London: City manager Pep Guardiola opted to rest several starters, including goalkeeper Ederson, and the weakened eleven was outplayed by Jurgen Klopp’s team in the first half. Liverpool, which is on course for a quadruple having already won the League Cup, held a massive three-goal (3-0) advantage while heading in for the breather.
Central defender Ibrahima Konate headed Liverpool ahead from a corner in the ninth minute before a dreadful error from City’s back-up goalkeeper Zack Steffen gifted the Reds a second. Steffen took too long when receiving a back pass from centre-back John Stones, with Sadio Mane sliding in to tackle the goalkeeper and putting the ball into the net.
Mane then added another in a more conventional fashion on the stroke of half-time, driving a volley past Steffen after being set up by midfield maestro Thiago. Summer signing Jack Grealish pulled a goal back for City about 70 seconds after the resumption while Bernardo Silva made it 3-2 in stoppage time.
“I am absolutely proud. The first half was one of the best we have ever played. We did all the right stuff and scored in the right moments. I really loved each moment of it. The quadruple talk, I cannot believe. We beat the best football team in the world and that is a pretty special moment,” said Klopp after the match.
On his part, Liverpool forward Mane said: “It is special. It was not an easy game. It is a big, big, big win. We are very pleased to qualify for the final.”
RESULT: Manchester City 2 (J Grealish 47, Bernardo 90) lost to Liverpool 3 (I Konate 9, S Mane 17 & 45)