Manchester, La La La

Last weekend saw me shoot two Barclays Premier League matches on the same day, starting at Old Trafford for the Saturday lunchtime kick-off between Manchester United and Crystal Palace, before heading across to Merseyside for Everton’s late match at home to Chelsea. Following the international break, fans were excited at the prospect of a return to the domestic scene, as new players were set to make their debuts, and teams were keen to establish their mark on the new season.

I had to make preparations for a full day’s football…usually, you get into a habit of arriving somewhere at a certain time, parking in your usual place, having so much time to do this and so much time to do that etc. However, when covering two games one after the other, there are numerous things to think about, and a number of eventualities need to be considered. The first is, primarily, getting from your first game to the second…Sat Nav is essential, because you’ll never know where there might be an accident or roadworks, and without warning, so it’s best to have a quick and easy way of finding an alternative route. Secondly, parking…you need to get away straight after the match, when 70,000 other people are trying to do the same thing. Where do you park to ensure minimal delay, and can you also get to where you usually park at the other end in time, where parking is at a premium anyway? And will you be able to sit where you want to sit for the match when others have arrived earlier? Then you have to consider laptop and camera battery power, caption differences, white balance changes, etc.

There are all sorts to consider, and occasionally it makes shooting either match to the best of your ability a bit of a hard task, as you tend to have the other game ticking away in the back of your mind.

As it happens, everything went according to plan, and, as a bonus, I was even relatively happy with my pictures!…

 

A general view of Old Trafford
A general view of Old Trafford

 

A pile of empty boxes of afro wigs after Man Utd fans buy them in support of new signing, Marouane Fellaini
A pile of empty boxes of afro wigs after Man Utd fans buy them in support of new signing, Marouane Fellaini

 

The iconic afro hairstyle of Marouane Fellaini of Man Utd
The iconic afro hairstyle of Marouane Fellaini of Man Utd

 

Wayne Rooney of Man Utd wears a padded headband to protect a cut on his forehead
Wayne Rooney of Man Utd wears a padded headband to protect a cut on his forehead

 

Luis Antonio Valencia of Man Utd battles with Mile Jedinak of Palace
Luis Antonio Valencia of Man Utd battles with Mile Jedinak of Palace

 

Robin van Persie scores Man Utd's 1st goal with a penalty
Robin van Persie scores Man Utd’s 1st goal with a penalty

 

Wayne Rooney scores Man Utd's 2nd goal with a free kick
Wayne Rooney scores Man Utd’s 2nd goal with a free kick

 

Samuel Eto'o of Chelsea holds off Sylvain Distin of Everton
Samuel Eto’o of Chelsea holds off Sylvain Distin of Everton

 

David Luiz of Chelsea (L) and teammate John Terry look dejected as they trail 1-0
David Luiz of Chelsea (L) and teammate John Terry look dejected as they trail 1-0

 

Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea argues with Sylvain Distin of Everton
Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea argues with Sylvain Distin of Everton

 

Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea makes up with Sylvain Distin of Everton
Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea makes up with Sylvain Distin of Everton

 

After a rare Sunday off, I travelled back to Manchester on Monday morning to photograph Manchester United’s first training session under new manager, David Moyes, at their Carrington HQ. The sun was in and out and the rain on and off, but for the 15 minutes we’d been allocated, the weather behaved itself and I managed to get the pictures I needed…

 

Dark clouds loom over Manchester United's Carrington Training Ground
Dark clouds loom over Manchester United’s Carrington Training Ground

 

David Moyes takes charge of his first UEFA Champions League training session as Man Utd manager
David Moyes takes charge of his first UEFA Champions League training session as Man Utd manager

 

Wayne Rooney of Man Utd plays an active part in the training session
Wayne Rooney of Man Utd plays an active part in the training session

 

The next day heralded the return of the UEFA Champions League, with Manchester United hosting Bayer Leverkusen, the German side managed by former Liverpool defender Sami Hyypia, at Old Trafford. Despite forecasts, the weather wasn’t too bad, which made wiring pictures much easier, and there were one or two pictures to wire…

 

Man Utd players pose for a photo before the match
Man Utd players pose for a photo before the match

 

Robin van Persie of Man Utd battles with Emre Can of Leverkusen
Robin van Persie of Man Utd battles with Emre Can of Leverkusen

 

Wayne Rooney scores Man Utd's 1st goal of the evening
Wayne Rooney scores Man Utd’s 1st goal of the evening

 

Wayne Rooney scores Man Utd's 3rd goal of the evening, his 200th for the club
Wayne Rooney scores Man Utd’s 3rd goal of the evening, his 200th for the club

 

Robin van Persie celebrates victory in Man Utd's opening UCL match of the season
Robin van Persie celebrates victory in Man Utd’s opening UCL match of the season

 

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