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Heartbreak On The Pitch: Liverpool FC Falls to Manchester United In The FA Cup - A Fan's Emotional Take

Liverpool FC faced their historic rival Manchester United on Sunday in the quarterfinals of the FA Cup. The oldest sporting tournament in the world, one of the biggest and oldest rivalries in the world.

 

And then Liverpool lost, in the last minute of extra time. In the same fashion that they had won the Carabao Cup just weeks before. 120 minutes of back and forth, six goals across the board, and when it came down to it, Liverpool blinked.

 

Manchester United scored two goals in extra time to put them ahead and that was the end of that.

 

Out of the FA Cup, another quadruple chase lost to the winds.

 

It’s three days later and I’m still thinking about it. How much it sucks to lose to a rival, to have that rival snatch a trophy opportunity from you, to watch your team that has played excellently most of the season, play like shit - against that rival.

 

It hurts, a lot, to wake up at 6:30 AM Pacific Standard Time, make sure you are showered and deodorized, maybe a little make up, make yourself presentable for an 8:30 AM kick off. To drive however many miles to the place where you watch the match with other fans.

 

The lads, fresh off a 6-1 win during the week, strolling into Old Trafford like they had it in the bag already. The match starts and you see an overly confident away team, giving too much space to an opponent that is ready to spoil the party of the season. Rain on the farewell parade for Jürgen Klopp that the club is no doubt planning, with the FA Cup on the bus.

 

That’s what rivals do. They want to upset you, they want to ruin your day.

 

The truth of the matter is that Liverpool are having an exceptional season. They are currently joint top of the Premier League after only two losses all season. They have already won the Carabao Cup in the aforementioned last minute dramatic fashion. Despite a long list of long injuries, they have performed spectacularly. They have given a number of young players from the Academy system their senior debuts, and a couple of them have proven themselves well prepared for the rigors of the Premier League and playing at the highest level.

 

If anything, all of this makes the loss a little more acute.

 

That old word should’ve floats around like a big fly in the punch bowl.

 

Liverpool should’ve won. Liverpool should’ve finished their chances. They should’ve marked players like Marcus Rashford better. They should’ve expected the needle that the Devils of Manchester would bring.

 

And there we were. 11:30 AM on a Sunday morning, having been awake for five hours already, adrenaline and alcohol wearing off. Flabbergasted at what we had just witnessed.

 

The thing is, two feelings can exist at the same time. In fact, multiple emotions can exist at the same time. We can have disappointment and sadness at the loss, at watching our team fail. We can have anger that it didn’t go the way we had hoped, the way it should’ve. We can have understanding that sometimes sports just doesn’t go the way we want. We can have peace and joy and recognition that Liverpool are still an incredible team, having a season for the history books. Pride that they had gotten this far despite injuries and bad play.

 

All of these emotions can coexist, even as difficult as they are.

 

It was still a lovely day. We made the most of it. I got to spend some time with some friends, despite the result and mixed emotions, and ended the day with the Angel City FC home opener against new team and new rivals Bay FC. I brought my camera along to keep practicing, using it at the pub and at BMO Stadium.

 

(I got some great shots before extra time happened).



 

What it really comes down to is that there is always another game. There is an international break, currently, that has put a pause on the men’s season but there will be other games. Sure, we’re out of the FA Cup, but we now have one less trophy and a couple less matches to play in the season. We can focus on winning the League, and a European trophy. The first final that Jürgen got us to, and will likely be his last with Liverpool.

 

We play Manchester United again, next month. We visit that god forsaken stadium again, and this time it’ll be in the league.

 

We won’t get that opportunity back. Not until next season. Sunday has come and gone. We’re out of the tournament and this particular team, with that man in charge, will never be again. That’s the nature of sports, isn’t it? That matches are distilled into moments of such intensity, such memorable fierceness and emotion. That’s why we love it.

 

We love it for these complicated, mixed up emotions. For the pride and the heartache. For the community that comes together, even 5,000 miles away from Old Trafford or Anfield, so we can experience these things. Not alone. Never alone.

 

Do feel your feelings. Feel that anger, that disappointment, that sadness. Feel the pride and the joy of watching Liverpool at the top of their game, under a manager who will no doubt have a statue in front of the Kop in due time. That’s the only way we’re going to remember these moments, is by remembering how they made us feel, even if we are sad or mad about it.

 



 

It’s because we feel so deeply that we’re fans of this team, this club. They have always reflected that back to us, reciprocated in the best way they could. Sometimes it’s hugging fans during celebrations, sometimes its just fist pumps. They ask us to use it, by singing and making noise in the stadium, and building our communities outside of the city of Liverpool.

 

It’ll hurt for a minute. Maybe a few more days, or the length of the international break. Once the Reds come back out onto the pitch for the next one, though, we’ll be ready.

 

There’s still a league to win, after all.

 

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