Man Utd 4-3 Liverpool: Amad Diallo's 121st-minute winner decides classic FA Cup quarter-final at Old Trafford

Report as Amad Diallo scores a 121st-minute winner for Manchester United to complete an astonishing 4-3 win over Liverpool in a classic FA Cup quarter-final at Old Trafford. Liverpool led twice in the game before the youngster's dramatic winner

By Adam Bate, Comment and Analysis @ghostgoal

Image: Amad Diallo celebrates after scoring an extra-time winner for Manchester United against Liverpool

Amad Diallo scored in stoppage-time of extra-time as Manchester United won 4-3 against Liverpool in one of the greatest FA Cup ties ever.

Liverpool were minutes away from progressing from the Old Trafford quarter-final on two occasions - leading going into the 87th minute of normal time and again in the 112th minute of extra-time - only for Erik ten Hag's team to conjure up two equalisers and an astonishing winner.

Diallo was sent off for a second bookable offence after his goal celebration to add to the incredible drama, but that was in nobody's thoughts at the final whistle, the United support wild with delight inside the Theatre of Dreams. Jurgen Klopp and his players were in shock.

Player ratings:

Man Utd: Onana (7), Wan-Bissaka (6), Dalot (7), Varane (6), Lindelof (7), Mainoo (8), McTominay (7), Garnacho (7), Fernandes (6), Rashford (6), Hojlund (6).

Subs: Antony (7), Maguire (6), Eriksen (6), Diallo (8), Mount (6).

Liverpool: Kelleher (6), Gomez (5), Quansah (6), Van Dijk (6), Robertson (6), Endo (5), Szoboszlai (7), Mac Allister (8), Salah (7), Diaz (6), Nunez (5).

Subs: Elliott (7), Bradley (6), Gakpo (5), Tsimikas (6), Clark (6).

Player of the Match: Amad Diallo.

Scott McTominay had put United in front early on amid a blistering start but goals from Alexis Mac Allister and Mohamed Salah put Liverpool in front before the break. Klopp's side wasted many chances to win it before Antony equalised against the run of play.

In extra-time, substitute Harvey Elliott put Liverpool in control again only for Marcus Rashford to seemingly send the game to penalties - but for one last twist. Diallo, just 21, finally decided it, sending United to a Wembley semi-final against Coventry and confirming this as an all-time classic.

Sky Sports' Peter Stevenson and Adam Bate react to Manchester United's thrilling 4-3 win over Liverpool in the FA Cup quarter-finals.

How FA Cup classic unfolded

Ten Hag had urged his United team to "save the season" and at the outset they played with the sort of energy that suggested they could do just that with two shots on target inside four minutes. Salah did volley wide at the other end but United led inside 10 minutes.

Caoimhin Kelleher produced another save to deny Alejandro Garnacho but only pushed the ball into the path of McTominay for what has become a trademark goal. Old Trafford erupted, responding to the obvious endeavour, but it looked a tactical triumph too.

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Image: Scott McTominay celebrates after giving Manchester United a first-half lead against Liverpool

Liverpool were exposed defensively with Joe Gomez struggling to contain an overload on his flank. Rasmus Hojlund, on his return from injury, could have capitalised but slipped. McTominay then missed a great chance for another after a stunning run by Kobbie Mainoo.

Team news:

  • Rasmus Hojlund returned to the Manchester United starting line-up after injury. Harry Maguire and Mason Mount were named among the substitutes.
  • Mohamed Salah and Andy Robertson started for Liverpool after coming off the bench against Manchester City last weekend.

The key question was whether United could maintain that intensity and the answer came in the latter stages of the half. There was a warning when Wataru Endo had the ball in the net only for Salah to be adjudged offside in the build-up. What followed was chaos.

Image: Alexis Mac Allister celebrates after scoring Liverpool's equaliser against Manchester United

Ironically, both goals came from the area where Liverpool had struggled. Jarell Quansah raided forward, ghosting past Rashford before finding Darwin Nunez. The striker laid the ball off to Mac Allister who beat Andre Onana via a deflection off Mainoo.

Liverpool led before the break. Gomez bundled Bruno Fernandes off the ball but no foul was given and though Onana saved from Nunez, that man Salah was there to score from the rebound. It was a strangely muted celebration for his 13th goal against United.

Perhaps that was because there was more to come. In truth, Liverpool appeared to take total control in the second half. United had an unconvincing penalty appeal for a handball by Andy Robertson but it was the visitors dominant. They just could not double the lead.

And Antony made them pay. With his right foot, too. His shot squirmed past Kelleher from the edge of the box in a rare United attack and suddenly the mood inside the stadium was transformed once more. It was Ten Hag and his team chasing the winner.

Image: Antony celebrates with team-mate Amad after scoring a late equaliser against Liverpool

There was still time for Elliott to strike the post with Onana beaten before Rashford wasted a clear-cut chance to end the contest with the final kick of normal time. He beat Kelleher but contrived to pass the ball wide of the far post as well. Remarkable.

Replays suggested it may have been offside but few in the ground knew that and it fuelled the sense of jeopardy as the game went to extra-time. Players were tiring but not substitute Elliott, who restored Liverpool's lead when his shot deflected off Christian Eriksen.

Image: Marcus Rashford roars in celebration after scoring an extra-time equaliser against Liverpool

Another twist felt impossible but Rashford provided it - with some help from Nunez. The Liverpool forward attempted a risky pass in his own half and failed to complete it. In an instant, Rashford was through and this time made no mistake with the shot.

One final twist? It was Liverpool who had a corner but Endo and Elliott made a mess of it on the edge of the box, allowing Garnacho to run free. He set up Diallo whose finish was right in the corner. The scenes were wild, Diallo caught up in the emotion as he removed his shirt.

Image: Amad Diallo scores an extra-time winner against Liverpool

His red card will be a footnote. Manchester United are going to Wembley at Liverpool's expense thanks to his goal - and thanks to one of the greatest FA Cup ties there has ever been.

Ten Hag: We went for it and we got it

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag praised Amad Diallo after his late winner in extra time won them their FA Cup quarter-final against Liverpool.

"The first 35 minutes I think was the best minutes from our season," Ten Hag told ITV.

"We were really there, acting as a team. But then gaps in between the lines and you can't allow this against Liverpool. Then they outplay you.

"And also after half-time, it continues.

"We had to change. We went into the risk, we went into one against one, and the players were wonderful - the mentality, the attitude was so great.

"They had strong belief to win this game. We went for it and we got it."

Klopp: We had so many chances to win

After dominating the second half, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes his side had more than enough chances to win the game in normal time as they went on to lose 4-3 in extra-time to Manchester United.

"We could have won the game and we would have deserved it," said Klopp in his press conference after the game. "But United deserved it as well."

The Liverpool boss was fulsome in his praise of his players, particularly in an "exceptional" second half but acknowledged that they left the door open for United.

"At 2-1 up we had so many chances to kill the game. Last pass not right, or in a rush in some moments. The rest is already history, if you want," he had earlier told ITV.

"We were nearly there in normal time and nearly there in extra-time and then we lose the game, that's alright. I cannot ask for much more. We have had a much more intense season so far, everybody knows that, you just have to count the games. Today was hard, very hard.

"The longer the game goes, the decision-making does not get any better. Congratulations to United, going to the semi-final, we have a game less, or have two games less, and we try to use that in the next few weeks."

Klopp loses his cool with Scandinavian TV reporter

While Klopp was measured in his response to much of the media after his side's defeat, he had little time for a reporter from a Scandinavian TV network who questioned why Liverpool appeared to lose intensity in extra-time.

Below is a transcript of what was said. As a note, Liverpool have played 18 matches in 2024, Man Utd 12.

Reporter: "Normally intensity is the name of your game, so how come it became so difficult in extra-time?"

Klopp: "Bit of a dumb question, I have to say. We played I don't know how many games recently, I don't know how many games United exactly played. That's sport."

"Really disappointed about that question, but you thought obviously it's good."

Reporter: "So too many games?"

Klopp: "Oh, ah come on, you are obviously not in a great shape, and I have no nerves for you."

What's next?

The FA Cup semi-finals will take place on the weekend of April 20.

Manchester United head to Brentford in the Premier League after the international break on Saturday March 30, live on Sky Sports. Kick-off 8pm.

Liverpool host Brighton in their next league fixture on Sunday March 31, live on Sky Sports. Kick-off 2pm.

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