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  1. Maybe a change is what we need. --- Last year's fixture in October 2019 saw us drop points for the first time in the league. It was Alisson's return to the first team following his opening day calf injury against Norwich. The team's performance was laboured, and we weren't helped by the officials ignoring an obvious foul on Origi in the build-up to Rashford's opener. They took their goal well to be fair, but play should have been hauled back before then. Our mood wasn't helped by Sadio having a goal ruled out when the ball accidentally struck his arm just before he finished past De Gea. As with their handling of any ruling, the officials made a bit of a botch with the VAR, and that type of instance (which had been let go beforehand) was pulled up. We carried on and grew stronger as the game wore on, without really posing enough of a threat. The boss sent on the lesser-spotted Lallana, and it was Hendo's best mate who tucked in the equaliser at the back post from Robbo's low ball in. They tried to claim an offside but it wasn't even close. Fuck off Ole! Anyway, it's a ground where our first win over them in the PL era proved to be a catalyst for a spell of sustained success. It was December 2000 and we gave Mad Igor his first start, set up in dogged fashion and looked to play on the counter and set-pieces. Going toe-to-toe with them in previous years hadn't worked so Ged opted for a cagey approach. It was a tactic that brought us progress in the UEFA Cup too. Murphy curled in a free kick right on half time. The Mancs had Chadwick sent off late on for hauling down Vladi, and we saw the game out. We'd batter Arsenal 4-0 a few days later, but the win against the Mancs was our first against them anywhere since 1995, and we found their place a happy hunting ground for thenext few years using the same cagey approach. In the charts, Eminem was riding high with the brilliant 'Stan', featuring a sample of Dido's 'Thank You'. It's a great record from an album showcasing a rapper proving he was the real deal and not just some white rapper novelty act. Cracking video too with Dido herself playing the girlfriend of the deranged lunatic Eninem fan (played by Final Destination's Devon Sawa). The concept behind the song is interesting enough but the execution was next level. Even though much of his material is topical so dates it, the Marshall Mathers LP still stands up today. We might have scrambled the odd win lately, but we've had very little to suggest our season is merely a blip caused by many factors out of our control, and not the beginning of a downward trend for this particular group of players. We keep saying other teams like the Mancs are shite but we then go out and lay an egg. This fixture isn't the ideal one to get things going but, just like Ged did over 20 years ago, we could use the opportunity as the catalyst for bigger and better things. We'll need to concentrate and be very solid at the back, and we'll need to hope for something resembling the bare minimum of impartiality from the officials (nearly all of whom seem to hail from Manchester), and for once we'll need to be ruthless with any chances we do get. Can't have Stig writing loony letters!