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HEAVY weekend, mates. It was my birthday, in my defence. Saturday was the madness of Bongo’s Bingo and Kevin Walsh buying so many Jagerbombs my wife spent all of Sunday having heart palpitations. I wasn’t in a particularly great way on Sunday either, to be honest.

Luckily, there are times when someone literally stumbles into your life who is so much worse and makes you suddenly feel terrific. Step forward Ste Browne, one of the Bray 500, who was over for a stag do. I met him on the train from Lime Street to Manchester. He had no voice, bruises down his body and the look of a man who was fully defeated by life. Pass a lager there, boys. I’m going to get drunk and laugh at Ste.

Also on the train are Dan Austin, Andy Heaton and Ronan. Manchester City is a nice away. Dead handy for the centre and none of the aggro that comes with their neighbours. Don’t get me wrong I’ve got a bit of time for all that too, but it is nice to be able to head over to Manchester early, have a few pints and not have to worry about getting battered for calling Matt Busby a prick.

Early for us was about 12.30, a good four hours before kick-off. This wasn’t early enough for Craig Hannan though, who, by the state of him when we got there, I assume set off on Thursday. He was elsewhere watching the early kick-off, but soon comes and joins us with his mates. He has since claimed he wasn’t that drunk. I’ll let you be the judge of that.

We watch Manchester United win and Spurs look like they are going to win and then make a move. It’s a very short taxi to The Etihad. You can probably walk it but it’s raining and we are lazy men. We get there and Craig stumbles around and we try and figure out which way we are going and then bump into Flanno and get a picture ’cause he’s an absolute scouser.

I meet Josh from the office and Johnny Milburn from his own office with tickets and we go in. I see Phil Blundell’s mates and we all skit Phil for a bit. Josh Langley is there with his dad, who seems well sounder than Josh himself. They sell pints of Heineken at Man City. It’s a wonder we go in. But big game and all that.

My, my the game is fast. Liverpool are doing well but every now and again it all clicks for City and we’re hanging on for our lives. We’re defending well, though, and Emre Can is having a belter. You fancy our defensive players were relishing having a more defined job, no matter how hard it was at times. Just defend for your lives, lads.

Half-time. We all take our breath and wonder how it’s 0-0. We try and say what we’d do, but the tactical analysis doesn’t stretch much further than finding a way to kick it in their goal. Luckily Gael Clichy barges into Roberto Firmino and we get a great chance to do just that. James Milner, la. Prods on pens.

We look the better team after that, I think. It’s all a mad blur. Bobby should score. Then they equalise from one that looks that simple you wonder why they didn’t just that ages ago. Then there is the mad bit of being a football fan when you wrestle between wanting time for a winner and wanting the referee to blow up straight away, while the actual football carries on in front of you regardless. Loads more chances, loads more shouts, but somehow no more goals.

We walk out talking about a great game that only great teams can play in. Which is a real positive for Liverpool moving forward. Me and Ronan bunk the tram back to town and try and get each other out for a pint in different places. He gets off at Piccadilly to head back to Liverpool and I go to Bridgewater Hall to watch Elvis Costello. Which as ends to weekends go, is a pretty decent one.

Up the Oliver’s/Kloppo’s army Reds.

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