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It was a dream return for Manchester United fans in the first game of the 2020/21 Premier League season.
Five goals, Bruno Fernandes’ first hat-trick for the club, four assists for Paul Pogba, a Jadon Sancho debut and the eagerly anticipated unveiling of defender Raphael Varane — all of which was met with sheer delight from the Old Trafford faithful.
In the 2020/21 season it is safe to say United’s home record let them down in their pursuit of sustaining a strong title challenge, with losses to the likes of Crystal Palace, relegated side Sheffield United and not to mention the 6-1 thrashing at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur.
Old Trafford, once considered a fortress, became a ground where teams believed they could come away with a positive result.
However, now fans are back at full capacity and if United can maintain their sensational unbeaten away record, which stretches back to January 2020, this could finally be the season United sustain a strong campaign in all competitions.
The importance of the fans’ presence was emphasised dramatically through United’s rivals Liverpool, as their unbeaten home run of 68 games came to an end, as well as Sheffield United, who went from finishing ninth in 2020, to getting relegated with just 23 points.
Fans are not only the voice of football, but can also play an instrumental role in their teams’ success.
United’s first match against bitter rivals Leeds had the home fans experiencing euphoria after dismantling the Yorkshire side, which was not only a brilliant experience for over 70,000 fans who attended the game, but also for the United players who have waited 18 months to play in front of a full house at home.
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – AUGUST 14: Mason Greenwood of Manchester United celebrates scoring their second goal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Leeds United at Old Trafford on August 14, 2021 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images) United have been criticised in the past under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for struggling to start well at home and only finding their feet once they go a goal down, but with fans back in full force this could be the not-so secret ingredient the Reds have needed to propel them into sustaining success in regards to obtaining silverware this season.
You may notice this piece of writing has been produced by a name you’re not familiar with on our regular Manchester United content.
That is because we are expanding our horizons and starting to bring even more to you from a whole host of different voices. We have appointed a whole host of people who – like our journalists – care deeply about what’s happening at Old Trafford – but sit in the stands rather than the press box.
We want to give you raw, authentic fan voices about the big issues at Man United – which is why the story you have read today might sit on the Manchester Evening News for now, and is part of the MEN family, but is not representative of those who work there full time.
Keep your eyes peeled for more info on where you can read more from this author in the future. But in the meantime, we hope you enjoy what they have written.
Old Trafford, for all its flaws, still boasts the biggest capacity in the Premier League.
Combine this with the exciting project that is unfolding at United, this could finally be the season Solskjaer secures silverware, which (if it happens) would prompt a party atmosphere at Old Trafford.
It’s a cliché, but the United supporters can truly be their side’s 12th man this season.
Do you think fans returning to Old Trafford can help United secure silverware this season? Follow our new United Fan Brands Writer Anil Kandola on Twitter to get involved in the discussion and give us your thoughts in the comments section below.