Jurgen Klopp insists that Liverpool’s 3-2 FA Cup semi-final win over Manchester City is “not a statement” in the pair’s duel for silverware.
On a warm afternoon at Wembley, both sides made seven changes from their Champions League ties on Wednesday. However, while City handed rare starts to fringe stars such as Zack Steffen, Nathan Ake, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Fernandinho and Jack Grealish, the Reds had already rotated in midweek against Benfica, so could recall the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah.
Liverpool burst out of the traps, Ibrahima Konate heading the opener before Sadio Mane tackled goalkeeper Steffen on his own line to double the advantage.
Mane then volleyed home his second to send the Reds in 3-0 up at the break but City responded through Jack Grealish soon after the restart, before Alisson twice saved from fellow Brazilian Gabriel Jesus.
Bernardo Silva’s stoppage-time strike set up the potential for a grandstand finish but Liverpool held on to book their return to Wembley on May 14 against either Chelsea or Crystal Palace (Match Betting – Chelsea 8/13, Draw 3/1, Crystal Palace 5/1).
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Having already lifted the EFL Cup, the Reds remain on course for an unprecedented quadruple but still trail City by a point the Premier League (Premier League Outright – Man City 4/11, Liverpool 2/1) and may also need to overcome them in the Champions League final.
Making the final also means that Liverpool (1/2 FA Cup Outright) have an extra game to fit in. They will now face Aston Villa in the final midweek of the season, something Klopp was keen to point out having previously questioned his side’s workload.
While admitting to being “over the moon” by the result, the 54-year-old played down suggestions Saturday’s victory could be decisive in the pair’s battle for silverware.
“It’s not a statement, we are just in the final,” Klopp told BBC Sport. “I think City knew beforehand that it could be difficult against us – that’s how it has been between us most of the time.
“The quadruple talk I can’t believe it. This win means we have another game and then we have to play Aston Villa in a midweek, they have to move one game again.”
He added: “But we are over the moon, we beat the strongest football team in the world and that’s a pretty special moment.”
Both teams are back in Premier league action in midweek, with Liverpool hosting Manchester United on Tuesday (Match Betting – Liverpool 2/5, Draw 19/5, United 13/2).
Meanwhile, Man City host Brighton on Wednesday, the Seagulls having beaten both Arsenal and Tottenham n their last two outings, both on the road (Match Betting – City 1/6, Draw 6/1, Brighton 16/1).
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