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Diallo was sent off after removing his shirt in the celebrations that followed his extra-time winner – Manchester United/Matthew PetersWith less than 20 minutes to go Erik ten Hag stood in his technical area with his hand on Antony’s shoulder. So, this was it then?Manchester United were heading limply out of the FA Cup, again humiliated at Old Trafford by Liverpool, their season effectively over – and with it Ten Hag’s dwindling hopes of remaining as manager. And here he was turning to the £85 million misfit who was his biggest signing and greatest folly and who, without a goal or even an assist this season, has become a symbol of systematic failure.But when the final, final whistle went – after the last-gasp goal scored by another of Ten Hag’s substitutes, Amad Diallo – it felt like everything had changed and, maybe with it, Ten Hag had saved himself as well as this campaign. Having already been booked Diallo was red-carded in the celebrations as he took his shirt off to earn a second caution. The chaotic moment captured the mayhem.Antony, left, scored the goal that took the match into extra-time. Diallo, right, then scored in the last minute to seize victory – AFP/PAUL ELLISThe 9,000 Liverpool fans stood still in disbelief amid the wild, unbridled scenes. They will rationalise this away. Their dreams of a quadruple are over, if they ever believed it was possible in Jurgen Klopp’s final season, and they will argue this was the least of the three priorities they had left, having won the League Cup. And yet. And yet this will sting. And not least because of the manner of the defeat and who inflicted it. United have not knocked Liverpool off their perch. But here was a little wobble for them to remember.If they had lost, United only had a grim fight for fifth place, hoping they can catch either Tottenham Hotspur or Aston Villa, and hoping that might earn them a Champions League place. Instead they have also gained themselves an unexpected trip to Wembley and a highly winnable semi-final against Coventry City.The Championship side are managed by Mark Robins and while it might be an exaggeration to say he saved Sir Alex Ferguson back in 1990, with his headed goal against Nottingham Forest in the third round of this same competition, as United went on to win their first trophy under their legendary manager, no one should underestimate the value of Antony’s finish to force extra-time. And Diallo’s one to win it.They were not alone. Marcus Rashford also scored, also in extra-time, and the way he kept going and going captured a sudden spirit at United.Rashford had missed chances and was at fault for Liverpool’s equalising strike that made it 1-1 in what felt like a lifetime ago by the end. But he showed resilience.New-found spirit or back to the old? There has been such a debate about Ten Hag’s future since Sir Jim Ratcliffe gained control of the football side of United’s business and not least because of the distinct lack of identity the beleaguered manager has brought to the team.Even such a remarkable, memorable, game for the ages such as this cannot be enough in itself to save Ten Hag but – finally – he went for it. Finally, he turned back to the Ferguson tradition of throwing on more and more attackers, of unbuckling the seatbelt and applying the accelerator. The handbrake was off. “We went into the risk,” Ten Hag said. And he does not usually do that.As they chased the tie, once Antony was on, Ten Hag made more changes – not least with Diallo and Christian Eriksen and even Harry Maguire making a difference. The formation even went from 4-2-3-1 to 3-2-4-1 with Maguire at the heart of the defence and with Diogo Dalot and Victor Lindelof either side.Then Maguire popped up at centre-forward, Lindelof was overlapping Alejandro Garnacho – who became increasingly influential – and was shooting into the side-netting. Who was that at left-back? It was Bruno Fernandes who has so often been justifiably criticised but who showed courage. He played like a captain and that was what United needed.Ten Hag must use this as a turning point. As relieved as he will be to go into the international break on the back of such a stirring win, there may be a pang of regret that he cannot surf the momentum. But, at last, he has spared himself an inquest.United’s chaotic approach is hardly a template for the way to play but what it might mean is a shift in mentality; a shift in belief. So often they look not only disjointed and unsure of how to play but also dispirited.They lack game-management, also, and that looked like it would be the story as Scott McTominay’s early goal – prodding him from close-range after Rashford’s shot was parried – was overturned close to half-time.McTominay should have added a second before then but the ease with which Liverpool claimed their goals – with United backing off and lacking intensity – was embarrassing. Alexis MacAllister and Mohamed Salah scored and, it seemed, that would be that.The only question was by what margin of victory would Liverpool win and United had to thank their wastefulness and the excellence of goalkeeper Andre Onana.Klopp also had to make changes, forced by fatigue, with his squad not having the time to prepare that United enjoyed, and they appeared to weaken Liverpool. Still Antony’s late equalising goal to force extra-time came from nowhere as he swivelled and shot low.And even after that Rashford had the opportunity to win it with the last kick of normal time.When one of Liverpool’s substitutes, Harvey Elliott, restored their lead with a deflected shot it appeared the image of the game would be Rashford’s anguish as he held his face in frustration.Instead, it was his ecstasy as he calmly scored from McTominay’s pass and his delirium as he celebrated with Diallo.It was the 21-year-old forward’s first goal for United – and what a difference he made with his positivity and ability to win back the ball – but rather like Ten Hag it previously looked like he had little future at the club and was another expensive mistake. What will the goal mean? Will it be Ten Hag’s Mark Robins’ moment? Time will tell but how ironic that Robins now stands in his way.Manchester United beat Liverpool in FA Cup quarter-final, as it happened06:57 PM GMTA tremendous matchand, as Jason Burt says in his match report above, one that might turn out to be a pivotal moment in the career of Erik ten Hag. Read Jason’s take above, and we will see you for the next one. Cheers.06:42 PM GMTMark Pougatch“Football. Amad game.”06:41 PM GMTThe winnerAmad of Manchester United celebrates the winner – Getty06:40 PM GMTJurgen Klopp“United had a better start, we had not a good start. We adapted really well to what they did and we played a top game. At 2-1 up we had so many chances where we had to kill the game off, but we didn’t choose the right pass. Obviously the rest is history.  Normal time, nearly there. Extra time, nearly there, and then we lose the game.“I cannot ask the boys for more. We have had a much more intense season and it has been hard. United took a lot of risks and I respect that. The longer the game goes our decision making does not get better. Congratulations to United for going to the semi-final, and we have a game less, or two games less, and we have to use that.”06:38 PM GMTErik ten Hag“If you want to go to the final, you have to win the semi. Coventry, we say yesterday, have a very good spirit.“First 30 minutes was, for me, the best minutes of our season. We were really there, acting as a team. But then gaps between the lines and you cannot allow that against Liverpool. They outplay you. We changed things, went 1 against 1 and the mentality and belief was great.“Marcus is resilient. He kept going. He was disappointed (not to score winner in 90 mins) but he kept going.“I have said for many weeks that we have a team for the future that is very good. Players are progressing and developing. You see the potential.“Despite all the injuries and setbacks we have…

#Amad #Diallo #seals #Man #Utd #victory #Liverpool #Cup #tie #ages

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