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Digging Deeper Into Liverpool’s FA Cup Semi-Final Victory Over Manchester City

With a VICTORY over Manchester City in the books, we take a closer look at what it all means for the Quadruple chasing Reds.

Manchester City v Liverpool: The Emirates FA Cup Semi-Final Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

LIVERPOOL VERY MUCH DID THE THING. Facing a tough, but injury hampered, Manchester City for the second time in a week, meant the stress levels were high following us into Wembley. Not to mention the stress of the 2-2 draw from last weekend had everyone feeling the anxiety alongside their little glimmers of hope.

Going 3-0 up at halftime, though, against one of the best teams in the country and away from home is something to be proud of. Regardless of the missing City players like Kevin De Bruyne and Kyle Walker, Liverpool were their imperious selves at least for 75 minutes. They saw the opportunity ahead of them and took it with aplomb.

So much has been said about the history before our very eyes, but Saturday’s match was a great example of who this team is and what they’re capable of.

Now join us as we examine some of the narratives, tactics, reactions, and questions Liverpool will be dealing with and the fans will be talking about in the aftermath.


Winners and Losers

Winners

Sadio Mane

Sadio played a helluva game on Saturday. The two time goal scorer of the day was at his very best when played in the central striking role alongside Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz. He pressed and won the ball, despite CIty’s every effort (and there were lots of them that went unchecked). Not only was he good, he looked like he was enjoying the graft, which is always a joy to watch. He seemed upset to come off, which is (I mean I guess) what you want to see out of a player who is playing well and knows it. That second goal was a work of art - outside of the foot and nearly falling over, he made it happen.

The Traveling Kop

Speaking of every effort to be deterred - the fans that traveled down to Anfield South were rewarded nicely for their work with a match worth supporting. When the country tried their damnedest to keep the Northerners out by not running trains down south this weekend, the traveling Reds showed up in spades. Manchester City, on the other hand, had 7,000 tickets returned, a whole section of their allocation covered in security blanket flags instead, and had their fans chanting during what should’ve been a minute of silence for Hillsborough that was cut short because of it. So for those so called victims, they proved that they were the better set of fans when it came down to it.

The Quadruple Chances

I know it feels a little unreal to even consider. It’s never been done before and if we actively go after it, it won’t happen. But what if it did? Historic. And if there’s any team that deserves it, that should be the trailblazers as the first club to win a quadruple, it’s Liverpool.

Losers

Pep Guardiola

I mean putting the whole of Manchester City would’ve been too on the nose, but losing the chance at another treble had to hurt the Spaniard the most. Especially against their closest rival at the moment (in the literal sense of the word, Liverpool are the closest rivals to City’s performance and standings). Anything to keep City from another trophy to add to their ill-gotten cabinet is a win for us and loss for them.

Raheem Sterling

I mean, he can’t do much against us so any time he plays means he’s losing out. He struggled to break through in any meaningful way and couldn’t make a good contribution. He’s always well handled, and not much of a threat, and now he’s going to lose another trophy by being with Manchester City.

City’s Treble Hopes

They have a chance for a double, sure, but that wouldn’t be anything new or historic even for them. We just have to keep them from that too.

Dissecting The Narrative

Look, there is always a lot of “narrative” when it comes to Manchester City and Liverpool. The team that has bought their way into greatness, the team that was worked for it. Every time these two clubs meet up, regardless of the competition, there is always some other narrative going on - and Saturday wasn’t any different.

Liverpool - on the march for a historic quadruple of trophies, including the domestic treble that City had been able to secure in years prior. Liverpool, clawing their way back up the table without two of their best players in January and February, while City drop points, giving the Reds that space.

After a heartrending 2-2 draw last Sunday, the same was expected of both teams. The thing that City maybe didn’t count on was the traveling fans, that they don’t have any of apparently. The neutral stadium worked against them when none of their fans showed up. Their narrow press worked against them too on one of the biggest pitches in the country.

The narrative is always that City is better than Liverpool, have been since the money came in and will continue to be. The reality, though, is that they might be the most evenly matched teams in Europe at the moment, and that is what will continue to be. We’ve proved it time and again, and nothing is likely to change.

What Happens Next?

Liverpool now see their match with Southampton shifted to make way for the FA Cup final, in an increasingly stressful end of May. The march is still on, though, for more than one trophy in a season. And Liverpool can go back to Wembley, knowing they more than deserve to be there regardless of who their opponent turns out to be.

Up the Reds.