Date:Saturday April 25 2009
2-0 down at half-time in an important game which could blow the title race wide open - well, United have been there, done that before. And the last time we did it, there was no way back for our rivals in the title race.
I'm talking about the visit to Goodison Park on April 28th, 2004. United, a mere four days after a heroic comeback against AC Milan in the Champions League, looked tired and we were without Cristiano Ronaldo in the starting line-up.
Against Spurs today United had a relatively bright start but back then it was a nightmare: Stubbs' free-kick was deflected into the net by Carrick in the 5th minute. United tried to apply some pressure but looked to lack the energy and the spirit to do so - and in the meantime, Chelsea came back after conceding early against Bolton and took the lead. As things stood, United's trip to Stamford Bridge was going to be very, very tricky...
And early in the second half it seemed all was lost as Fernandes turned Brown inside out and unleashed a ferocious drive that flew into the net. 2-0 down, not playing well - United looked dead and buried.
However, a goalkeeping howler came to our aid: Turner spilled Carrick's corner and O'Shea turned the ball in immediately. Fergie sent Ronaldo to warm up at once and he did make an impact: his firm header a few minutes later was somehow saved but Phil Neville was in such a hurry to hack the ball away that he sent it into his own net...
United sensed blood and went for the winner: Ronaldo had an excellent chance but he missed it, there was an appeal for handball at Stubbs and you had to feel there was a goal coming on. And who else but Wayne Rooney, man of the big moments, provide it? He brought down a cross with a great first touch, sent Hibbert the wrong way then calmly slotted the ball into the far corner.
And it was all crowned, of course, by Chris Eagles' absolutely wonderful goal which came about the same time as the news of Bolton's equaliser and the subsequent final whistle at Stamford Bridge. United were only one win away from the title even though at half-time it looked like all our efforts throughout the season would be in vain at the end. It wasn't to be, though because United showed class and determination - the very things that kept us alive today.
That win was more emotional, what with being the first title in four years, this one was a better performance! But there're two things in common: heartbroken rivals and a brilliant Wayne Rooney.
Date:Saturday April 25 2009
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