Manchester City 2 - 3 Liverpool
Manchester City: Grealish 47’, Silva 90+1’
Liverpool: Konaté 10’, Mané 17’, 44’
The Reds are back at Wembley and taking on Manchester City in the semi-final of the FA Cup less than a week after their draw in the Premier League. Jordan Henderson starts on the bench in favor of a midfield trio made up of Thiago Alcantara, Fabinho, and Naby Keïta. Liverpool have their eyes on the fabled quadruple, but they’ll have to fight past a talented City team to get there.
The game started strong for Liverpool. Keïta was the early standout, earning his spot in the starting lineup today. He linked up well with Trent Alexander-Arnold in the opening minutes, attempting to play in Mohamed Salah, but the Egyptian was offside.
It didn’t take long for Liverpool to gain the advantage from their positive performance. Only 10 minutes into the match, the Reds won their first corner. A gorgeous delivery into the box came in from Andy Robertson, right to the capable head of Ibrahima Konaté, who scored his third straight goal in three starts. What an incredible player he’s been for Liverpool this season.
My oh my, Liverpool fans had barely finished celebrating that first goal when Manchester City substitute goalkeeper Zack Steffen made the mistake of hesitating with the ball at his feet in front of goal. Sadio Mané didn’t make the same mistake, sprinting across the pitch and throwing himself onto the ball, guiding it past Steffen and into the net.
Liverpool spent the next 15 minutes inviting pressure from Manchester City. They looked a bit shaky playing out from the back, though Manchester City were unable to capitalize on it. Still, several opportunities for breaks and attacks for Liverpool were snuffed out by an overworked Manchester City defense on the other end.
The third goal, when it did come in the last minutes of the half, was a thing of football glory. Robertson got the ball to Thiago outside of the box. Thiago passed it to Alexander-Arnold and then sprinted ahead of him. Alexander-Arnold gave it right back, and Thiago clocked Mané out wide. Mané hit the pass with a beautiful volley and it flew under Steffen at the near post.
Liverpool headed into the tunnel at the half time whistle ahead 3-0 and 45 minutes away from another cup final.
Manchester City began the second half with a bit more fire than they ended the first. A minute into the restart, Gabriel Jésus held up the ball and found Jack Grealish, who guided the ball past Alisson for City’s first goal of the game.
The yellow cards came fast in the second half, with first Keïta and then Mané being booked by the referee. In addition to Fabinho in the first half, that made three Liverpool players cautioned.
Alisson made a tremendous save to deny Jésus a goal at 70 minutes. He was in on goal, but Alisson connected with his foot, sending it out for a corner. Huge moment there for the keeper, who had very little to do in the first half but stayed locked in for the second half.
Moments later on the other end, Salah should have had the Reds’ fourth, thanks to a beautiful pass from Luis Díaz, but his effort hit the side netting.
The first change for Liverpool came at 72 minutes. Captain Henderson replaced Keïta, who had a very good game.
Eight minutes later, Diaz and Mané both make way for Robert Firmino and Diogo Jota. Then it’s Thiago off and Curtis Jones on to finish off the match strong.
It’s all for naught though. As soon as the referee announced four added minutes, Manchester City struck again. Mahrez made it to the byline. His narrow shot was saved by Alisson, but the rebound went straight to the feet of Bernardo Silva, who slotted it into an empty goal.
The final four minutes of this match were tense, as Manchester City pushed and pushed for the equalizing goal. Thankfully, Liverpool managed to hold on, and now they look ahead to the final against either Chelsea or Crystal Palace.
Final Thoughts and Man of the Match
Things got dicey at the end, but it was always a pipe dream to think that Manchester City would just roll over in the second half. But Liverpool did what they had to do and booked themselves a place in the FA Cup final.
Who was Liverpool’s Man of the Match against Manchester City?
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