Man Utd v Chelsea: The Battle of the Bulldog

Oct 26th 2014

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The first Manchester United fans started arriving at the British Bulldog around 8am on Sunday morning. By 8:30am the fans, most of them belonging to the Colorado Red Devils supporters group had completed their preparations for the game, with the front half the bar now festooned with balloons, streamers & giant United flags on the walls. A 10am kick-off (due to the UK changing its clocks this weekend, it is currently only 6 hours ahead of Colorado) allowed the red, white & black faithful to drink coffee out of United coffee mugs placed on United knapkins as they waited for this huge Premier League clash against Chelsea.

By 9am significant numbers of fans were arriving & the Chelsea fans belonging to the Rocky Mountain Blues supporters group took up their regular spot at the back of the bar in the 'Shed End', named after the staunch home end at Stamford Bridge. Coffee had given away to prematch pints & many supporters took advantage of the rapidly dissappearing seats to order up the Bulldog's famous English breakfast so that they could complete their meals by gametime.

As both sets of supporters started to sing, the match kicked off with around 200 people packed into the bar.


Manchester United fans at the front of the Bulldog, with Chelsea fans at the back.

The first half was short on goals but the two sets of fans made up for that by trading songs & general insults for long periods. United fans mocked Chelsea's perceived lack of history as their successful periods began much later in the twentieth century. Chelsea fans hit back, taunting United about their 7th place finish last season. 'The Bulldog is blue, the Bulldog is blue, just like Manchester, the Bulldog is blue' stood out as a particularly well aimed barb, which referred to both the Rocky Mountain Blues' base at the Bulldog & the fact that central Manchester is generally accepted to be a Manchester City stronghold. Half time arrived with the score still at 0-0 & a large proportion of the fans streamed out of the bar for a breath of fresh air. On their way out, they were handed a free glass of Strongbow by two of the company's marketing girls.


A half time Colorado Red Devils family photo.


The Strongbow girls.

After what seemed a pretty frantic half time, charactarized by music from The Jam & Stone Roses being played at full volume, the fans got back into their 'ends' & the second half began. 8 minutes later Didier Drogba headed in a Chelsea corner which sent the 'Shed End' wild.


Chelsea fans in an upbeat mood after taking the lead.

The next half hour was not a happy one for the United fans as Chelsea controlled the game & were equal to everything United could muster.


A United fan watches intently.

The 90 minute mark passed & referee Phil Dowd decided to put on 5 minutes of injury time. In the 93rd minute, Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic was duly sent off for a 2nd bookable offense. The resulting free kick led to a goalmouth scramble which ended with Robin van Persie netting United's equalizer. The red half of the Bulldog erupted in celebration while the Chlesea end fell silent.


United fans celebrate their last minute equalizer.


A United fan taunts the Chelsea end.

Shortly after, the final whistle blew. After a few more chants & taunts, the supporters from both sides shook hands with each other & began to leave the Bulldog. It is fair to say that just like the game, the efforts of both supporters groups resulted in a draw (neither group will admit this! - Ed). However there were two clear winners which were the Denver soccer community & the British Bulldog, who both combined to make this the best atmosphere for many miles around. If you like your soccer loud & passionate, this was most definitely the place to be.

More pictures from the game can be found in our Facebook Album.
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