Liverpool’s quadruple dream comes to an end in FA Cup quarterfinal thriller against Manchester United

Liverpool’s chances of a historic quadruple in Jürgen Klopp’s final season at the club are over after falling to a 4-3 extra time defeat against bitter rival Manchester United in a frenetic FA Cup quarterfinal.

Goals from Scott McTominay, Antony, Marcus Rashford and Amad Diallo gave United the win in a topsy-turvy FA Cup classic at Old Trafford in Manchester.

Liverpool, the reigning Carabao Cup champions after beating Chelsea last month, twice looked as though it was headed for victory but United rallied to find an equalizer in the closing minutes of regulation before scoring twice in extra time to nullify a Harvey Elliott goal.

“The first 35 minutes I think was the best minutes from our season,” United manager Erik ten Hag told the ITV broadcast after the game. “We were really there, acting as a team. But then gaps in between the lines and you can’t allow this against Liverpool. Then they outplay you.

“We had to change. We went into the risk, we went into one against one, and the players were wonderful - the mentality, the attitude was so great.”

United's Alejandro Garnacho controls the ball during the clash. - Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images
United's Alejandro Garnacho controls the ball during the clash. - Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images

Klopp rued his side’s missed chances after the game as he saw the match slip through his fingers.

“At 2-1 up we had so many chances to kill the game. Last pass not right, or in a rush in some moments. The rest is already history, if you want,” Klopp said after the game.

“We were nearly there in normal time and nearly there in extra-time and then we lose the game, that’s alright. I cannot ask for much more. We have had a much more intense season so far, everybody knows that, you just have to count the games.
Today was hard, very hard.”

The game got off to a breathless start, with United twice forcing Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher – deputizing for the injured Alisson – into action in the early stages.
Dominik Szoboszlai was denied by United ‘keeper Andre Onana inside the opening 10 minutes, but it was the home side that had the upper hand in the fast-paced start.

United were rewarded for the early pressure and broke the deadlock through McTominay 10 minutes in, who poked home after Alejandro Garnacho’s shot was saved by Kelleher.

Klopp’s side grew into the game though and began to cause United problems going forward as it went in search of an equalizer.

Wataru Endo thought he had leveled things up in the 38th minute, but his goal was disallowed after Mohamed Salah was ruled to be marginally offside in the buildup.

Liverpool did eventually find the breakthrough a few minutes later, albeit with a slice of luck. Argentinean midfielder Alexis Mac Allister was set up by Darwin Núñez and fired towards goal, with his shot taking a heavy deflection off Kobbie Mainoo that Onana was unable to keep out.

Mac Allister celebrates his equalizer. - Stu Forster/Getty Images
Mac Allister celebrates his equalizer. - Stu Forster/Getty Images

Just three minutes later, Núñez was denied by a flailing Onana on the stroke of halftime but the ball dropped at the feet of Salah, who rifled home to complete a rapid turnaround on the stroke of halftime.

Liverpool carried its positive momentum into the second half and continued to control proceedings at a breakneck pace.

Onana saved efforts from Núñez twice while Mac Allister saw a free kick soar over the bar as Klopp’s team kept its foot on the gas pedal. United winger Antony, who came on as a substitute, dragged an effort wide in what was at that point a rare United venture forward.

The visiting side continued to pile on the pressure and had the chance to put the game beyond doubt in the 80th minute but squandered a five-on-two counter-attack.

Salah lashes home his team's second. - Michael Regan/Getty Images
Salah lashes home his team's second. - Michael Regan/Getty Images

Despite being in control for much of the game, Liverpool was made to pay for missing a host of chances 87 minutes in, when United sprung forward on the attack, with the ball working its way to Antony. The Brazilian swiveled and fired past Kelleher on his right foot to score only his second goal of the season and tie the game at 2-2.

Liverpool almost responded immediately with Harvey Elliott striking the post at the other end, while Marcus Rashford missed a glorious chance to steal the win for United in the final minute of regulation.

The two sides headed into a much more even extra time period, where another dose of fortune gave Liverpool the lead, as Elliott’s long-range strike was deflected off the boot of Christian Eriksen and flew into the bottom corner to send the visiting fans into raptures.

In a game as hectic as this though, no lead was ever truly safe, as United proved in the second half of extra time. Rashford made up for missing a sitter, slotting home to level the score at 3-3 before substitute Amad Diallo spearheaded a counter-attack in the dying seconds of the game, eventually sweeping past Kelleher to give the Red Devils the win in an all-time FA Cup tie.

United fans were treated to a win in a chaotic cup tie. - Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images
United fans were treated to a win in a chaotic cup tie. - Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images

Diallo received a second yellow card and was sent off after removing his shirt in celebration, but he will almost certainly be forgiven after his late-game heroics.

United will take on English Championship side Coventry City in the semifinal, with the other tie seeing an all-Premier League clash between Manchester City and Chelsea, who beat Newcastle United and Leicester City respectively over the weekend.

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