Liverpool reached their first FA Cup final in a decade with a thrilling victory over Manchester City on Sunday.
Ibrahima Konate scored once and Sadio Mane twice as the Reds held on to beat their main rivals 3-2 in the semi-final. The result means Jurgen Klopp’s side still harbour hopes of a trophy clean sweep having already won the League Cup and reached the Champions League semi-finals while standing a point behind City in the Premier League table.
But there was plenty that went unnoticed or under the radar during the 90 minutes at Wembley.
The Liverpool support was outstanding on Saturday, truly turning one half of Wembley into the old Anfield South and providing proof that, for all the talk of nice stands and quality acoustics, it’ll always be the people who ultimately make an atmosphere.
But some Reds fans got a little bit carried away with the two early strikes from their team, with a number of flares being thrown from the stand behind Alisson Becker’s goal, engulfing the goalkeeper in red smoke.
He wasn’t massively impressed. Which, given he couldn’t properly see at one time as City went on the attack, wasn’t exactly a surprise.
Klopp’s all right, Jack
Even by his standards, Jurgen Klopp was exceptionally involved on the touchline during the game. Not least during the second half when a pass out of defence from Ibrahima Konate was cut out with Gabriel Jesus then sent racing clear.
Klopp, hands on his head in despair, could only watch in potential horror as Alisson ultimately made a fine save to deny the City striker.
A far less stressful incident came during a break in play in the second half before the introduction of Jordan Henderson, when Klopp whiled away the moments by approaching the nearby Jack Grealish and having a chat with the England international. Whatever was said, both Grealish and Klopp were all smiles.
Beg your pardon, banner?
On the walk up Wembley, sorry, Olympic Way to the stadium, posts on either side of the road were emblazoned with banners saluting FA Cup highlights of yesteryear.
That said, for a team that has won the trophy on seven occasions, Liverpool representation was largely conspicuous by its absence, in comparison to finals where the Reds had been beaten.
And the FA went a bit too far with the last banner that hailed City’s ‘unprecedented quadruple’ of 2019 in which they won the Premier League, League Cup, FA Cup and, er, Community Shield. Nice try, though.
Boot-iful from Keita
Naby Keita recently declared he was bringing more aggression to his game. And at Wembley he certainly went about underlining that point.
Indeed, it was Keita who was straight up in the face of Fernandinho after the City midfielder had gone straight through Sadio Mane to prompt a brief set-to between a number of players.
And the ever-pressing Guinean drove Bernardo Silva to such distraction that in the first half the frustrated City man offered his boot to his opponent. Well done, Naby lad.
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