WHILE Manchester United and Liverpool clashed at Old Trafford on Sunday, two of their fans also battled it out in Singapore.
And it was not just pride and bragging rights on the line for Manchester United fan Eugene Chan and Liverpool supporter Sylvester Goh as they saw their teams in action.
In fact at stake for the duo, who caught the game together in the inaugural The Straits Times Fan Face-Off, was something more valuable: an autographed jersey signed by their idols.
To spice up the much awaited clash, The Straits Times went in search of the best live commentator from both factions and place them side by side, in front of a rolling camera, to watch the game together.
Of the more than 50 entries, Chan and Goh were picked to feature in the battle of the best talker.
Throughout the game, the duo were put through an emotional whirlwind, as they watched their team slug it out for glory on the pitch.
Fists were punched in the air, pillows were thrown at each other, but all in good fun as each fan tried to outdo the other.
And in the end, although Chan's Manchester United were deservedly beaten 3-0 by a rampant Liverpool at Old Trafford, the 31-year-old real estate agent still had something to smile about at the end of the night.
Both were presented with autographed jerseys - Goh with a Liverpool home jersey signed by the entire team, and Chan with a replica of last season's title-winning home jersey signed by Ryan Giggs, Javier Hernandez and Chris Smalling. The jerseys were sponsored by Standard Chartered and Thomas Cook Sport.
The Straits Times sports editor Marc Lim presenting the autographed jerseys to Sylvester Goh and Eugene Chan, who support Liverpool and Manchester United respectively. -- ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
Said Chan: "I enjoyed the experience a lot although I'd love to have a United win as well to mark an occasion like this.
"Nonetheless, we got our jerseys, which is a very good consolation for losing the game."
Said Goh, a 51-year-old freelance emcee: "I'm very glad to be given this opportunity by The Straits Times to watch this game live and enjoy it with my co-commentator.
"We may be rival supporters but this is after all just friendly banter."
The Straits Times' sports editor Marc Lim said the Fan Face-Off is the latest addition to ST's EPL microsite (www.straitstimes.com/epl-2013-2014).
"While the EPL is a foreign football league, aspects of it are still uniquely Singaporean," said Lim.
"Over the season, we've revealed which is Singapore's best-supported EPL club, featured columns from Singapore fans and also have an exclusive monthly tie-up with Chelsea football club to offer Singapore fans a sneak preview of articles in the Chelsea magazine.
"We hope to be able to continue bringing the EPL a bit closer to home for our readers."
"An event like this was great as it allowed fans to interact with one another. Such an environment lets you speak your mind about a rival team, and offers fans the experience of commentating on a game, which was an attraction to me," added Chan.