As I’ve said before, I’ve been a Liverpool fan for the majority of my life and it was incredibly special to be back at Anfield a few weeks back (Liverpool vs. Cardiff City – 21/12/2103). I’d been a year before to see us beat Southampton 1 -0 and with the form we were in, both Mark and I were hoping for a slew of goals.
We were up before dark for our 6.45 am train which got us into town just past nine. Trains here in England can get very expensive so it’s best to book your transport as soon as you have your tickets – I booked early and we paid 36 pounds return.
The first order of business upon arrival was breakfast and we enjoyed a fairly delicious fry-up at a local pub on the station’s doorstep, the same pub I’d had breakfast at the year before!. With our stomachs full and our first cold beer enjoyed, we made our way to the stadium on the local bus.
It’s always great to enjoy a few beers at the supporters’ pubs right outside the stadium before kick-off and though they may be rammed, I highly recomend visiting both The Albert and The Park for lots of chanting and an incredible atmosphere. We’d met a brother and sister over from Switzerland on the bus ride and they joined us for a few cold ones before insisting we relieve them of a huge box of Lindt cholcoates they’d brought over. They explained they mistakenely packed an extra box (one box was for the guy who always organises their tickets) and though we feined protest, we were delighted and tucked in immediately!
As is customary, You’ll Never Walk Along rang out around the stadium just before kick-off and it gives me goose-bumps remembering it as I write this. Although slightly dark, I hope this gives some feel of what this incredible tradition and the phenomenal atmosphere it generates:
Liverpool came out firing and the first half was some of the best football I’ve seen in ages. The pace of attack was unreal and every time we had the ball you felt we would score. A 3 – 0 scoreline definitely flattered Cardiff City as it could easily have been five or six. Suarez was once again in fine form and it was amazing to watch him off the ball. When watching on TV you’re ‘forced’ to watch what you’re shown but when live, you get to see movement off the ball.
We were very lucky that all this action hapended at our end and moreso, the team celebrated all goals in ‘our’ corner (we were one block and some eight rows back from the corner).
An expectant crowd was disappointed with our second half performance as we took our foot off the gas and Cardiff came back into the game. They were rewarded with a goal and that’s how it finished: 3 – 1.
Mark had never been to Anfield before so we circled the stadium and took in the famous Bill Shankly Gates, and the tragic Hillsborough memorial, on Anfield Road. The last time I visited Anfield we had taken the stadium tour but this wasn’t possible this time unfortunately so we made our way into town for a beers at a few of the city’s many pubs before our train back home.