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 Atmosphere report

Arsenal - Manchester United (1-0)
Premier League, 01 November 2000
Stadium : Highbury Stadium
Attendance : 38146

The official price of the ticket below is £25,90. Pretty cheap for a game like this. These seats (lower tier, behind one of the goals) are of the cheapest category though.

The back of the ticket shows us that we can enter the stadium at the left or the right of the North Bank Stand.

We arrived at the ground pretty early so we had time enough to take in the atmosphere, visit the club shops, etc.

When you leave "Arsenal" station (from the station it's only 10 meters to the entrance of the North Bank Stand) you're immediately in one of the main 'arsenal-streets'.

It's 3 hours before the start of the match and there are already a lot of people on the streets. The street is filled with stands were you can be old match programmes, shirts, and other fan-stuff.

Today's programmes and fanzines are sold on several places. Freddy Ljungberg is on the frontpage of today's programme because of his two goals against Lazio Roma earlier this week.

Besides the official programme there are some fanzines being sold, like "Highbury High" and "The Gooner".

We catch a first glimpse of the stadium (West Stand) when we're just out of the underground. We're welcomed by a big sign at the entrance of the North bank Stand.

We walk along the back of the North Bank towards Avenelll Road.

This is the main 'arsenal-street' because of the famous East Stand. We can already see the players' shirts behind the windows below the big letters EAST STAND.

The main entrance is really impressive. The entrance with the big doors, the old Arsenal crest and the gunners logo is probably the most beautiful part of the stadium.

We pass the official fanshop when we walk a little bit further down the road. The shop is extremely crowded so it's better to go back there another time. We can also see a little piece of the Clock End Stand from here.

One of the sideways of Avenell Road is Conewood Street. From there you can see how close the East Stand is to thehouses. The picture below shows the view from Elwood Street.

At the other end of conewood and elwood street you find lots of pubs, an arsenal supermarket, an arsenal fish bar etc.

It's an hour and a half before the game, and we're back at the East Stand at Avenell Road.

There are a lot of people waiting at the main entrance. The players will be there any moment so it gets more crowded every minute. The Bobby's try to keep the people of the road but that's alomost impossible.

The bus with the players arrives about 75 minutes before kick-off. It seems to be the Arsenal bus and a few minutes later the arsenal players jump out of the bus.

Dennis Bergkamp is one of the first to enter the stadium.

Not that we expected anything special, but the bus looked a little bit cheap ... maybe the club is saving some money for ...

It was about an hour before the game when we decided to go into the stadium. We had tickets for the biggest stand of the ground, the famous North Bank.

We take the entrance at Avenell Road. There's a band playing inside the stand and there are some shops like the North Bank fanshop.

Most people enter the stadium 10-15 minutes before kick-off. We can't wait to see the stadium from inside and go in early to shoot some pics and enjoy the view.

The seats are fantastic! We're on row 7, just next to one of the posts of the goal. We're so close to the pitch... unbelievable.

It's almost kick-off time and you can feel the tension. Of course Highbury is sold out again and every seat is taken by now.

The people get a little bit more quiet the last few seconds before kick-off. You can feel the tension, everybody is ready!

As soon as the ball is in play the crowd goes wild. It's now up to the team ...

The most lousy passes are being awarded with a "Come'on Arsenal!". In the 90 minutes of the game I couldn't catch anyone on a negative quote.

The Manchester United supporters are located in one of the corners of the Clock End Stand. We don't hear their chants because we're on the opposite side of the stadium. The only thing we here from them once in a while is "United!, United!, United!". Every 'united!' is followed by a 'shit!' by all Arsenal fans.

The arsenal fans at the Clock End Stand start most of the chants. the rest of the stadium jumps in with the songs immediately.
Everybody is chanting ... really everybody ... all people on our stand stood up immediately after starting the "Stand up if you hate Man U" chant.

The chants are really loud, the whole 90 minutes. Especially "We love you Arsenal, we do!" , "Thierry Henry, thierry henry ..." , "Arsenal, Arsenal ... ARSENAL!" , and "there's only one keown" are favourites.

The atmosphere inside the stadium is great. The players are working harder than ever. I've never seen a game with such a pace. The ball is already on the other end of the pitch everytime I blink my eyes.

In the meanwhile we're hooping for some more corner kicks on our side of the pitch.

These are the moments that all players are in the box in front of us. It's really amazing how close we are to the action.

Manchester started the match as being the favorite, but they don't show that on the pitch. We're waiting for the first goal ...

The 30th minute brings us a great moment. Henry scores an unbelievable goal about 18 meters from the goal, 1-0, the place goes mad.
De game goes on on the same entertaining way until the ref blows for half-time. The highlights of the first half are shown on two big video screens.

Manchester United tries to dominate the second half, but Arsenal is most times more dangerous on the counter attack. The last 10 minutes are thrilling. There's less chanting and more shouting now. A victory will bring Arsenal back on top of the league together with manchester United.
The referee is then next hot issue when he decides that 4 minutes of extra-time have to be played. The Arsenal supporters let him know that they don't agree with that. Finally, the ref blows the final whistle when the score is still 1-0.

The Arsenal players thank the crowd, while the Manchester players are devestated lying on the ground.
Henry is the man of the Match with his amazing game winning goal. While we're leaving the stadium I hear people talking about "the goal of the season" already.

We're outside the stadium again fifteen minutes after the game. We left on the right side of the North Bank, close to the underground. Unfortunately it's already pretty crowded and we have to start at the back of the line ... the row starts a few hundred meters back towards Avenell Road.

Nobody tries to skip the line. There are a lot of Bobby's to get everybody into the tube as quickly as possible. It's all very disciplined and we're in the tube earlier than expected.
We're on the other side of the city at 19:30 (we left Highbury at 18:00) to catch our plane home.

Report added : 11 January 2004
Report by : Jordy
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