Manchester United 4 Liverpool 3 – Amad makes incredible comeback in FA Cup classic – The Briefing

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Amad himself has an amazing story, so it felt right for him to win (and then go out) for Manchester United against Liverpool in this FA Cup quarter-final at Old Trafford.

United ended Liverpool’s hopes of winning four trophies with a 4–3 victory after extra time, which may have brought some relief to their manager Eric ten Hag.

After normal time ended 2–2 following United winger Antony’s late equaliser, Marcus Rashford scored for Liverpool to make up for an earlier miss following Harvey Elliott’s extra-time strike.

Amad’s late termination, followed by a second yellow card for taking off his shirt while celebrating his goal, were the final moments of a ridiculous match.

United will face Coventry City in the semi-finals and Manchester City will face Chelsea.

athleticJames Pearce, Dan Sheldon and Mark Carey analyze all the action at Old Trafford.

Is it time to stop ignoring Amad?

After signing for a fee in October 2020, Amad finally got his moment in a United shirt, costing £37.5 million ($47.8 million at today’s rates) with add-ons.

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He arrived in January 2021 but was never given a chance and found himself sent out on loan to Rangers and Sunderland. He performed well at both clubs and won Sunderland’s Young Player of the Season award.

Even this season has been a struggle for Amad, who injured his knee in pre-season and was ruled out until December.

United fans have been questioning why Ten Hag has not been playing them in recent weeks and after his cameo against Liverpool, it will be difficult for the Dutchman to ignore him.

Replacing Raphael Varane in the 85th minute, Amad played with intensity, constantly putting pressure on the Liverpool defenders and trying to create something.

He received an unnecessary yellow card for blocking a Liverpool free kick and then a second yellow card for taking off his top to celebrate, but it would not come in the way of his winner to send United into the FA Cup in front of the Stretford End . Semi-finals.

dan sheldon

How did Liverpool let this slip?

As Virgil van Dijk led his team-mates to the away end after the final whistle, he looked as surprised as the 9,000 Liverpool fans in front of him.

Liverpool’s hopes of winning four trophies are over. There will be no appearance in the FA Cup final as part of Klopp’s emotional farewell in May.

It was a classic but Liverpool had themselves to blame for the defeat. These wounds were self inflicted.

After leading 2–1 with three minutes remaining in normal time and then leading 3–2 with eight minutes remaining in extra time, the game management let them down badly. As can be seen from the graphic below, they dominated possession but allowed United to create high-quality goalscoring chances, which is reflected in their expected goals (xG) of 3.4.

They will be full of regrets – not least the series of wasted chances on the counter-attack in the second half, when really they should have finished the contest out. His profligacy left the door open and United took full advantage.

Rashford’s attempt to equalize saw Darwin Nunez give the ball away cheaply and then United’s dramatic late winner came from a Liverpool corner. He exposed himself badly and paid the price for it.

It was inconsistent with how Liverpool have performed this season. They should focus on aiming for Premier League and Europa League glory to add to their Carabao Cup triumph.

James Pierce

Why did United attack down the left?

From the opening minutes, United’s attacking intent was clear – targeting down the left side.

Rashford’s pace means he will always be a threat in wide areas, but United were creating overloads in the early stages, with Koby Manu supporting Rashford, and Alejandro Garnacho himself coming into action down the right wing. Were increasing.

With Mohamed Salah not doing enough to support his full-backs defensively, United tried to punish Liverpool repeatedly – ​​Joe isolated Gomez, dragged him down, and exposed gaps. Did.

As can be seen from the graphic above, 53 percent of United’s attacking touches were aimed down the left third of the pitch. For context, he has only looked more down that flank once in all competitions this season – in the 3-0 win over West Ham United in the Premier League last month.

Ten Hag’s changes in the second half meant Garnacho was the hero on the left for longer periods, while Liverpool’s substitutions meant they also had different personnel in defence.

Nevertheless, the consistency of United’s unbalanced attacking approach was certainly deliberate rather than coincidental.

mark carey

Where did United lose control?

The home fans could hardly have asked for a better start.

Ten Hag’s side were dominating their biggest rivals and the noise from the side was harassing them every time they crossed the halfway line. Scott McTominay’s opener in the opening 10 minutes was poor at best.

One reason for such early dominance was some good work from United’s midfield. With Casemiro ruled out, McTominay partnered Manu in the middle of the park, supported by relentless attacker Bruno Fernandes.

In the early stages, United were creating overloads, while maintaining their discipline and penetrating Liverpool on several occasions (particularly on the left, as can be seen on the pass map below).

The difficulty was that such dominance could not be sustained.

Liverpool took control of the game again, but United let them go. Where previously the spacing between United’s midfielders had been tight and limited, now gaps began to open up and Liverpool’s midfield could make an immediate impact on United’s defense behind Manu and McTominay. Sound familiar?

He lacked the experience of Casemiro, but a porous midfield has been a theme throughout United’s season.

Liverpool dominated the game for long periods, but United fans will be pleased that the game ended much like it started as they found a way to victory.

mark carey

How has Kwanzaa progressed?

Having fallen behind late in the first half at Old Trafford, Liverpool were seeking some inspiration. It came from an unexpected source.

After assessing his options 30 yards from goal, academy graduate Jerel Quansah saw some space to exploit and decided to take matters into his own hands. The 21-year-old defender showed his pace and strength as he broke into the penalty box away from Rashford.

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Quansah then had the patience to make the right choice as he worked the ball into the feet of Nunez, whose lay-off was converted by Alexis McAllister via a deflection from Manu.

What a season it has been for the England Under-21 international, who has been on the club’s books since the age of five. As of last July, he was hoping to go on loan again after useful performances at League One team Bristol Rovers in the second half of the previous season.

An impressive pre-season forced him to force his way into Klopp’s plans as he effectively began the campaign as Liverpool’s fifth-choice centre-back. He never dreamed that by mid-March he would have the presence of 25 senior players.

Kwanzaa puts pressure on Garnacho (Michael Regan/Getty Images)

He has grasped the opportunities that have come his way, ensuring that Liverpool have thrived despite injuries to Joel Matip and Ibrahima Konate.

His master-apprentice double act with Van Dijk worked very well. Kwansah is technically brilliant and has the character and temperament to match. Nothing bothers him.

A week after keeping Manchester City’s Erling Haaland quiet, he shines after getting his first taste of the Liverpool vs United rivalry. Another box ticked on his remarkable journey.

James Pierce

Where is this combined intensity?

Manchester United came out of the blocks and reached a level of energy they had not had all season.

Attackingly, they had Liverpool and should have been 2–0 up, but McTominay missed a relatively straightforward chance to double his tally.

United had seven shots on target in the opening 45 minutes, but were again denied success due to Liverpool’s pace in transition, where they took advantage of the home team missing midfield when they gained possession.

Some attacks failed because of bad decisions. One of these included a counter led by McTominay. Instead of playing the ball to Garnacho on the right, he opted to play a pass to Rasmus Hjölund, who was being covered by the Liverpool defence.

Garnacho created a chance for Hjolund inside the area, but the Denmark international slipped as he took his shot. However, in terms of chances missed, few can beat the chance Rashford created in the final moments of normal time which could have won the tie.

dan sheldon

How important is Menu to United?

Manu was left out of this month’s England squad, but if he continues his current form, it won’t be long before he gets a call from Gareth Southgate.

He started the game the way he intended to, linking up with Aaron Wan-Bissaka to create chances in the opening exchanges.

The United midfielder once again displayed his excellent footwork as he dribbled past Wataru Endo and Joe Gomez before taking possession of Rashford during the first half. 18-year-old Manu made it look simple, yet it was anything but easy.

(Michael Regan/Getty Images)

He has been the shining spark in United’s mostly disappointing season, showing quality in attack and defence. His final contribution was a sliding tackle inside the United box to prevent Elliott from scoring.

As soon as Manu dropped the pinch, the crowd inside Old Trafford stood on their feet and applauded. He responded by throwing his arms in the air to encourage them, making the atmosphere happy.

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His performances alone were not enough to lead United to victory, but there is no doubt that he will lead his team to many victories in the years to come.

dan sheldon

What did the managers say?

eric ten hag Told ITV Sport: “The first 30 minutes were the best we’ve had all season, we were working as a team but then we got gaps between the lines and you can’t allow that against one of the best teams in Europe .They beat us.

“Then we made changes, we took risks and the players were amazing. The attitude was great, there was a strong belief in winning this game.

“Rashford is resilient, he keeps going, usually he ends up in those moments but he keeps looking for another chance. This inspired other players.

“We have a team that is for the future. There are players coming in who are developing very well like (Amad) Diallo, (Alejandro) Garnacho, Kobi Manu.”

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What next for Manchester United?

Saturday, March 30: Brentford (A), Premier League, 8pm GMT, 4pm ET

McTominay was the hero for Manchester United in the reverse fixture, his two goals in stoppage time giving Ten Hague’s side a dramatic 2–1 victory.

What next for Liverpool?

Sunday, March 31: Brighton (H), Premier League, 2pm GMT, 10pm ET

Liverpool were capped when they faced Brighton at the Amex in October. They’ll know they can’t afford to lose any more points as the title race heads straight home.

(Top photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images)

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(Top photo: Paul Ellis/AFP via Getty Images)

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