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Manchester United 1 Liverpool 1 (Mar 17 2016)

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It wasn’t until 86 minutes in that I finally unclenched my arse cheeks and allowed myself to believe the job was done. In reality, the tie was over as soon as Coutinho scored just before half time but because it’s THEM, and because it’s US, it’s hard to ever completely relax. We’ve lost games at this place even when we’ve had a lead going into stoppage time and those scars never fully heal. That was a different United though, this one is bang average.
 
That didn’t really make any difference to how I felt watching the game. The fear factor was still there just because it’s them, and in some ways it was even worse because had we lost to this ragtag collection of jabronis I might never have recovered from it. Blowing a 2-0 lead against the worst United side since I was a kid would have been too much to take, and that’s probably why I was in a complete state of panic in that first half right up until little Phil produced his moment of magic.
 
Ah yes, Philippe Coutinho. The little Brazilian who I’d spent virtually the entire first half cursing and calling for Klopp to take him off. In my defence, as I said, I was basically in a state of blind panic and wasn’t in control of my thoughts at all. In fairness, he had been shite up until the goal but that’s irrelevant really. I should know better, because it’s happened on at least two other occasions this season. I would have subbed him at Stoke on the opening day too, and I think it may have been Chelsea away when I’d been hammering him right up until he scored a corker just before half time, and then added another after the break. I’ve learned my lesson now; even when Coutinho is stinking it up I’ll be holding my tongue in future because he’s always likely to do something out of nothing.
 
I over reacted completely to how we’d played in the first half. Looking back on it, we weren’t that bad at all but as it was unfolding it sure felt like it. It’s completely because of the opposition that I lost all sense of perspective, but I know I wasn’t the only one. I spoke to my Dad at half time and he was going on about how he felt physically sick watching it, he thought he was going to throw up as his stomach was all over the place and that he hadn’t felt like that since some game with Leicester about 50 years ago or something.
 
It's hard to explain as we've had much bigger, more important games than this, yet I completely get where he was coming from. I think the 2-0 lead we had is a big reason for it. If it had been 0-0 from the first leg I don’t think I’d have been anywhere near as fucked up as I was. It was the fear of blowing the lead that completely messed with my head, my Dad’s too, and most of you were probably the same I imagine. That first half was absolute torture.
 

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For me, it was around the 69th-71 minute mark that I began to stop pacing. That terrible Palace side banging in 3 goals in 10 minutes against most of these players is not something that is easy to forget.

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Yeah funny now how Sturridge is pissed off about being substituted while for the last 18 months he couldn't be arsed pulling on the red shirt with his constant niggles.I wonder if he's thinking about being picked for the Euros, that might explain his playing more for himself than for the team the self indulgent fanny .

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Yeah funny now how Sturridge is pissed off about being substituted while for the last 18 months he couldn't be arsed pulling on the red shirt with his constant niggles.I wonder if he's thinking about being picked for the Euros, that might explain his playing more for himself than for the team the self indulgent fanny .

 

Getting angrier watching him by the week. I don't care how talented he is. His attitude winds me up no end.

Could not care less if he is shown the door

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I'm not so sure Sturridge is playing FOR himself as much as he's playing WITHIN himself. While there is almost certainly an element of selfishness about him, I think he still doesn't trust his body not to break down again by trying something explosive and athletic like sprints, so he's focussing more on the technical side of his game. That is why I think we are seeing him drop off deep to try and link play so much. It's not his natural game and while he is well above average technically for an English player, he's much more effective when playing off the last defender. Defenders are scared of what he can do from there because it stretches teams and such an attribute is beneficial to our team, so I'd like to see much more of it from him. It'll help him find goalscoring positions more easily and we already know how lethal he is when in goalscoring positions.

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I'm totally with you on Sturridge, I just can't seem to warm to him, BUT I actually thought he pressed and worked as hard as I've ever seen him the whole time he's been here.

 

That said he was still shite in general, hope he starts to find form again soon, and wind that neck in when he gets subbed.

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Thought his free kick deserved a goal. But for me when trying to press he just goes through the motions. obviously talented but can tend to over do things too often. Missed a couple he should of scored last night would give him 6 out of 10.

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1."jabronis"

2."...but as it was unfolding it sure felt like it." It sure felt like it? Really. Really? You're treading on very thin ice Usher.

 

You're absolutely right though about the mancs playing as well as they have all season. It's a glowing testament to the team that they not only withstood the trials, but came away having been the better side.

 

65 minutes I began to think we might just do it. Nothing nailed on, but I was definitely relaxing a midgies. 85 minutes and I started to enjoy it.

 

Sturridge needs to sort himself out. I'm sure he's a nice guy off the field. He needs to show some spunk on it.

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Wouldn't write Sturridge off just yet.  He's been out for most of the season.  Now whether or not the extent of his injuries justified that layoff is irrlevant at this point, as he's back.  Hopefully until the end of the season.  I thought he done ok.  He absolutely skinned Blind just outside the box on a run and brought the free which he struck the bar with and earned Blind a yellow.

 

No top player wants to be taken off.  And if he's pissed at that?  Well that's ok.  So he should be.  Shows there's a bit of hunger there. 

 

But I'm with you on the 'can't relax against this mob' view.  Once it hit 80+ mins I relaxed.  To be fair we should have won easily, esp second half.  How many saves did De Gea make v Mignolet?  That tells the story.

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manunitedreport4.jpg

It wasn’t until 86 minutes in that I finally unclenched my arse cheeks and allowed myself to believe the job was done. In reality, the tie was over as soon as Coutinho scored just before half time but because it’s THEM, and because it’s US, it’s hard to ever completely relax. We’ve lost games at this place even when we’ve had a lead going into stoppage time and those scars never fully heal. That was a different United though, this one is bang average.

 

That didn’t really make any difference to how I felt watching the game. The fear factor was still there just because it’s them, and in some ways it was even worse because had we lost to this ragtag collection of jabronis I might never have recovered from it. Blowing a 2-0 lead against the worst United side since I was a kid would have been too much to take, and that’s probably why I was in a complete state of panic in that first half right up until little Phil produced his moment of magic.

 

Ah yes, Philippe Coutinho. The little Brazilian who I’d spent virtually the entire first half cursing and calling for Klopp to take him off. In my defence, as I said, I was basically in a state of blind panic and wasn’t in control of my thoughts at all. In fairness, he had been shite up until the goal but that’s irrelevant really. I should know better, because it’s happened on at least two other occasions this season. I would have subbed him at Stoke on the opening day too, and I think it may have been Chelsea away when I’d been hammering him right up until he scored a corker just before half time, and then added another after the break. I’ve learned my lesson now; even when Coutinho is stinking it up I’ll be holding my tongue in future because he’s always likely to do something out of nothing.

 

I over reacted completely to how we’d played in the first half. Looking back on it, we weren’t that bad at all but as it was unfolding it sure felt like it. It’s completely because of the opposition that I lost all sense of perspective, but I know I wasn’t the only one. I spoke to my Dad at half time and he was going on about how he felt physically sick watching it, he thought he was going to throw up as his stomach was all over the place and that he hadn’t felt like that since some game with Leicester about 50 years ago or something.

 

It's hard to explain as we've had much bigger, more important games than this, yet I completely get where he was coming from. I think the 2-0 lead we had is a big reason for it. If it had been 0-0 from the first leg I don’t think I’d have been anywhere near as fucked up as I was. It was the fear of blowing the lead that completely messed with my head, my Dad’s too, and most of you were probably the same I imagine. That first half was absolute torture.

 

 

This is just a teaser click here to view the full report

 

Please note that Match Reports are only available to website subscribers. Subscriptions cost just £2 a month (you need to register first) and can be purchased here. If you are not currently registered on the site, sign up for free and receive a one month FREE no obligation trial subscription, which gives you access to all the members only content for one month.

Load of shite.

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I'm with Trumo on Sturridge: he's a tit, but he's also badly scarred in the head by all the injuries. We should slow down before we all blithely wave goodbye to a world class talent.

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Fumed all night at Sturridge constantly losing the ball, yet: the free kick was top drawer, he's so much talent-infuriating; agree that the injuries must have a psychological effect but also he's almost trying too hard when he gets the ball. I mean he's trying to do something world class every time instead of re-building his game from the simple things.

 

If we were clinical up front we'd have won 6 or 7 over the two legs. Admittedly they have a top keeper but that's why I was so uptight, we deserved to be miles clear yet were on backfoot after the penalty.

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Your first two paragraphs summed up EXACTLY how i felt, never relaxed at all ! Plus after the final whistle, i said we'll get Dortmund, probably the best team in the competition but you're right, it'll be a much nicer tie with none of the nasty undercurrents. Great review.

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