United fans were in full voice last weekend at Ewood Park. What’s more, the away end looked the part too, as Reds turned out in colours, swirling bar scarves aloft throughout the 90 minutes.
After Carlos Tevez’s late equaliser, Michael Carrick admitted the fans had played a part in “sucking the ball into the net”.
Now, with United’s Show Your Colours campaign gathering steam ahead of Barcelona’s visit to Old Trafford on Tuesday 29 April, we take a look at some of the best European atmospheres from down the years….
The Command Performance
Welcome to the first movement of the United European concerto: the utterly unexpected, almost absurd, dashing rout. Here we find Roma 2007, a superb side who’d taught us a bit of a lesson only days before, destroyed in a firestorm of Rooneyism. Ditto Porto in 1997’s quarter-finals. They were a formidable side, toting various unbeaten records, yet were picked apart within minutes, hammered 4-0 by Cantona and Giggs at their silky best.
The White Knuckle Ride
The flipside is a plunge into the pit of the polar opposite: the jaw-clenching, jugular-pulsing nerve-fest. Those games that aren’t going well, yet where everything remains at stake; and where the crowd is simultaneously seeking to support, criticise, howl in frustration, and vent spleens at smirking opposition. Hear us roar, hear us growl.
Go back to the Partizan semi-final in 1966. Ten minutes to go, still a goal down on aggregate, Paddy Crerand gets sent off. Busby’s face turns sheet-white, while the Stretford End’s visages burn red with frustration. There’s out-and-out, purple-faced fury too, which does wonders for your volume settings. Think AC Milan in 1969’s semi-final: 64,000 all on their feet, apoplectically raging as Paddy’s disallowed equaliser robs us of our crown.
Or Juventus 1976/77, complete with Giovanni Trappatoni’s almost comically stereotypical Italian assassins, harangued throughout for their animal cunning and