Diego Forlan celebrates the first of his two goals at a field back in December 2002.
Image taken from The Express.
Anyone who knows anything about football will tell you that 17 goals in 97 appearances isn’t exactly an impressive record for a striker. Manchester United fans also had to wait 8 months for Diego Forlan to score his first goal for the club, a penalty against Macabi Haifa in the UEFA Champions League.
Football fans labelled Forlan a flop and laughed at his spell at Old Trafford. He would jokingly be called Sally Gunnell and people laughed at his goal return in relation to his fee because he failed to show the potential that convinced United to pay £6.9 million to Uruguayan side, Independiente. But mock him as much as you want because even if he wasn’t a roaring success at Old Trafford, one thing Diego Forlan learnt in his time at the club was how to make the Scousers cry and it is a skill he mastered as he went from zero to hero on the 1st of December 2002 at Anfield. In terms of how he was to be remembered by United fans, his status was about to go through the roof.
On a bright sunny day at Anfield, Forlan’s reputation as a Manchester United player changed forever. Liverpool goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek made a huge blunder, letting the ball slip under his legs after a back header from Carragher, this allowed the Uruguayan striker to make the most of the error and score as the Anfield crowd watched in horror. Forlan’s day was to get even better two minutes later, Ryan Giggs put him in on goal, with a beautiful through pass and the Uruguayan scored again with a powerful near post finish past the once again helpless and quite frankly hopeless Dudek.
Unbeknown at the time, this match winning performance from the Uruguayan was to influence the title race that season. That win help cut Arsenal’s lead to just six points and United went on to be crowned Premier League champions on 3rd of May 2003 after beating Charlton Athletic 4-1 at home.
After that Liverpool game, arguably Diego Forlan’s best game in a United Shirt, the Old Trafford faithful created a chant for their cult hero to be in true Reds style. The song can still be heard now ringing out around any Manchester United versus Liverpool fixture. This is because United fans appreciate how the nature of that defeat at Anfield must still haunt Liverpool fans. For those who are not familiar with the chant, it goes like:
“Diego-woah ohh ohh,
Diego-whoah ohh ohh,
He came from Uruguay,
He made the Scousers cry.”
The chant is something that Forlan is very fond of and for all the difficulties he had as a United player, no matter where he is he says the chant gives him goosebumps when he hears it:
“I’ll be honest; I get goose bumps every time I hear it. I can be in Brazil or Uruguay, Japan or Spain watching a United game on television and hear it.”
Daily Star – 2015
It goes without saying that no matter how little impact any player in a United shirt has, scoring against your rivals, will earn you a mention in the history books, especially when it’s those down East Lancs Road.