Following a much hyped probable negative reaction by Manchester United supporters against their Liverpool counterparts, over a tribute to the fallen 96 of Hillsborough, the media were left with nothing to report, as the Manchester United fan contingent behaved impeccably at Anfield.
In the first contest between the North-West giants since the vindication of Liverpool supporters for culpability in the Hillsborough disaster, the Manchester United section of the Anfield crowd offered respectful applause, and generally appeared to suggest that even though Manchester United and Liverpool may never actually become bedfellows, the pain was shared. What happened at Hillsborough could have happened to the fans of any club.
"It was all a bit of a let down really," a reporter for a prominent UK redtop confided. "I thought the United lot would give it leather, and have a right go. I'd been looking forward to it all week, so I'd have another bunch of football fans to castigate. It sort of deflects the blame away from my boss. Who I can't name, in case Rupert reads this. That mob aren't the Manchester United mob of old. Back in the day, that lot would have kicked the crutches out from under a cripple. I don't know what's wrong with them these days. They don't even go on looting sprees any more."
"Yah. It was a tad disappointing," a reporter named Rupert, who writes for a newspaper with a notoriously difficult crossword, whose proprietor is also apparently named Rupert, but who can't be named here for legal reasons, added. "It was rather like watching a rugger crowd at Twickers for the most part. Rather disappointing really."
"Is this for real?" a Manchester United fan asked. "Do they think we're all mugs or what?"
United won the game 2-1 with goals from Carrick and Van Persie.
As far as is known, everybody made it home from the game alive.
To the disappointment of the tabloid press.
More as we get it.