool mauling of their team.