Man Utd fightback ends Liverpool’s quadruple quest in FA Cup classic

Man Utd fightback ends Liverpool’s quadruple quest in FA Cup classic

Manchester, United Kingdom: Manchester United ended Liverpool’s quest for a quadruple of trophies in Jurgen Klopp’s final season after Amad Diallo’s winner edged a thrilling FA Cup quarter-final 4-3 after extra-time.

The Ivorian winger was sent off for a second booking after taking his shirt off in celebration at the end of a chaotic 120 minutes that kept United’s chances of ending the season with silverware alive.

Erik ten Hag’s men will be confident of reaching the final for a second consecutive season after being paired with Championship side Coventry in the last four.

Two goals in three minutes from Alexis Mac Allister and Mohamed Salah towards the end of the first half had swung the game in Liverpool’s favour after Scott McTominay opened the scoring.

Antony’s first goal at Old Trafford for more than a year kept United alive to send the game into extra-time.

Liverpool edged in front once again when Harvey Elliott’s deflected shot found the bottom corner.

But Marcus Rashford, who had missed a glorious chance to win the tie deep into injury time, made amends by drilling home to make it 3-3.

Diallo then scored just his second ever United goal in added time of extra-time at the end of a breakneck counter-attack from a Liverpool corner, led by the impressive Alejandro Garnacho.

“When it’s Manchester United against Liverpool, it’s one of the world’s best football matches. It is historical,“ said Ten Hag.

“The team showed resilience and determination to win this game.

“We’ve had so many set backs. We are very strong mentally. We energised the fans, they got behind us and we won.”

United trail Liverpool by 17 points in the Premier League and having made an early exit from both the Champions League and League Cup, the pressure was on Ten Hag if he is to remain in charge for a third season.

The home team started like a side who knew their season depended on victory as they flew out of the traps and got their reward.

Garnacho’s effort was saved by Caoimhin Kelleher but only looped up for McTominay to blast home his ninth goal of the season.

Liverpool ‘struggling’ physically

Liverpool have had a far more intense schedule in recent weeks than United as they remain in three competitions, having already lifted the League Cup last month.

“That was the first time I saw my team really struggling. That’s how it is, we played a lot of football recently,“ said Klopp.

“Congratulations to United, they fought extremely hard as well.”

Klopp’s men took half an hour to awake from their slumber, but once they did were far more effective in the final third.

The visitors turned the tie around in the dying embers of the first half as Mac Allister’s deflected strike had too much power for Andre Onana.

Three minutes later, Liverpool led as Salah struck once more against his favoured opponents.

United pleaded in vain for a foul on Bruno Fernandes by Joe Gomez and Salah was left with a simple task to knock in his 13th goal in 14 games against United after Onana parried Darwin Nunez’s initial effort.

Liverpool enjoyed far more control of the game after the break but they were also guilty of not taking their chances to kill the game off.

United were blunt and lacking ideas going forward as they chased the game until Antony became an unlikely hero.

The Brazilian had scored just once in his previous 38 games but showed no sign of a lack of confidence as he spun and fired into the far corner three minutes from time.

Rashford should have completed the comeback as, after taking a brilliant first touch to cushion the ball into his path, he slotted wide with just Kelleher to beat.

A frenetic encounter continued to rage from end-to-end in extra-time as Elliott’s deflected effort looked set to again put Liverpool into the last four.

But United did not lie down as Rashford was more deadly when handed a second chance after Nunez gave the ball away deep inside his own half.

And as Liverpool sensed the chance to win it from a corner at the death, Garnacho broke clear and timed his pass to Diallo to perfection before he fired in off the far post.

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