Manchester United set to remember what they’ve been missing for 16 years – Tyrone Marshall

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The contrast between United’s 15th Premier League game at Old Trafford this season and their 16th could not have been much sharper.There were 109 days between the thrilling derby victory over Manchester City and the equally impressive 3-0 win over Sheffield United, played silently behind closed doors.

United have probably played better against the Blades than by beating Pep Guardiola’s side for the third time this season, but the feeling inside Old Trafford couldn’t have been much different. While this latest victory almost looked like a workout, the spark in the air of March 8, 2020 seemed to fuel Greater Manchester for a week.

The electric atmosphere this afternoon, especially after Scott McTominay’s goal sealed the win in the stoppage time, was a reminder of how enjoyable it can be to be in the crowd on these special days when everything unfolds. . Even if Old Trafford had been full against Sheffield United, 75,000 people would have relished the entertainment, but it wouldn’t have been as intense as in the pouring rain in March when City were beaten.

Watching football from the armchair has reminded almost every football fan how much he misses inside the stadium and it’s days like this win over City that are missed the most.

The absence of crowds in the stadiums makes us dream for these days. Derby games, classic rivalries, title contenders and six relegation points just aren’t the same without the crackling of the stands.

Every championship game at Old Trafford is part of this season’s story arc, but when the games go out, there are always some that are searched for first. When to visit the city? When is Liverpool home? Next season, Leeds will be added to this list. After 16 comedic years away from the top flight, Leeds United are finally on their way home.

The promotion was confirmed when West Brom last saw Huddersfield last night and while it was certainly fun to watch some of the comedy released from Elland Road over the past decade and a half, their return in Premier League should be praised.

For some United fans, the thought of Leeds returning, in the same season Liverpool ended their 30-year wait for a league title, will be hard to digest. This battle across the Pennines has always been one of the most tribal rivalries on the terraces.

Yet, as fans, these are also the games we live for, no matter what your support. Playing Leeds at Old Trafford will certainly be more of an opportunity than playing Bournemouth at Old Trafford, with all due respect to the Cherries.

From Eric Cantona, Rio Ferdinand and Alan Smith, to Roy Keane and Alf-Inge Haaland, Sir Matt Busy and Don Revie, it’s a montage full of stories and history.

Since the relegation of Leeds in 2004, there have been two meetings between the two parties – not counting the pre-season friendly match in Perth a year ago – the victory of the FA Cup from Leeds at Old Trafford in January 2010 and United’s 3-0 victory at Elland Road in the League Cup a year later.

Prior to this FA Cup meeting, Sir Alex Ferguson shared his memories of a game that was also a caustic occasion during his time at Old Trafford.

“Over the years they have always been fantastic and fiery whenever we have met,” he said. “Before, we had very good games in Leeds because the atmosphere was always electric and our results were pretty good there.

“There was always a tinge of hostility. I’ve always said to the players, make sure you behave properly on the pitch because we don’t need to add to the issues off the pitch, the way hostility always seemed to hover around the pitch. Game. ”

These are the matches that fans remember at the end of the season and look for at the start of next season. Watching Leeds find new ways to miss the promotion has been fun, but deep down we should all admit it’s going to be good to get them back.

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