For much of last night’s FA Cup clash, Manchester United’s stars believed they played for the League One side. Back of the Net reports...
Manchester United came through their FA Cup fifth round tie with Preston, but several players have spoken of the terrible scare they received at Deepdale when it became hard to tell which was the Premier League side.
Louis van Gaal’s men struggled to stamp their authority, and before Ander Herrera’s equaliser, United’s players were visibly quaking in terror as they reassessed the foundations of their world view.
In post-match interviews, United players, still trembling, revealed that they had become convinced they were in fact the League One side and were resigning themselves to a home clash with Scunthorpe this weekend.
“It was like an out-of-body experience, I truly felt that I was a Preston player,” Daley Blind told FourFourTwo.
“I had this vision of a career of honest endeavour, hoofed clearances, lacklustre half-time entertainment and draws with Bristol City.
“I saw myself telling people I lived in Manchester but then, under pressure, having to explain where I really lived using Blackpool and Blackburn as reference points. It was more terrible than anything I could ever imagine.”
However, once Herrera found the net, United appeared to regain their senses, culminating in Wayne Rooney demonstrating true Premier League class by diving for a superfluous penalty.
“I felt my heart rate drop; suddenly it became clear to me that we were the Premier League players and they were the poor souls doomed to dwell in League One and possibly the Championship for eternity. Or at least until they’re 35,” Blind explained.
“There was a muted atmosphere on the coach. I think all of us were still contemplating the fickle nature of the fates and the fine line between glory and damnation. Except for Rooney, who was more interested in whether or not someone had farted.
“I feel like the whole experience has been a real wake-up call. When I went home I only cracked open a magnum of Dom Perignon instead of a Jeroboam, and drank it in a jacuzzi full of regular models instead of supermodels.”