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United View: Victory against Liverpool could spark a strong end to the season

Manchester United secured a spot in the FA Cup semi-final after a sensational victory against bitter rivals Liverpool thanks to Amad Diallo’s goal in the 120th minute.

It was an instant classic that could help rejuvenate United as they approach the run-in for the end of the season.

Erik ten Hag said the opening 30 minutes was one of the best performances his side has produced this season and it’s easy to see why. An early goal from Scott McTominay along with high intensity saw United beat Liverpool at their own game.

Jurgen Klopp’s side responded just before halftime, with goals from Alexis Mac Allister and Mohamed Salah, which bled into the second half as Liverpool dominated the ball and pegged United back. But despite having opportunities, they were unable to finish off the tie.

They lived to rue this, as United ended the game with the same vigour they started with. Antony’s equaliser in the 86th minute prompted his side to go for the win, which they almost did when the ball fell to Marcus Rashford in injury time, but he was unable to convert.

Harvey Elliot’s deflected effort in extra time looked as though the momentum had shifted once again. However United responded when Rashford made amends for his earlier miss by equalising in the 112th minute.

In the earlier fixture at Anfield, United adopted a pragmatic approach, sitting deep and holding out for a 0-0 draw. But on Sunday, they were brave and did not settle for a draw, which they were rewarded for most spectacularly.

Amad Diallo’s goal in the 120th minute is arguably one of the best moments Old Trafford has seen in recent years, creating an indescribable feeling that Manchester United can create.

Diallo has had a stuttering start to his Manchester United career, a successful loan spell at Sunderland last year looked like it would see the Ivorian earn more game time at Old Trafford. However, a knee injury in pre-season left him absent for much of this campaign.

Fans have been calling for ten Hag to give Diallo a chance and his goal on Sunday was a sign of what he can offer. It could potentially help kickstart his career at Manchester United and undoubtedly deserves to be rewarded for possibly saving United’s season.

Ten Hag said he sympathised with Diallo, stating that competition for places has limited his playing time. However, he won’t be able to use Diallo in the upcoming match against Brentford after getting a second yellow card in the celebrations against Liverpool.

Not only has this created a feel-good feeling at Old Trafford, but it has also helped the manager who has come under scrutiny for much of this season. Whether an FA Cup win can be enough for Ten Hag to stay on as manager is unforeseen, it wasn’t for fellow Dutchman Louis Van Gaal back in 2016.

United still have a chance to qualify for the Champions League, with Spurs and Villa both dropping points at the weekend. They still sit five points behind Spurs but both they and Villa arguably have a tougher run of fixtures than United.

Even in a season filled with low points and a team far from their best, Sunday was a reminder that Manchester United is still capable of creating extraordinary moments. There have been far too few of these recently, but this one was special, especially since it was against a Quadruple chasing Liverpool.

Whether United can capitalise on this buzz after the international break remains unforeseen, but it does provide an opportunity to end the season with silverware, provided they beat Mark Robins’ Coventry in the semi-final.

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