Manchester United's Nemanja Matic has detailed how much he misses playing in front of fans, and says football can often be "completely different" without supporters.
The Old Trafford midfielder pointed to Liverpool's shock 7-2 defeat to Aston Villa in October as an example of how the game isn't the same when fans aren't present, and says he hopes supporters can return as soon as possible in 2021.
“It’s come down to having games which all look like carbon copies of each other resembling training sessions with no fans in the stadiums,” Matic told Reuters.
“The coronavirus pandemic has made the circumstances much different and I am sure that Liverpool would never have lost to Aston Villa 7-2 if fans had been present.
“Football has survived, the league is in motion but I sorely miss the noise and the reaction from the terraces.”
Despite seemingly holding some sympathy for United's rivals and the manner of that defeat, Matic says United are determined to overhaul the champions and put up a strong title challenge this season.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side go into Boxing Day's clash at Leicester knowing that a win would take them two points behind Liverpool, and Matic – a two-time Premier League winner with Chelsea – has got his eyes on the prize again.
“It would certainly amount to making another dream a reality after winning two titles at Chelsea,” he added.
“If we enjoyed a slice of good fortune and clinched the Premier League title, it’d be on par with what I accomplished at Chelsea. I am in good shape and hope to carry on playing at the top level for another four or five years.”
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