Manchester City fan reporter Emily Laycock tells us all about her preparations for the trip to watch her side in the Champions League semi-finals
I’m going to be experiencing the electric atmosphere of a European football night all over again on 17 May: I will be in the stands to watch Manchester City take on Real Madrid in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final. The excitement is real as I frantically plan for the journey to Manchester, in what I hope will be another successful night under the floodlights to add to the history books.
Telling my dad that we’re going to a Champions League semi-final was an incredibly special moment. He was the one who ignited my love for football and now we are creating the most incredible memories as we attend matches of this stature together. I am certain that this will be another one of those games where our heart rates rise and fall continuously.
We will head to Manchester during the afternoon on matchday, hoping to get some food in the city before arriving at the stadium about 90 minutes prior to kick-off to catch the players’ arrival. It’s always phenomenal to be outside the stadium as the coach arrives, with fans gathering in numbers to spur them on as blue smoke fills the air.
I’m anticipating rainy weather, as it’s always the case in Manchester, but that will not dampen my mood on a Champions League evening – and I will dress accordingly. I will sport my City scarf because it’s routine now, and the superstitious side of me believes it brings the team luck: they are yet to lose a game when I wear it. I’ll also wear my sky-blue City hoodie and a new addition to my collection: the blue, waterproof pre-match jacket. So I am sure to be semi-dry as kick-off approaches – fingers crossed.
My phone will be fully charged so that I can capture the magic of the evening through photos and videos that will forever remind me of witnessing my team live, as they take on Los Merengues in a Champions League semi-final. And, of course, my pockets will be filled with change so that I can purchase a programme – another part of the matchday routine.
Now just to get through the first leg in Madrid… come on City!