Now you can feel the crowd.
Now the pitch has become even smaller.
The spectators are on top of you.
When you get to be a part of that fixture, for the first two or three seconds, you’re like…
Wait a minute. What is going on here?
But it is what it is. This is what you signed up for. You signed for Manchester United; there’s no place for panic or fear, just try to do what you can do best and play football.
After two minutes, I had the perfect start. I made a good assist for Carlos [Tevez], he finished and put us 1-0 up. When you make a start like that, you’re thinking:
We’re gonna have a good day today.
In the end, things didn’t work out the way we wanted. That day, a couple of mistakes on our part meant that we lost the game. Later in the season, when we played them again, we lost 4-1 at Old Trafford.
That was s***.
When you lose, not only against Liverpool, but against anyone, and concede four goals at Old Trafford, you have to wonder what happened. Fernando Torres was on fire for Liverpool at that time. His understanding with Gerrard was great for them, but it was a bad day for us. A very tough result to take.
But, it was all about the end battle. We won the war because we became champions. After results like that, you get yourself up and continue. There are difficult pills to swallow, but you take a conclusion from them and we reacted the best way by winning the title. By the end of my first season, it was 18-18. For me personally, this was what I had been working for my whole life. I had taken my own pathway to the top and United was my peak. Coming from a small country, climbing up the ladder to United, reaching that peak and becoming a champion, you know there and then that nobody can take that away. I earned that honour of playing for United and ending my first season as a champion. I earned that right to jump around my house with my medal like a kid, showing it to everyone.
My second season wasn’t such a happy ending and we lost the title to Chelsea. We also lost at Anfield again. For me, it was three meetings with Liverpool, three defeats since I became a United player.
Turns out, I was saving my goals up!