Konate's goals, Mane the menace and Klopp's Wembley pride

Talking pointsKonate's goals, Mane the menace and Klopp's Wembley pride

By Joe Urquhart


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Liverpool earned a place in the Emirates FA Cup final on Saturday afternoon with a 3-2 victory over Manchester City.

Semi-final highlights: City 2-3 Liverpool

A header from Ibrahima Konate and a double from Sadio Mane in the first half saw the Reds secure a spot in the competition’s showpiece event at Wembley on May 14.

Despite a late City resurgence, with goals from Jack Grealish and Bernardo Silva in the second period, Jürgen Klopp’s side booked another trip to the capital.

Here are five talking points from the encounter...

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Can’t stop Konate

Ibou is on a roll.

It’s now three goals in his last three appearances for the centre-back, after his towering header helped the Reds on their way in the capital.

Konate bagged his first goal for Liverpool against Benfica last week and followed up with another effort from a corner in the second leg at Anfield in midweek.

His third header in as many games moved Klopp’s team onto 19 goals from corners in all competitions this season, the most of any Premier League club.

Konate is also still unbeaten when featuring for Liverpool – having played 22 times since joining the ranks last summer without tasting defeat.

Mane proves a menace

Mane’s first-half double put the exclamation point on a strong opening to the match for the Reds.

The Senegal international increased his tally to 18 goals for the season overall and made it 10 efforts against City in his career. He has only scored more times versus Crystal Palace (13).

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Mane also became the first Liverpool player to score a double in an FA Cup semi-final since Robbie Fowler against Aston Villa in 1996.

Klopp breaks City’s Wembley run

At the third attempt, Liverpool toppled City at Wembley for the first time.

Heading into the game, the Manchester club had beaten the Reds in the League Cup final (2016) and Community Shield (2019) – both on penalties – in their two previous meetings at the national stadium.

City have failed to beat Liverpool in the FA Cup since 1973, losing in 1988, 2001, 2003 and now in 2022 since that last success.

Klopp’s charges also secured a first victory over City in six attempts across all competitions, having drawn three and lost two of the last five matches between the teams.

Reds march (back) to Wembley

Liverpool reached a 15th FA Cup final thanks to the victory – and a first appearance in the tournament’s showpiece for exactly 10 years.

The Reds last won English football’s oldest competition in 2006, lifting the trophy thanks to a penalty shootout victory over West Ham United in Cardiff.

Klopp’s side will now face either Chelsea or Crystal Palace at Wembley next month – with the boss only the third Reds manager to reach the FA Cup, League Cup and European Cup final during his tenure.

Bob Paisley and Rafael Benitez were the other two men to achieve that feat.

Klopp reveals pride

Klopp couldn’t hide how proud he was of his players post-match.

Liverpool have reached the League Cup and FA Cup final in the same season for a third time in the club’s history (2000-01, 2011-12) – becoming the first side to do so in three separate campaigns.

The manager was brimming from ear to ear after securing the win, having watched his team leave City behind in the opening period.

“Absolutely proud,” Klopp said post-match. “It was incredible, I think the first half was one of the best we’ve ever played.

“We did all the right stuff. We scored [in] the right moments, we played an incredible game in the first half, I have to say – I loved each second of it.

“I respect the quality of City so much. It is so difficult to win against them but because it’s these boys, my dressing room, we have a chance, and that’s enough to give it a try.”



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