The North-West Derby
#100DaysOfBlogging Day 26
Football is something I’m passionate about. I was an introvert during my school days, and what made me slightly more interactive was playing football during the games period. I tried playing as a central defender, and also as a forward, but where I felt in my element was as goalkeeper. It was fun. The introvert me also liked computer games, and FIFA99 had a big influence on my love for the game. My uncle installed the demo version of that game in his computer (which I used to use). The two default teams there were Liverpool and Manchester United. I leaned toward the latter, having watched them on TV. And over the years, my passion for the Red Devils has only become stronger.
I didn’t know a lot about the importance of the North-West derby till much later. The fierce rivalry between the two clubs is considered one of the biggest rivalries not just in English or European football, but in world football. The two clubs are the two most successful clubs in England, though their successes of late have diminished. Liverpool have not won the title in the Premier League era, while Manchester United have not claimed the title since the 2012-13 season. The rivalry has a lot of aspects to it. The cities of Liverpool and Manchester are 35 miles apart, and have their own historic economic and industrial rivalry. The clubs are also well supported the world over.
Last night saw the current season’s first North-West derby, and though the telecast was late at night here, I stayed up to watch it. The match was a game of two halves, metaphorically and literally. Man Utd were the dominant team in the first half, creating chances and troubling the Liverpool defence with their movement. Liverpool made a match of it in the second half, and took more possession and created more chances. The match ended goallless, and without an ejection. It was the first time in eleven years that this derby failed to produce a single goal. As a Man Utd supporter, I’m bitterly disappointed with the way the team played in the second half. But a point at Anfield against a Liverpool side that are in form is still a good point nonetheless. A clean sheet is always good, I suppose.
The next time these rivals meet in the Premier League will be in January 2017 at Old Trafford. It’s the rivalry that matters most to me as a fan too. So I’m already waiting for that match, and hoping for a home victory on that day. Glory Glory Manchester United!
(© Vinay Leo R. @ I Rhyme Without Reason, 18th October 2016)