My take on the memorial staged at Anfield put under intense scutiny by the media. Be under no illusions.
Football is a tribal game, and Liverpool versus Manchester United is a North West derby conveying pride and passion spanning back decades. Even so, it takes common decency to lay divide to rest for a day falling on circumstances conflicting emotions charged. An otherwise compassionate sporting environment was painfully agitated.
The Merseyside club is forever stuck with a romantic love affair with history that was never going to be expressed poetically by all fans before kick-off. A mere respectable homage would be paid without that mere unruly 10 percentage of the capacity crowd to disrupt swimming events.
Liverpool were subjected to inhumane chants brashly blaming them of being over-deprecating by playing the victim. Allegedly, Manchester United's bellowing away support rang "victims" around Anfield.
The Kop end signalled a message before kick-off in support of the City's plea for hard facts, labelled as 'the truth' they are yearning so relentlessly for. Despite whole-hearted backing of the campaign, upheaval at Anfield before United were set to face an emotional home side, their bid was sent into disarray.
The 'fans' mourned 96 losses of loved ones and friends back in 1988. Each 'fan' held up a card which, altogether, read, pictuesque from up in the terraces opposite: "justice"; A lovely touch from said fans to fitting proceedings, following years of what what hurtfully felt as injustice. The word 'fan' warrants inverted commas because the tragedy is not a matter of supporting clubs. Paid respects to before a clash of the titans was a human disaster. Hillsbrough.
Wether the crest on one's shirt belongs to Liverpool or Manchester United, the club supported must be left aside when a planned touching tribute is made. Whether you sing "You'll Never Walk Alone" or "Glory Glory Man United" should surely be irrelevant when a time for sincere thoughts comes to the fore.
Unfortunately, the Manchester United faithful were in-keeping with the whole pantomine scene adopted at most football stadiums. Amid controversy always seems to loom hysteria. For example, the handshake saga between Patrice Evra and luis Suarez in the same fixture at Old Trafford last season was provoked by the heat of the moment. Behind closed doors and away from the adrenaline-boosting atmosphere presentin the confides of the Stadium, Evra and Suarez would be expected to shake hands.
There was an apparent proverbial separation between the two sets of supporters, as United fans disregarded heart-felt sentiments by sounding their own chants, including attacking Liverpool's during the breif ceremony. Consequently, it makes you wonder: do Manchester United as a club care about deaths of anyone associated with their rivals? This sad state of affairs simply can not be condoned. Although it was the view suggested on Sunday, I know it seems absurd and far from the actual truth.
In fairness to the travelling support, what conceived efectively as ironic as a disgraced Tony Pulis berating a bad tackle incurred by a Stoke player was that Liverpool fans time and time again remark infamous raps insensitively aimed at United and the Munich Air Disaster of 1958. They cry vulgar, satirical lyrics which bare comparison with United's spiteful renditions, though slightly contrasting in current context.
Another sickening blow on the watch of the match from both a neutral and a Liverpool prospective was the sending off of Jonjo Shelvey for a disgracefully two-footed, high tackle 15 minutes off of half time. The 20 year old flew into the clattering challenge niavely, like a truent high school student at dinnertime. It overshadowed a courageous performance by Liverpool, which had initially penetrated the visitors' porous midfield to dominant measures.
Skipper Steven Gerrard had something to show for his outfit's superiority. He pulled the heart strings of generations of Red Liverpudlians. In spite of being reduced to ten men minutes previously, he took his volley sublimely well to allow reason enough for them to have a sing and dance about in the stadium.
The celebrations were short-lived. Brendan Rodgers men suufered with one midfield acquisition down. A linchpin reinforcement in the shape of Suso sacrificed forward, Borini, at half time, was unable to fill the gaps left by Shelvey. Becoming an eventual weakness, the game was ruined by a moment of crazy nastiness, resulting in a loss of potency in the middle, from the home side. Tactically, United did what was expected of them. Aas the defensive midfield dismissal hindered Liverpool's stability, Carrick and Giggs had time and space to help provide the assistance necessary for Van Persie, Kagawa, Nani and Valencia- a formidable four with possession- to overpower their way through the Red defence. United achieved a 2-1 revival in the second half.
Talk about holding grudges. The end result didn't affect the views reached of the away end that day. It beggars beleif just why Liverpool opted a day of remembrance of such magnitide on derby day. It wasn't to be, yet if only it was another day.
It wasn't to be. On the matter of keeping all men on the field of play, who can deny that Liverpool's painstakingly obvious winning spirit could have continued. Who knows? From a Liverpool viewpoint, they would feel they could have gone on to gain three valuable points. 'If' is famousy quoted as being the the biggest word in football.