At the time, the Merseysiders took an early lead courtesy of a towering header from Liverpool centre-back Ibrahima Konate. But the crucial moment at Wembley fell to the feet of the American goalkeeper, literally, as Sadio Mane slid in on the dithering shot-stopper to bundle the ball into Liverpool’s second goal into the back of the net.
Mane followed his comical goal up with a sumptuous second goal of the afternoon, lashing home a wonderful Thiago Alcantara flick on the half volley. Jack Grealish clawed a goal back after half-time to bring Manchester City back into the contest, before Bernardo Silva reduced the deficit to a singular goal in the 91st minute.
Unfortunately for Steffen and Guardiola, the former Dusseldorf keeper’s error was fatal, as Liverpool went on to survive the late scare to book their place in the final against Chelsea. And O’Hara believes Guardiola’s bold call was borderline disrespectful to Liverpool and Klopp.
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“But they had no Kyle Walker, no Kevin de Bruyne, they had a real tough midweek clash against Atletico Madrid which would have taken a lot out of them. Liverpool were always going to come flying out of the blocks as they rested players against Benfica.
“They were at full strength, full tilt, and they were playing Steffen in goal. It’s almost like you’re disrespecting Liverpool in the sense that you think you can turn up in an FA Cup semi-final and play your second-string goalkeeper against the best team in the world right now. Like come on, how many times do you want to do this Pep?”
“Like come on, how many times do you want to do this Pep?” City and Liverpool could be set to face each other again in the Champions League final.
The Citizens will first have to overcome La Liga leaders Real Madrid, while Liverpool will be confronted by this season’s surprise package Villarreal. The Reds are also only one point behind City in the Premier League table, having overthrown a once deemed to be unassailable 14 point gap.