I am a twenty-something woman from Australia with an undying love for the sport of football. I’ve enjoyed watching Liverpool play since I was a little girl, because they always put so much heart into every game and because the fans are so enjoyable to watch. When my cousin in London needed some help moving over the weekend of 16th-17th April, I thought, “why not?” I saw online that Liverpool was playing Arsenal and decided to go to the game. I’d never been to a live Liverpool match and was super excited. I booked my flight, found a cheap rental car using the global car rental comparison website I work for, and before I knew it I was in London. The days flew by quickly as I helped my cousin and made friends with other Liverpool fans at bars.
The day of the match, I’d made enough friends that we were a big swath of Liverpudlians in the stands. The game opened with a whole lot of excitement in the crowds, as Arsenal needed a win to have a shot at the title, while Liverpool, a long-standing favorite, was currently having a rough patch and was mostly playing for pride. Liverpool fans will always be my favorites, but Arsenal had its share of vocal supporters too, and friendly arguments seemed to be happening all across the stands. My heart rode a roller coaster as Arsenal seemed to keep taking shot after shot on goal, but Pepe Reina and the Liverpool fullbacks stopped them all. Didn’t get to see much action from Kuyt either (he’s my fav), and we were getting listless. Drinking a lot.
Second half saw Liverpool step up its game, with Suarez and Kuyt taking the offensive. It was so much fun being in that sea of fans. I won’t lie – my eyes teared up a bit when we all started singing “You Will Never Walk Alone.” At every injury (and there were several, including calls that led to losing two of our star players), the emotion was palpable. But we held the line…we held the line! We put down our beers and sat at the edge of our seats.
The game went into overtime, and those were the ten most exciting minutes of my life, bar none. Arsenal kept taking shot after shot, and we (by this time pretty well knackered) shouted, “Come on!” every time Liverpool seemed to be slacking. Arsenal scored on a penalty at about the eight minute mark and the life seemed to drain out of our side. Then came the second penalty kick, this time for Liverpool, and my favorite workhorse, Dirk Kuyt, took up the field. He’s my favorite because he’s so reliable, and when he stepped up to take the kick, I thought we might have a chance. I remember thinking, “no…maybe? Yes? Oh, come on, get it in!” We were all clenching our fists and screaming our lungs out so hard.
Then, afterwards, I remember nothing but a lot of cheering. We hugged, kissed, and acted like fools. It was incredible. You would have thought we’d won!
My impressions after the match, a haze of beer and cheer, were that Liverpool had a great future ahead of it. It’d been through some tough times, but the powerful hustle put forth by nearly everyone today made the game feel like a win. We don’t have a shot at any titles this year, but we’re on the upswing, and I think everyone felt good about it. As for myself, I was glad to be a part of the Liverpool phenomenon in person. I’ve been a fan through their heyday and through their hard times, and now to see Liverpool beginning to shine again, live on the field, was an experience I will never forget.
Marina Dukic is a huge football fan from Australia. She currently works as a marketing expert for Cheap Car Rental Company.