SE has­n’t had a weath­er fore­cast for a long time. Denis Kazan­sky cor­rect­ed this in his author’s col­umn “Big Den”. A mete­o­ro­log­i­cal look at Man­ches­ter Unit­ed’s cup vic­to­ry over Liv­er­pool (4:3 d.v.).

Big Den

Eng­land. Cup. 1/4 finals

March 17, 18:30. Old Traf­ford (Man­ches­ter)

Man­ches­ter Unit­ed



“Man­ches­ter is get­ting wet in the rain,
And Liv­er­pool is lost
Today in the fog.
And love is also lost some­where…

These words are unlike­ly to seem famil­iar to you.

They have a lot of lyrics and weath­er. And the last thing is key.

If any­one who has caught even a lit­tle bit of Sovi­et tele­vi­sion turns on the melody to which these words were set, then every­thing will fall into place.
“Weath­er fore­cast”.

To the song of the French­woman Marie Laforet, the whole coun­try found out whether the Cen­tral Black Earth Region was wait­ing for the sun, what a plus it was in the Geor­gian SSR and how much pre­cip­i­ta­tion there was in Leningrad.
All this is in the “Time” pro­gram.

“Man­ches­ter and Liv­er­pool” was already a cul­tur­al code that con­nect­ed every­one, no mat­ter whether you liked foot­ball or not.

Fan­tas­tic in Man­ches­ter: Klopp lost 3:4 to ten Hag in the 120+1st minute. An unlike­ly hero scored the win­ning goal

Now there is no need for such a melody, and there are entire chan­nels for fore­cast­ing.

But Man­ches­ter and Liv­er­pool remains the most impor­tant phe­nom­e­non.

Now it is only foot­ball civ­i­liza­tion.

These two teams have not played the FA Cup at Old Traf­ford for a long time — since 2011. Anoth­er life: Sir Alex still con­trols the process, and at Liv­er­pool the new Amer­i­can own­ers brought in Ken­ny Dalglish.

We all know what will hap­pen in the next decade.

Jur­gen Klopp comes into the FA Cup quar­ter-finals as big favorites and is chas­ing four tro­phies of the sea­son. The fate of Erik ten Hag part­ly depends on the out­come of this game.

Jur­gen Klopp and Erik ten Hag.
Pho­to by Reuters

Klop­p’s already sold-out tour of Eng­land now has a cult fol­low­ing. A bril­liant per­for­mance against City (1:1), the title race, a march through the Europa League with a dizzy­ing num­ber of goals, con­fi­dence in the lega­cy — Liv­er­pool 2024 is lux­u­ri­ous.

Every week in Man­ches­ter they are look­ing for a new head coach for the club. The fans have an under­stand­able split — even those who believed in ten Hag’s project are already begin­ning to doubt it. The results are dull, the game is torn. The Euro­pean Cup draw is a small branch of hell: there are so many Eng­lish­men there, but at this cel­e­bra­tion of life the “dev­ils” are irrel­e­vant.

The FA Cup is the last chance for some con­so­la­tion.

“It’s a draw.” Guardi­o­la, Klopp. Can­vas, oil. March, 2024. Pic­turesque col­umn of Kazan­sky

With the des­per­a­tion of the last oppor­tu­ni­ty it all begins. Unit­ed are play­ing their best 35 min­utes of the sea­son, over­look­ing one of the most tal­ent­ed and dan­ger­ous teams in Europe. Sev­en shots on tar­get in the first half — Man­ches­ter scored bet­ter fig­ures only twice — against the unsight­ly Nor­wich and Bur­ton a few years ago.

Liv­er­pool returns to the game using their own meth­ods, wait­ing and forc­ing mis­takes, scor­ing a cou­ple at the end of the half and tak­ing con­trol of the match. Every­thing goes to the usu­al quar­ter-finals, in which a cool oppo­nent defeats a chaot­ic one.

Noth­ing fore­shad­ows one of the most dra­mat­ic match­es that cup foot­ball has seen at this sta­di­um.

Liv­er­pool are prag­mat­ic in the sec­ond half but don’t let the game go to sleep. Liv­er­pool know their strength and don’t blame the num­ber of missed chances as a prob­lem. We’ll score more if nec­es­sary. The right of the strong.

Antho­ny and Amad Dial­lo cel­e­brate a goal against Liv­er­pool.
Pho­to by Reuters

Unit­ed are in their usu­al ele­ment — try­ing to jump into a coun­ter­at­tack, latch­ing on to the ball in the cen­ter and look­ing for inspi­ra­tion. He doesn’t give up, as he did recent­ly at a near­by sta­di­um (1:3 in the game with City) and for this he gets that very chance. Three min­utes left.

A chance as it should be — Man­ches­ter’s most crit­i­cized play­er, ten Hag’s pro­tégé (which makes them both suf­fer even more), left-foot­ed Antho­ny scores with his right foot. This does not fit into the log­ic of the game, but this is the absolute nature of the log­ic of foot­ball.

And then… Now we under­stand how much dra­ma the world would not have seen if Rash­ford had rolled the ball from a sit­u­a­tion in which he usu­al­ly hits the goal. And then, at 90 with added, it seemed like a missed oppor­tu­ni­ty for the whole sea­son. For him and the team.

Because Liv­er­pool only cre­ates the appear­ance of a hos­pitable game. Liv­er­pool aren’t let­ting any­one off the hook. Just ask Chelsea. And Elliot­t’s goal in extra time is proof. Liv­er­pool haven’t won the FA Cup at Old Traf­ford since… 1921. When… what, when? 103 years ago! A cen­tu­ry has passed. And then wait 15 min­utes. Well, or else score.

Has his­to­ry been rewrit­ten? Liv­er­pool have not lost in 46 match­es and are lead­ing. What could go wrong?

Only foot­ball. That’s why we love him.

Ten Hag is crit­i­cized (and right­ly so) for his lack of courage at the deci­sive moment. The game against Liv­er­pool, or rather the sec­ond half of stop­page time, was the high­light of his time at Unit­ed. I have doubts that if the Dutch­man had lost this match, he would have been fired in the sum­mer. But the chances of sav­ing a place would def­i­nite­ly be great­ly reduced. He under­stood this. The play­ers under­stood this, 74 thou­sand in the sta­di­um and mil­lions in front of the screens.

“Man­ches­ter” for the deci­sive min­utes of the sea­son and, per­haps, in ten Hag’s career comes out with two defend­ers and the most orig­i­nal line of defense, which only a brain hope­less­ly “exhaust­ed by Narzan” could imag­ine: Antho­ny — Bruno — Maguire — Dalot… This is even not a risk. This is sui­cide against Liv­er­pool. Unit­ed fly for­ward with­out think­ing about defend­ing.

Goal by Mar­cus Rash­ford.
Pho­to by Reuters

Rash­ford is not Akela. He hit it.

And the cor­ner at Onana’s goal in the very last minute brought back mem­o­ries of 2018 and the dis­as­trous deci­sion of the Japan­ese nation­al team in the match with Bel­gium.

Gar­na­cho (where did so much strength and speed come from in the 120th minute?) and Dial­lo ran away like a hock­ey two-on-one, and fate chose the best geo­met­ric angle for the ball to hit the post for Unit­ed. She chose the hero for this blow. Dial­lo could well go on anoth­er loan this win­ter. He believed in ten Hag’s plans for him and scored the most impor­tant goal, per­haps, in both of their careers.

His ges­ture with the T‑shirt and being sent off for the sec­ond yel­low card is just… the way a rock star throws the micro­phone after the main hit or in a stand-up com­e­dy after the main punch of the evening. Dial­lo can end his career and leave at the peak (although, it seems, every­thing is just begin­ning). What could be bet­ter than a goal in the final minute of stop­page time in the FA Cup against your biggest rivals?

Old Pep and the Lit­tle Prince. Col­umn Kazan­sky with a Man­ches­ter accent

This goal is in the col­lec­tion of deci­sions of the last min­utes of the era called “Fer­gie Time”.

And at the very top of the hit parade.

Liv­er­pool will come here very soon. April 7. For three points. Their price may be much more impor­tant than qual­i­fy­ing for the semi-finals at Wem­b­ley.

The Reds are in the cham­pi­onship race, and they will bring their revenge cold, like a minus in Oymyakon. 9 match­es in 29 days — this is what Liv­er­pool’s sched­ule looks like recent­ly, and their antic­i­pa­tion of the inter­na­tion­al break is under­stand­able. Is this an excuse for defeat? Part­ly.

Kob­by Meinu, Ale­jan­dro Gar­na­cho and Erik ten Hag.
Pho­to by Reuters

Is this inter­est­ing for Unit­ed? No. He is inter­est­ed in Wem­b­ley and the semi-final against Coven­try.

“Man­ches­ter”, with its risk, arro­gance and foot­ball, defeat­ed a team that now plays more sta­ble and classy, ​​one of the best in Europe. By xG and by goals.

He beat his most impor­tant oppo­nent, the his­tor­i­cal one, in attack.

Which was sung about in the “Time” pro­gram.