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Liverpool survives fear of Manchester City to reach the FA Cup final after doubling Manet | FA Cup

In the end, it was impossible not to focus on the moment Zack Steffen wanted to be everywhere, but here, too, Liverpool took the lead as a vice in this semi-final for the FA Cup, which was hard to see they would give up.

Poor Stephen. Pep Guardiola wanted to show his faith in the reserve goalkeeper, but everything went wrong for the number 1 of the United States and Manchester City in the 17th minute. Turning to the routine back pass and the usual orders to play in the style of Ederson from behind, Steffen made a heavy first touch and, after some hesitation, an even heavier second.

Sadio Mane brought the ball into the net for a 2-0 lead and Liverpool were on their way to the final against Chelsea or Crystal Palace – and, they hope, the second element of an unprecedented quadruple. Liverpool’s dominance in the first half was total and would have deteriorated for Steffen when he lost slightly to 3-0 at his near post by Manet.

City responded in the style of the champions in the second half, Jack Grillish pulled a goal back, and after Alison saved to refuse Gabriel Jesus, they hinted at the unusual when the substitute Riyad Marez centered in the 90th minute, the ball met Alison and Bernardo Silva turned to the far beam.

Guardiola’s team had a chance to add extra time in added time, as the latest clash between these rivals caused even more drama. Fernandinho exploded high as Rahim Stirling fired low at Alison, but City had too much left to do. Guardiola made seven substitutions for the team that started the rematch of the quarterfinals of the Champions League at Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night and one of them was Steffen. A permanent image would appear after the full-time whistle, when he sadly sank to his back and had to be comforted by some of his teammates.

Celebrations after Sadio Mane scored his second goal. Photo: Mark Atkins / Getty Images

The City of Madrid’s war of attrition had outlined much of the buildup and caused a wide rotation of Guardiola, but it wasn’t if they could catch that particular line. Liverpool are also battling a penal program and they have home games next week against Manchester United and Everton, their two biggest rivals.

However, the relative strength of the starting lineups seems to have given Liverpool an advantage, with Klopp recalling his big cannons after Wednesday’s Champions League home game against Benfica.

Ibrahima Konate, one of the few Liverpool starters who is not considered the choice of first choice, was the one who put his team ahead. Red smoke drifted across the stadium from flares fired at the outskirts of Liverpool, and their fans sang their songs in full force. At that early moment, they believed it was their day, and the feeling only intensified when Stephen endured his terrible moment. City just didn’t show up at the start, even if Grillish, who played like a fake nine, had a fourth-minute shot blocked by Virgil van Dyke.

The atmosphere was cracked from the start, although it was a shame that part of City’s support refused to remain silent during the pre-match silence for the 33rd anniversary of the Hillsborough crash. Liverpool’s support booed them and referee Michael Oliver had to interrupt the memory.

Bernardo Silva gives hope to Manchester City with his late goal against Liverpool. Photo: Justin Setterfield / FA / Getty Images

Konat√©’s goal was entirely due to his strength and desire – but it was made by the most perfectly executed corner kicks by Andy Robertson, an invitation to the central defender, which would be indecent to miss. Konate surpassed Jesus’ muscles and then rose higher than Nathan Ake. It was a rising end; Conate’s third goal for Liverpool and his third in three games.

City looked sharp in the opening exchanges and tried to play everything wrong in the back in the sixth minute. Was it a harbinger of Steffen’s indecision? While Klopp stayed with Alison, who started his No. 1 in the previous round at Nottingham Forest, Guardiola went with Steffen after picking him in all but one of the previous City Cup matches this season.

Liverpool’s third goal shortly before half-time was proof B for the prosecution, because Stephen was terribly slow to descend and cross at the will of Manet, who was cut to the near corner. Liverpool’s build was a piece of their enjoyment of the first half, all the sure touches and moves that were too fast for City. The excellent Tiago slipped between two sky-blue shirts before exchanging passes with Trent Alexander-Arnold, and the pass straight to Manet was made to measure.

City, struggling to suppress the electric Luis Diaz, needed something at the beginning of the second half and they got it. Fernandinho won the ball and released Jesus up the inner right canal. He made a great shot at Fabinho and then sent a square pass to Grilish, which made the difficult final look easy.

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Now City was a different proposition: they squeezed higher and played with more perseverance and aggression – even a hint of anger. Can they find a second to start a race? Jesus collided with a touch of Sterling to work on Alisson on the near post, and they created a great chance in the 71st minute – one against one for Jesus after a Grealish ball. Alison went down to block.

Fernandinho had previously flirted with a red card when he stretched out in a bad match for Manet – he missed a yellow card – but after Salah almost took advantage of a loose back with a header by Alexander Zinchenko, City made its final push. It wasn’t enough.