Milan decided to keep faith with the team that had gotten Liverpool this far, even though it was an important Semi-Final match against arch rivals, Manchester United. That included starts for Samuel Okoro, Joe Gomez, Harper, Elmas, Brewster, Curtis Jones and Phil Simmons.
And Man Utd duly licked their lips in anticipation and rightly so, as Utd got off to the best possible start on 4 minutes as Marco Asensio opened up the scoring. And they kept up the pressure and Asensio again, doubled the lead in the 23rd minute as Liverpool were all at sea. And a brilliant first half was made more memorable as Lukaku scored with 3 minutes left, as United went in 3-0 at the break.
Milan duly read the lads the riot act and it did inspire a better performance, but still Paul Pogba put paid to that in the 54th minute with a neatly timed finish, as United fans were in full voice, mocking their rivals as Liverpool tried desperately to get a goal, but left empty handed.
“It was a pathetic and abject performance. I gave the lads a vote of confidence, by selecting them for such an important game and they let me down. Next time i’ll think twice about doing so and will probably pick the best team that’s available to me.”
“We’re in a poor position after the first leg. I think i put too much faith, too early in some of you and we failed. And now we’ve got a huge mountain to climb. We need to win 5-0, and as Virgil can attest to, it’s doable. We did it with Holland in our game against Portugal and you’ve all got the ability to do the same here tonight. We’re better than them, league table proves that. And we can blow away any team on our day, so let’s go out there and embarrass, Manchester United and get to the Carabao Cup Final.”
Liverpool started on the front foot, but the majority of their shots were off target as the crowd began to grow frustrated hoping for an early goal, but it never came. Then in the 30th minute Tierney crossed in from the left and Mo Salah volleyed it into the bottom right corner with his weaker right foot, giving Liverpool the lead. Less than two minutes later, United are on the attack and Virgil intercepts a cross and Liverpool hit on the counter as Firmino slides a ball into Almada, who backheels to Tierney, who side passes it to Arthur, who see’s Keita free on the edge of the penalty area and slams the ball first time into the top corner past De Gea and gives Liverpool a 2-0 lead.
Straight from kickoff, Liverpool were once again on the front foot and with 33 minutes gone, TAA had a throw in from the right, Pogba headed it back, and TAA managed to get his head on the ball as it falls to Keita who passes to Almada and he weaves his way into the area, before sliding to the ball into Mane on the left who slams the ball into the back of the next with a first time shot that De Gea had no chance of stopping. Three goals in THREE minutes and Liverpool lead 3-0 and the comeback could really be on.
HT Liverpool 3-0 Manchester United.
Second half gets underway and United try to get themselves back into it, but with 54 minutes gone, Virgil gets the ball at the back and drives forward passing to Mane on the left. Who runs at the defence and finds Firmino with an accurate pass into the penalty area, who turns and shoots, but Dias blocks the shot as De Gea dives for the ball and it runs to Naby Keita who doesn’t hesitate and guides the ball into an empty net to send the Liverpool fans into raptures as Liverpool make it 4-0 on the night and 4-4 on aggregate much to everyone's surprise.
With the match on a knife edge and both teams attacking, Tierney had a throw in, in the 87th minute as it flies into the penalty area, it hits Bruno Fernandes jumps and handles the ball, as Andy Madley wants a closer look at VAR.
And it’s a PENALTY. VAR has confirmed it and he also sends Fernandes off for a second yellow card. Keita steps up in the 90th minute, as De Gea stares him down. Taking a deep breath, Milan’s holding his on the sidelines, as Keita runs up and smashes the ball to the left, De Gea dives the same way, but can’t get to it!! GOAL!!! LIVERPOOL ARE LEADING 5-0 TO MANCHESTER UNITED AND WITH A COUPLE OF MINUTES LEFT!! WHAT A COMEBACK!!
Milan sprints down the touchline and jumps into the players with Keita somewhere at the bottom as the players, staff and fans alike go completely bonkers, as United players and fans look on in disbelief. Four minutes of added on time and Andy Madley blows the final whistle and LIVERPOOL ARE IN THE FINAL!!!
Apart from Arthur, Elmas and Lloris, Liverpool made no other signings. But they cleared the decks with a few outgoings. Most notably Umtiti, Zaha & Samassekou with Ivan Gomez heading out on loan.
Justice: Here's hoping i don't have to come from 3-0 down this time lol.
Scott: And they will be indeed, but i'm confident in the squad. Yeah some teams have fallen away. Normally Bayern do for a few years, so awaiting that one.