Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says he ‘loved each second’ of their win over Manchester City and has responded to suggestions this is a ‘statement win’ against their title rivals.
Many expected fireworks at Wembley after their eventful 2-2 draw in the Premier League just six days ago. And fans certainly got another entertaining match as Liverpool beat City 3-2 to reach the FA Cup final.
An impressive first half, as well as a gift from Citizens keeper Zack Steffen, saw Liverpool go 3-0 up before the break.
However, City star Jack Grealish clawed one back straight after the interval. And Bernardo Silva made it 3-2 in stoppage time, setting up a nervy final few minutes for the Liverpool supporters.
The Reds survived though – our Player Ratings are available here – and will face either Chelsea or Crystal Palace in the final later this season.
During a post-match interview with BBC One, Klopp said: “Absolutely proud, incredible – I think the first half was one of the best we ever played. We did all the right stuff, we scored in the right moments, we played an incredible game in the first half, I really loved each second of it.
Jurgen Klopp happy to overcome ‘insane’ City
“The second half started with the goal for Man City and then it opens up – the quality of City is insane and you could see it was a much more open game.
“We respect the quality of City so much and it’s so difficult to win against them. But because we have these boys in our dressing room we have a chance.”
When asked if this is a ‘statement’ win over Pep Guardiola’s side, Jurgen Klopp continued: “It’s not a statement, we are just in the final.
“I think City knew beforehand that it could be difficult against us – that’s how it has been between us most of the time. There was one game where there was a strange scoreline – 5-0 – when we had an early red card.
“But when both teams were on top of their concentration, it has always been close.
“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.
“I don’t think we have a full free week before the last matchday – it’s all difficult but who cares? We came here and we wanted to go through to the final.
“We knew about the problems but qualifying for this final makes the quadruple even more difficult – it’s the only way to do it but it makes it more difficult as well so it’s a strange situation.
“But we are over the moon, we beat the strongest football team in the world and that’s a pretty special moment.”
Mane overjoyed with ‘big win’
Goalscorer Mane told BBC One after the match: “Today is special – we were playing one of the best teams in the world. To win this kind of game, especially in a semi-final, is a big, big, big win.
“We were very pleased to win and qualify for the final.
“We started very well, everybody started on the front foot. For my first goal the goalkeeper made a mistake but I think we pushed him to make that mistake. That is our style and I think that made the difference.”
When asked about potentially winning the quadruple, Mane added: “We have a lot of games to go and we will try to do our best. It’s our dream for sure and we will fight for it.”
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