Report: United 4 Liverpool 3

Sunday 17 March 2024 18:35

Manchester United have booked their place in the FA Cup semi-final, sealing a historic last-gasp 4-3 victory against arch-rivals Liverpool in extra-time at Old Trafford.

Much of the pre-match discussion focused on the rhythm and strength of Jurgen Klopp's visiting side, but it was United who set the tone early on with relentless attacking pressure.

That impetus was rewarded with just 10 minutes played when a deflected Alejandro Garnacho shot was palmed by Caoimhin Kelleher and fell into the path of an on-rushing Scott McTominay to crash into the open goal.

A flurry of attacks from the visitors late in the half produced goals from Alexis Mac Allister and Mohamed Salah, putting Liverpool ahead as the players returned to the dressing room.

Both sides searched determinedly for the all-important next goal following the break, but it wasn't until the attacking changes from Ten Hag that United found the equaliser moments from the final whistle through substitute Antony, providing us the momentum heading into the additional 30 minutes.

Harvey Elliott's goal in extra-time looked to be enough for Klopp's side, before Marcus Rashford sent the Old Trafford crowd into pandemonium with an equaliser.

Penalties looked a certainty, but they were not to be needed, as substitute Amad combined with Garnacho on the break to seal the victory in the very last seconds of the 120-minute game.

Semi-final place secured, history created.

Scott McTominay was a key attacking outlet in the first half.


Ten Hag's side started with purpose. A nice period of intricate play between Kobbie Mainoo, Bruno Fernandes and Aaron Wan-Bissaka concluded with the full-back claiming the game's first shot on target, but it was too much of a stretch away to generate any power.

Rashford followed this up on the four-minute mark with a curled effort that left Kelleher diving to tip the effort wide. A volley at the far post that fizzed wide from Salah served as a warning for United, but they would soon be rewarded for the early pressure.

Rashford once again picked up the ball on the left flank and fed a pass to an underlapping Garnacho into the box. Kelleher parried the resulting effort but sent the ball looping high in front of his own goal and McTominay, in his signature style, ensured that nobody was getting there ahead of him to poke home the opening goal with 10 minutes played.

The visitors regained some control in the game and began to venture forward in flashes, but failed to present a real test to Andre Onana until the 37th minute.

A minute earlier, Rashford cut back to McTominay whose powerful effort looked bound to provide United's second but was fired straight at Kelleher.

Klopp's side then looked to pounce on the counter down the left side through Luis Diaz, who drilled a shot but was stopped by the strong hands of Onana.

Now cranking up the pressure, the Merseysiders thought they had equalised seconds later when Salah found Wataru Endo in the centre but the Egypt international was ruled marginally offside in build-up.

Having defended resolutely through the latter stages of the opening half, United's defence was finally breached shortly before the interval through Mac Allister, whose effort from near the edge of the box took a slight deflection off the boot of Mainoo and past Onana, who got a hand to it.

Liverpool then took the lead for the first time in the game in stoppage time. Joe Gomez won the ball, forcing Fernandes to the floor, deep in United's half and found Darwin Nunez at the back post. The Uruguayan's effort was palmed away well by Onana, but Salah was there to sweep up the rebound. The shouts of a foul on Fernandes by Gomez were ultimately dismissed by VAR.

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Both teams re-entered the fray determined to make the first mark on the second half, continuing what had been an energetic end-to-end spectacle to this point in the game.

Fernandes almost created United's second when he flashed a cross along the goalline, but it met Rasmus Hojlund at a height too awkward for the Dane to reach.

Nunez slipped past Raphael Varane on the hour mark before thundering a close-range effort that was turned behind strongly by Onana. In the second phase of the corner that followed, the ball dropped to Luis Diaz just outside the six-yard box but was blocked heroically by Hojlund to ensure the tie didn't slip out of United's grasp.

The game settled into a comfortable rhythm for the Merseysiders following that effort, prompting Ten Hag to look to his bench to refresh his side.

Throwing everything forward as we entered the final stages of the game, United almost came unstuck when Liverpool hit on the counter and had five men rushing forward towards a two-strong defensive line, but Ten Hag's side regrouped just in time to cut out Harvey Elliott's shot and clear the resulting rebound.

The all-out-attack approach from the Dutchman paid off, as Garnacho managed to bundle to ball to Antony in the penalty area. The surrounded Brazilian twisted and turned to squeeze a low shot off that nestled into the bottom right corner.

Old Trafford erupted in the knowledge that the winger had just earned another 30 minutes to find the winning goal, and kept the chance of a semi-final trip to Wembley alive.

The momentum was with United and extra-time was almost unnecessary with the last kick of normal time, as substitute Christian Eriksen lofted a ball over the visitors defence and to the feet of Rashford. The following shot had beat Kelleher, but was also, unfortunately, beyond the far post, with replays showing that our no.10 may have been offside in any case.

Ten Hag's attacking changes proved in the difference in the final moments of normal time.


A number of late opportunities, following Antony's last-gasp equaliser, meant United entered extra-time with the momentum behind us.

Efforts from Victor Lindelof and Rashford were inches wide of the post, but Liverpool's Elliott was the player to find the back of the net from just outside the box, a deflection into the ground from Eriksen's boot taking it beyond Onana.

The clock was ticking and the game looked to be slipping away from United, until McTominay, who opened proceedings, crucially intercepted a misplaced Nunez pass deep in the Liverpool half and immediately fed a pass through to Rashford.

Having gone close at crucial points, our no.10 found the finish when it mattered, exploiting a gap in a crowded defence and finishing coolly in the most pressured of situations, before running off into an adoring Stretford End crowd.

Penalties beckoned, but they would not be needed in this dramatic clash.

With Klopp's men committed forward in the final seconds of extra-time, substitute Amad charged down Elliott before Garnacho picked up the ball and drove forward.

The Argentina international found his team-mate on the edge of the box and, from the tightest of angles, the 21-year-old's finish won an FA Cup tie that will go in the history books at Old Trafford.

The young forward received a second yellow card for his celebrations, but that won't matter, United are into the hat for the semi-final.

Last-gasp pure elation as Amad books United a place in the FA Cup semi-finals.


United: Onana; Dalot, Varane (Amad 85), Lindelof (Mount 106), Wan-Bissaka (Maguire 71); Mainoo (Eriksen 80), McTominay; Garnacho, Fernandes (c), Rashford; Hojlund (Antony 71).

Unused substitutes: Heaton, Kambwala, Amrabat, Forson.

Bookings: Fernandes 45+3, Amad 116, 120+2.

Red card: Amad 120+2.

Goals: McTominay 10, Antony 87, Rashford 112, Amad 120+1.

Liverpool: Kelleher; Gomez (Tsimikas 101), Quansah, van Dijk (c), Robertson (Bradley 77); Szoboszlai (Elliott 72), Endo, Mac Allister; Salah (Gakpo 77), Nunez, Diaz (Clark 113)

Unused substitutes: Adrian, Gravenberch, McConnell, Danns.

Bookings: Mac Allister 31, Gomez 60, Kelleher 109.

Goals: Mac Allister 44, Salah 45+2, Elliott 105.