liverpool survived a late comeback from manchester city to secure their place in the emirates fa cup final with a superb 3-2 victory at wembley stadium.
Ibrahima Konaté’s third goal in three games put the Reds ahead before Sadio Mané’s brace capped off a sensational first half for Jürgen Klopp’s men.
Reading: Man city liverpool fa cup
jack grealish scored minutes after the break, and on the verge of full time, bernardo silva scored the second, but it proved to be a consolation as the reds held on for victory.
liverpool fans can now start planning another day at wembley stadium in may when they will celebrate reaching their 15th fa cup final.
The Reds march to the #emiratesfacup final! 🏆 @lfc became the first team to seal their place in this season’s #emiratesfacup final as a dominant first-half performance was enough to beat a challenging @mancity! ✨pic.twitter.com/hccufu555g
It was rudimentary in the opening exchanges, as Liverpool put pressure on City’s back four, forcing several passing errors in the process.
The pressure led to Mané winning the first corner of the game, and Konaté’s header from the resulting set piece put the Reds up 1-0.
andrew robertson provided the assist with a corner kick that found the french defender, who physically overpowered nathan aké before sending a brilliant header into the back of the net.
The press made the difference again just eight minutes later, when Mané snatched the ball from Manchester City goalkeeper Zack Steffen on his own goal line to double Liverpool’s lead.
As the half wore on, Alisson Becker left some Liverpool fans with their hearts in their mouths when he came close to giving the ball away in dangerous areas on a few occasions.
but it was 3-0 before the break when mané’s sublime forehand volley slipped inside steffen’s near post.
Seventy seconds into the second period, Gabriel Jesus put the ball on a layup for Grealish, who found the top left corner to cut the deficit to two goals.
jesús was about to make it 3-2 in the 54th minute but his shot from very close to the right side of the area was sent to a corner by the liverpool goalkeeper.
first fa cup final in 🔟 years for @lfc 👏#emiratesfacup pic.twitter.com/g0tzta76am
and Alisson came to the Reds’ rescue again in the 70th minute, putting his left foot in the path of Jesus’ shot after the Brazilian had crossed on goal.
liverpool were sweating in the final minutes after riyad mahrez beat robertson before setting up silva, who blasted the ball into the back of the net to set up an impressive finish.
but city could not find an equalizer in added time as liverpool advanced to their first emirates fa cup final in ten years.
liverpool striker and man of the match sadio mané said: “well i think today is special because manchester city is one of the best teams in the world.”
“then of course if you win this type of game, especially in a semi-final, that’s a great big win. we’re very happy and happy to qualify for the final.
“to be honest, I think from the beginning of the game we played very well, and I think everyone was vital. I think we put a lot of pressure on them and for the second goal, especially the goalkeeper, he made a mistake.”
“I’m very happy to score both goals for the team. I think the team’s performance today was fantastic, and I think today all the players enjoyed it and did well in the game because we did the right things at the time adequate, and it was worth it.
“we’ll see (about the quad), we have a few games left and we’re trying to do our best. it’s a dream for sure, we’ll go for it and fight for it.” “
Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp added: “I’m absolutely proud. It was amazing. I think the first half was one of the best we’ve ever played.”
“We did all the right things. We scored at the right times. We played an amazing game in the first half, I have to say. I loved every second of it.
“the second half starts with a goal for manchester city, and it opens up, the quality of their team is unbelievable, and you could see that.”
“It was a much more open game. We had our situations, but you see, we had the counterattacks that we didn’t use, but we were close to getting there.”
“We have a lot of respect for City’s quality, and it’s very difficult to win against them, but thanks to these guys in my locker room, we have a chance.”
“That’s enough for me to try. We just wanted to get to the final, and that’s what happened.”