Pep Guardiola said that every game feels like a final after Manchester City stepped up their quest to complete a treble by advancing to the last four of the FA Cup.

The Citizens reached the semi-finals of the competition for the fifth time in six seasons after a commanding 4-1 victory over Southampton at St Mary’s.

Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne were on target either side of an Aymeric Laporte own goal, while substitutes Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez sealed the deal later on.

The Premier League leaders, who also have a Champions League quarter-final clash with Atletico Madrid to look forward to, remain in the hunt for three trophies this season. 

Impressed with the improvement of his side’s performance after the break against the Saints, Guardiola is well aware of the stakes on offer with every game that passes.

The Spaniard told BBC Sport: "For the last 15 [minutes] of the first half, we forgot to play, knowing that this would be difficult because Southampton is one of the best, most organised teams we face all season.

"They push you with incredible intensity, but the goal we conceded was a consequence of us forgetting to play.

"The second half was much better, in personality and play. They had one chance for Che Adams, at 2-1, but the quality of our players up front made the difference.

"It was not a comfortable victory, but now we go into the international break.

"There are two months left in the season, and we are in three competitions. We know every game is a final, and we knew it was important not to lose today."

De Bruyne, who was on target from the penalty spot, believes the third – a stunning 20-yard Foden volley – and fourth goals epitomised the quality that City possess.

And the Belgium international, who was part of the side that lifted the trophy in 2019, has his sights set on doing so again having suffered semi-final defeats in each of the last two seasons.

The midfielder added: "I think the first 20 minutes and the last half an hour, we did well. In between, we made too many stupid mistakes and even with their goal, we should have just played it out – there were 30 seconds to go until half-time.

"We chose the wrong options and Southampton came back into the game. Not a lot was said at half-time, but we had to play better, and we did that.

"But I think the reaction was really good; the second half, we dominated, and we did much better.

"The third and fourth goals were beautiful goals, and we saw then how good we can play.

"We want to win every competition we enter. We have lost in a couple of FA Cup semi-finals, but we are very happy and privileged we go again and hopefully, we can win it this time."

Manchester City marched through to their fifth FA Cup semi-final appearance in six years after defeating Southampton 4-1 at St Mary's.

Raheem Sterling gave Pep Guardiola’s side an early lead, but that was cancelled out before the break by an Aymeric Laporte own goal.

Kevin De Bruyne restored the visitors' advantage from the penalty spot just after the hour mark, though, and substitutes Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez struck in the final quarter of an hour to complete a commanding victory. 

Unbeaten in their last eight FA Cup matches on home soil, Southampton went close to breaking the deadlock in the 10th minute when Adam Armstrong hit the post after latching onto Oriel Romeu's neat throughball.

City capitalised on their good fortune two minutes later. Jack Stephens failed to clear De Bruyne's cross and Gabriel Jesus teed up Sterling, who found the net in the competition for an eighth successive season.

The visitors had won all 27 matches when scoring first this term. They almost doubled their lead as Ilkay Gundogan struck the post from Joao Cancelo's inviting centre, while Rodri drilled marginally wide from distance.

But the hosts levelled with the last kick of the first half. Mohamed Elyounoussi beating the offside trap before his cross deflected in off Laporte.

City restored their advantage in the 62nd minute with De Bruyne tucking away from 12 yards after Mohammed Salisu brought down Gabriel Jesus.

Foden and Mahrez were introduced shortly afterwards and both made their marks to put the tie beyond the Saints with two goals in the space of three minutes.

England international Foden fired home a stunning volley from the edge of the box, before Mahrez swept in the fourth goal – and his 14th in 16 appearances. 

Frank Lampard claimed there is a problematic "culture" at Everton that will require "huge" work to fix following his side's FA Cup thrashing at the hands of Crystal Palace.

The Toffees were beaten 4-0 at Selhurst Park in Sunday's quarter-final as Lampard became the third manager to lose each of his first four away games in charge of the club and the first since 1956.

Everton lost Andros Townsend to injury after a bright start, and once Marc Guehi had headed in the opener after 25 minutes, their resistance seemed to crumble.

Jean-Philippe Mateta made it 2-0 before half-time, with Wilfried Zaha and Will Hughes doubling Palace's lead in the final 11 minutes to complete a resounding win.

Everton were jubilant on Thursday after Alex Iwobi's injury-time goal sealed a valuable victory over Newcastle United, but they have now lost nine of their 11 matches in 2022 and conceded 16 goals in five consecutive away losses.

Just three points separate them from Watford in the Premier League relegation zone and, despite having two games in hand, manager Lampard is worried about their predicament.

When asked how big the task facing him is, Lampard told ITV Sport: "Huge, huge, because some things I saw there and in our last away game are intrinsic. They're in there, they're in the culture, and they don't turn with the flick of a switch. They turn with a lot of hard work and character.

"I'm certainly up for that. I believe the players are up for that, but they have to show that in games, and they have to show a reaction in games to do things better.

"We could've been much more comfortable today, as in contesting that game to the end. That's where we should be. The way that we handled bits within the game, without Palace playing particularly well, allowed them a free pass into the semi-final, as far as I'm concerned."

Lampard did not think Palace had to play particularly well in order to progress to the final four.

"Every time we concede, our heads go down and we get worse," he said. "Did Palace have to be good to beat us today? No.

"I'm not disrespecting Palace; I've come here with Chelsea teams and seen Zaha give us problems, [Eberechi] Eze give us problems, Conor Gallagher is one of the best players in the league this year. None of that happened today, and we lost 4-0.

"The dream of getting to Wembley and playing in a semi-final and final has gone. As far as I'm concerned, the biggest prize always this year was, can we stay in the Premier League? That's the focus now."

To compound Everton's problems, it appears Townsend could be facing a lengthy spell out of action after injuring his knee.

"He got his feet caught in the turf. It looks a bad knee injury. I'm devastated for him," Lampard added.

"I don't think it will be weeks. I'll reserve judgement until we find out more. It'll be more than that."

Crystal Palace joined Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-finals as they thrashed Everton 4-0 on Sunday.

Frank Lampard's Everton headed to Selhurst Park on the back of a morale-boosting and much-needed league win over Newcastle United yet despite a bright start they crashed out of the cup.

Palace's 3-1 win over Everton in December in the Premier League was their first against the Toffees in 14 matches and they were well on their way to another thanks to first-half goals from Marc Guehi and Jean-Philippe Mateta.

Patrick Vieira's team were hardly troubled after the break, and they capped off progression in style thanks to late goals from Wilfried Zaha and Will Hughes.

Everton might have been ahead inside the opening minute, but Ben Godfrey just failed to meet Michael Keane's scuffed shot.

Guehi survived a penalty claim after his sloppiness allowed Richarlison to pounce, though Everton's bright start was punctured when former Palace winger Andros Townsend suffered an apparent knee injury.

Palace made that break count, with the unmarked Guehi heading in from Olise's inswinging corner.

Zaha missed a great chance teed up by Mateta, yet the latter made no mistake when Palace's talisman returned the favour, drilling home first-time from a brilliant cutback, and only a last-ditch Seamus Coleman tackle prevented the striker doubling his tally before the break.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin was introduced at half-time, yet he had managed just eight touches by the time Demarai Gray went close in the 66th minute.

There was precious little quality to the visitors' play despite their precarious position and their FA Cup exit was confirmed in fittingly humbling fashion as a sliced Olise strike hit the post and fell for Zaha to nudge home.

Hughes similarly tapped into an empty net for Palace's fourth to the delight of a jubilant home crowd.

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel said in no uncertain terms that he feels Reece James is not physically ready to go away on international duty.

James, 22, has had a rough run with injuries after tearing his hamstring against Brighton late in December, briefly returning in the first week of March before getting sidelined once again.

The impressive full-back is having a great season, with five goals and six assists from 17 Premier League appearances.

England manager Gareth Southgate turned heads when he named James in the squad for upcoming friendlies against Switzerland and Ivory Coast, but Tuchel was firm when asked for his thoughts.

"[Technical and Performance Adviser] Petr Cech will have this chat because, of course, the recommendation is that [James] does not go [on international duty]," he said following Chelsea's 2-0 FA Cup win against Middlesbrough.

"He is still in individual training, otherwise, we would have brought him to Lille and we would have brought him here for sure. There is no doubt about it. 

"He is still in individual training, he needs one more week of rehabilitation and I think we can provide this much better – it is not the job of the national team to do this."

Chelsea will next play Brentford on April 2, before hosting Real Madrid in the Champions League a few days later.

Thomas Tuchel hailed the Chelsea players' response to the current takeover speculation after his side secured their FA Cup semi-final spot with a 2-0 win at Middlesbrough.

Boro knocked out Premier League sides Manchester United and Tottenham to reach the last eight, but Chelsea dominated throughout at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday.

Romelu Lukaku poked home after 15 minutes and Hakim Ziyech doubled the visitors' lead shortly after as the Blues progressed from quarter-finals for the 16th time in their previous 20 last-eight ties.

It was Chelsea's fifth straight win across all competitions since owner Roman Abramovich, who has been sanctioned by the United Kingdom government and the European Union (EU) in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, announced his intentions to sell the club on March 2.

Chelsea also coasted to victory with no away fans in attendance due to the sanctions imposed on Abramovich, and Tuchel was delighted.

"We were very focused and very serious from the beginning," Tuchel told BBC Sport.

"We showed quality in decisive moments and scored two early goals which gave us a comfortable lead, but the effort was huge to not allow big chances. I'm very happy, it was a very deserved win.

"I'm impressed with the players' focus. We accepted the [ownership] situation because we didn't cause it. It isn't in our hands, but it was important we showed the right spirit and took responsibility.

"This is very, very good. If you have the talent, it is a responsibility to show it."

Mason Mount, whose two assists took him to 50 direct goal involvements for Chelsea across all competitions, also echoed Tuchel's comments.

"Middlesbrough have been on an unbelievable run, you've seen the teams they've beat recently in the cup, so it was never going to be a comfortable night," he said.

"We didn't have many fans here tonight but I felt that we let our football do the talking. We played some good stuff, and that was the main goal for us tonight.

"We really have that winning mentality within the group. Any competition, any game, we want to win, and we want to keep that going. It's been a tough couple of weeks but for us, as a team, we're just focused and ready to play.

"We're so hungry for a domestic title, we just need to keep going. It's not been the best of runs for us at Wembley but we want to right that wrong.

"We've already had one final at Wembley this season and lost it so we're hungry to win [the semi-final]."

Chelsea secured their place in the FA Cup semi-finals with a comfortable 2-0 victory at Middlesbrough on Saturday.

Boro overcame Manchester United and Tottenham to reach the last eight, but Thomas Tuchel's Premier League side did not have such difficulties at the Riverside Stadium.

Romelu Lukaku needed just 15 minutes to open the scoring before Hakim Ziyech added a second in the first half, while Boro managed only one shot on target, which came in the 85th minute, in response.

Chelsea will now wait to find out the identity of their semi-final opponent in Sunday's last-four draw, with the ties set to take place across April 16 and 17 at Wembley Stadium.

 

Mason Mount's early cross just escaped the despairing dive of Christian Pulisic at the back post, but Chelsea were ahead shortly after.

A sweeping move out from defence offered space down the right for Mount, who whipped across for Lukaku to tap-in.

Ziyech doubled the lead 16 minutes later when he finished into the bottom-left corner from outside the area following an offload from Mount.

Mount's second assist of the game took him to 50 goal involvements for Chelsea across all competitions, while Anfernee Dijksteel cleared off the line from Lukaku before the break.

Folarin Balogun wastefully curled over and Duncan Watmore missed the target in similar fashion as Chris Wilder's side ramped up the intensity early in the second half.

Joe Lumley then denied a flicked Timo Werner header from Mount's inswinging free-kick and Edouard Mendy turned away from Watmore as Chelsea eased to victory.

What does it mean? Blues keep double hopes alive

The Premier League title appears a distant dream for Chelsea, who are third in the league, after Manchester City and Liverpool turned the race into a two-team affair.

But Tuchel's reigning European champions remain in contention to defend their Champions League title – facing Real Madrid in the quarter-finals – and are still in the hunt for the FA Cup, after progressing from the last eight for the 16th time in their last 20 quarter-final attempts.

Lovely Lukaku

Lukaku has now had a direct hand in four goals against Boro across all competitions (three goals, one assist).

His first-half strike was also his 16th FA Cup finish since his debut in January 2012 – with only Sergio Aguero (20) finding the net more times in the competition during that period.

Barren Boro run against Blues

Since recording consecutive Premier League wins over Jose Mourinho's Chelsea in 2006, Boro have lost all nine of their meetings against the Blues in all competitions.

Chelsea have recorded 21 goals during that nine-game winning run, with Boro not managing to breach the Blues' defence once in response.

What's next?

Chelsea return to Premier League action after the international break at home to Brentford on April 2, while Middlesbrough visit Peterborough in the Championship on the same day.

Nottingham Forest will leave 97 seats empty when they face Liverpool in the FA Cup on Sunday in tribute to the fans who died as a result of the Hillsborough disaster.

It was Forest who were Liverpool's opponents in the FA Cup semi-final at the home of Sheffield Wednesday in April 1989.

Those who lost their lives after a crush on the over-crowded Leppings Lane terrace were supporting Liverpool that day.

It remains a tragedy that touches both clubs, and the victims will be remembered when the sides meet for the first time in 23 years.

Two-time European Cup winners Forest have been outside the top flight of English football since 1999, meaning the once great rivalry that existed between them and Liverpool has gone cold, but the chance to reach a cup semi-final means the City Ground is a sell-out.

Only one small section will remain unoccupied.

Forest said in an announcement on Twitter: "Never forgotten. 97 seats will be left vacant at tomorrow's match in honour of those who lost their lives at our FA Cup semi-final in 1989. We look forward to welcoming Liverpool FC to the City Ground."

Seats next to a scoreboard in the stadium will be covered by draping bearing the message '97 NEVER FORGOTTEN 15.4.89'.

The disaster saw 95 fans die on the day or within days of the semi-final, which was abandoned shortly after kick-off. A 96th victim, Tony Bland, died in 1993, and the 97th to die as a result, Andrew Devine, passed away last year.

All 97 have since been ruled to have been unlawfully killed. A 1991 inquest verdict of accidental death was overturned at the high court in 2012.

Thomas Tuchel is convinced Chelsea will remain focused on winning trophies at the highest level under the club's next ownership.

The deadline for bids passed on Friday, and there were reportedly at least 30 offers submitted to US merchant bank the Raine Group, which is overseeing the sale.

Chelsea's long-time owner Roman Abramovich has been sanctioned by the UK government on the basis of connections to Russia's president, Vladimir Putin.

Abramovich has denied having close ties to Putin, the leader who ordered the ongoing Russian military invasion of Ukraine.

However, the sanctions imposed mean Abramovich, whose assets have been frozen, will not be allowed to profit from the sale of Chelsea. For now, the club continues to operate on a special licence, unable to sell match tickets or merchandise.

Tuchel believes the scale of investment that it will take to buy Chelsea will mean the next owner must make success on the pitch a priority.

The German head coach said: "If somebody buys a club for this amount of money then it's about challenging on the highest kind of level, then it's about trophies, then it's about winning, and then it's about being the best you can.

"It's not about developing a project, it's not about making money with the club.

"I don't know the ideas behind buying a club or any organisation for this amount of money because I cannot afford it and I will never be able to.

"But that's what I hope and what I think. I think Chelsea as a club and a structure and an organisation has an awful to offer, and that's why the price is like it is."

Chelsea have won the Champions League and Club World Cup over the past 12 months, asserting their place at the top of the global game.

The Blues were due in FA Cup action against Middlesbrough on Saturday evening, having received permission to fly north for the game.

Restrictions imposed on the club after Abramovich's sanctioning meant Chelsea looked like having to take a long bus trip to the Riverside Stadium in order to fall within spending limits, but UK newspaper reports indicate an exemption was secured for the quarter-final game.

Abramovich is said to have valued the club, which he bought in 2003, at £3billion. Any funds are due to be directed to a charitable organisation or into a frozen account.

One interested party is a consortium headed by British property developer and Chelsea supporter Nick Candy. The Ricketts family, owners of MLB's Chicago Cubs and backed by hedge fund entrepreneur Ken Griffin, are another party to have officially made a bid.

Martin Broughton, the ex-Liverpool chairman, and Sebastian Coe, the president of World Athletics, are heading up a consortium, with another led by Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss and American businessman Todd Boehly, a part-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Pep Guardiola insisted he would not swap any of his Manchester City players as they chase treble glory – batting away speculation about Erling Haaland.

City could match Manchester United's 1998-99 feat of winning the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League in one season, and Guardiola is no longer ridiculing that possibility.

They are a nose ahead of Liverpool in the Premier League and through to the quarter-finals of both knockout competitions, achieving such success largely without a recognised 'number nine' striker.

Haaland is the player most frequently linked with City, although Real Madrid and Barcelona are known to admire Borussia Dortmund's prolific marksman too. A decision could reportedly come soon regarding Haaland's future.

"Since I'm here, apparently every month, two months, we're going to sign 50 players," Guardiola said, when asked about the 21-year-old Norwegian. "Right now, listen, it's impossible I'm going to talk about some guy who's not here, and I don't know if he will be here. He's a Dortmund player.

"You can ask for this player or another one or another one. A transfer window is going to start, and many things are going to happen."

Southampton provide the opposition on Sunday in the FA Cup, with Guardiola taking issue with a reporter who questioned whether it might be challenging to motivate his City players for the trip to St Mary's.

Given City's other targets and Liverpool's rapid gain on them in the title race, some might consider the FA Cup a distraction, but not Guardiola.

"How do you ask me this, when we show in the last six years that we play every game in every competition like it was the last game in our lives?" Guardiola said.

"I know it looks like everything is gone, it is over, no chance of anything, but the manager still trusts a lot in his players to try to win every competition, being who we are.

"I want to do it with these guys. I would not change one single player to do these next two months we have ahead of us. Success? I don't know."

 

Since Guardiola joined City ahead of the 2016-17 campaign, Southampton have won just one of the 13 clashes between the sides (D3 L9), a 1-0 victory in July 2020 on home soil. City have drawn home and away in the Premier League with Southampton this season, however.

Guardiola was asked about how City have achieved spectacular success during his reign, while neighbours Manchester United have fallen short of delivering trophies.

United's last major silverware came in the 2016-17 season when they won the EFL Cup and Europa League, and despite high investment in players since then, they have been unable to keep pace with City.

"I would love to give an opinion about that, not to help them, because I'm sorry, but I don't have an opinion because I'm not there," Guardiola said. "I don't know the reason why. I think the team they have is fantastic. We cannot deny how good they are. But the reason why, I would say because the contenders are good too."

Guardiola said City were enjoying success due to the financial backing they have, and the support he and his staff receive from club hierarchy, comparing this to United in the Alex Ferguson era and Chelsea during early years of Roman Abramovich's ownership.

When it comes to others falling short, Guardiola said: "The difference in this club is there is strategy for many years. We lose, but this is the way."

City are losing only very rarely these days, which means the treble dream lives on. They won the domestic treble in 2018-19, but now the three trophies they are chasing include the old European Cup.

"I would say in September, October, November, it's more difficult," Guardiola said. "But we have two months left and still you can be there to win the titles, it can be possible. On the other side, it happened once in the lifetime."

Thomas Tuchel sees no reason to leave Chelsea for Manchester United despite the continued uncertainty at Stamford Bridge.

Sanctions imposed on Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich – a Russian businessman who is claimed to have links to Vladimir Putin – in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine have impacted the club's day-to-day operations.

As they wait on a sale, the Blues cannot engage in contract negotiations or sell tickets or merchandise, while their spending in key areas such as travel is capped.

Meanwhile, United – one of the richest clubs in world football – are looking for a new manager for next season, prompting talk Tuchel could be targeted.

But the Chelsea coach, who confirmed his side would be able to fly to Middlesbrough for Saturday's FA Cup quarter-final, dismissed the suggestion.

Asked for his reaction to the reports, Tuchel said: "There's no reaction at all.

"Do you feel me [being] less committed to the club? Less involved in the club in my situation? I think absolutely not.

"I have said many times that I love to be here and I love to work for Chelsea, and this club has everything that it needs to make me happy. That's why there is no need.

"We have plenty of reasons to stay in the moment here, and that is what we're doing."

A move to Old Trafford would ensure Tuchel's ability to spend in the coming transfer window, which remains uncertain as long as he stays at Chelsea.

But the Champions League-winning coach is confident the London club will be able to stay competitive.

"Maybe players will decide something they would not have decided if the situation had been different. Okay, maybe," he said.

"But there are so many 'ifs' in this; if it comes to this, we will find a solution.

"I still believe Chelsea will stay strong, Chelsea will hopefully stay football first, will hopefully stay a team-first club. I have trust and I believe in our ability to adapt.

"We will find solutions once the situation has cleared, once we are hopefully able to act again."

Although Tuchel was previewing the Boro game – for which Reece James is a doubt, putting his England availability into question with Trent Alexander-Arnold already out – he was speaking moments after Chelsea were drawn against Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals.

A clash with Atletico Madrid's tie with Manchester City could prevent Chelsea playing away at the Santiago Bernabeu in the second leg, as was initially indicated, but no change had been made as Tuchel reflected on the draw.

"It's a tough one," he said. "The challenge cannot be much higher than playing the second leg in the Bernabeu with spectators.

"It's a big challenge, but there is also big excitement around this match, around this fixture. We know what's coming. It will be an exciting match and a tough challenge."

Middlesbrough boss Chris Wilder believes FA Cup rivals Chelsea will believe "the world's against them" after owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK government.

An FA Cup quarter-final at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday evening sees Chelsea go up against a Championship team who have knocked Manchester United and Tottenham out of the competition already.

Wilder, who previously managed in the Premier League with Sheffield United, will have Middlesbrough's players geed up for the occasion.

But he suspects Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea will also be determined to deliver a big performance, suggesting they have developed a "siege mentality" since the club sank into crisis.

He also believes the London club as a whole have woken up to the reality of their situation, having been roundly mocked for suggesting the Middlesbrough game be played behind closed doors.

On the pitch, Chelsea's players have shown focus since the club's crisis surfaced, beating Norwich City, Newcastle United and Lille in consecutive games.

"I've not taken too much notice about all the stuff that's happened over the last week and a half. This is an outstanding team in every aspect of the game. A squad I would imagine is worth about a billion pounds," Wilder told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"They've got world-class players and a world-class manager, regardless of all the stuff that's been going on. They are still in the hunt for a top-three finish and in the quarter-finals of the Champions League and the FA Cup.

"Their mentality I imagine should have been strengthened, with a little bit more of a siege mentality, that the world's against them, and they will certainly want to progress in the cup."

Chelsea were set to travel north by bus, rather than taking a private jet, with belt-tightening measures having been drawn up since the club was placed in special measures.

Abramovich has been sanctioned over links to Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, and the club have been barred from selling tickets or merchandise.

When Chelsea requested that the Middlesbrough game be played without spectators for the sake of "sporting integrity", the London club faced ridicule and soon backed down.

Wilder was baffled too, saying: "I think like 99.99 per cent of people who love the game, [I thought] 'What is going on?'," he said.

"A bit of head scratching at the time. It was a decision that was met universally with displeasure. I don't know another word to use, it was baffling.

"There was a quick turnaround in terms of what they wanted to happen, maybe checking themselves a little bit, getting a grip of themselves and saying, 'Well really this shouldn't happen', and coming to a sensible conclusion."

Since recording back-to-back Premier League wins over Jose Mourinho's Chelsea in February and August 2006, early in the Abramovich era, Middlesbrough have lost each of their last eight matches with the Blues in all competitions without scoring a single goal.

Middlesbrough will be appearing in their first FA Cup quarter-final since 2016-17, when they lost 2-0 at home to Manchester City. They have been eliminated at this stage on each of the last four occasions they have reached the final eight, since making the semi-finals in 2005-06 under Steve McClaren.

Wilder suggests Middlesbrough have only "a puncher's chance" ahead of the visit of the third-placed team in the Premier League.

"But we want to give it a good go," he said. "It wouldn't be the biggest upset in cup history, but we are certainly up against it."

Trent Alexander-Arnold will miss Liverpool's FA Cup tie against Nottingham Forest and is unavailable for England duty due to a hamstring injury, Jurgen Klopp has confirmed.

The full-back, who was named in Gareth Southgate's latest England squad on Thursday, will be forced to miss the Three Lions' March international friendlies against Switzerland the Ivory Coast.

The Reds travel to the City Ground on Sunday in pursuit of a semi-final place, a few weeks on from claiming the EFL Cup against Chelsea at Wembley.

Victory would take them one step closer to a potential quadruple, with Klopp's side still in contention for both the Premier League and Champions League too.

But they will have to do so this weekend without Alexander-Arnold, while Mohamed Salah could be a doubt for the visitors too.

"Trent is out with a hamstring, so will be out for England too," Klopp told his pre-match news conference. "[It's] not good news, [but] we will see how long it takes. Mo felt his foot a little bit after the game too."

Asked on how his side would cope without Alexander-Arnold, Klopp added: "We will see. To replace him is difficult but possible.

"We have [James] Milner, [Joe] Gomez, these kind of things. Trent is so influential but Milner has done incredibly well in the past. We'll see how [he] is for Sunday."

Liverpool are set to play their first FA Cup quarter-final under Klopp, with the trophy one of the few gaps on his resume since he arrived on Merseyside.

If he is able to guide them past Forest - themselves in the last eight for the first time since the 1995-96 campaign - then the Reds will move a step closer to further silverware this season.

Thomas Tuchel says he wants Chelsea to be the side that everyone aims to avoid heading into the Champions League quarter-finals.

The reigning champions kept their title defence on track on Wednesday by advancing to the last eight with a 4-1 aggregate victory over Lille.

Leading 2-0 from the first leg at Stamford Bridge three weeks ago, Tuchel's side fell behind at Stade Pierre-Mauroy to a Burak Yilmaz penalty.

However, Christian Pulisic responded in first-half stoppage time, before Cesar Azpilicueta completed the turnaround with 19 minutes remaining.

Tuchel is hopeful his side will have the fear factor in the quarter-final draw, which takes place on Friday.

The head coach also heaped praise on skipper Azpilicueta, whose last Champions League goal also came against Lille back in December 2019.

"I want us to be the team nobody wants to play," Tuchel said. "That's the role we want to see ourselves in this last eight.

"[Azpilicueta] is maybe the perfect example to describe a person as a leader. He is doing it in good times and bad times, if he is a regular starter or not. 

"If he is playing a wing-back, which is maybe not his best position, he is there. We do not need extra, extra at the moment; we just need reliable teamwork and reliable spirit.

"I don't know if Azpi is talking to the players; I just know he is doing what he normally does."

Chelsea are back in action on Sunday, when they travel to Middlesbrough in the FA Cup quarter-finals.

The build-up to the tie was dominated by the club requesting that home supporters also be blocked from attending the Riverside, after restrictions imposed following the sanctioning of owner Roman Abramovich rendered them unable to sell any tickets beyond the 600 already sold from their away allocation.

The Blues subsequently withdrew the request, which had been met with widespread ridicule and opposition, with Tuchel also welcoming that decision.

"We love to play in front of spectators and I don't think the spectators of our opponents should suffer from the consequences," he added. "We love to play in front of spectators. 

"Me and the team were not involved in this decision. We were happy it was withdrawn."

Chelsea have withdrawn their request for Saturday's FA Cup tie with Middlesbrough to be played behind closed doors to "protect sporting integrity" after they were banned from selling tickets.

Blues owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the United Kingdom government following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, but Chelsea have been granted a special licence to continue operating.

As part of the restrictions placed on Chelsea, they were unable to sell any tickets beyond the 600 they had already sold from their away allocation for the Riverside Stadium, meaning there will be a limited number of away fans in attendance for the quarter-final.

Chelsea lodged a request to the Football Association (FA) on Tuesday pushing for home supporters to also be blocked from attending, which was met with widespread ridicule and opposition.

Boro responded by making a stance that the Blues' "bizarre" demands were "ironic in the extreme", and the reigning European champions have since removed their request

The FA confirmed the decision in a statement that said: "After constructive talks between The FA and Chelsea, the club has agreed to remove their request for the Emirates FA Cup quarter-final tie against Middlesbrough to be played behind closed doors.

"The FA remains in ongoing discussions with Chelsea, the Premier League and the government to find a solution that would enable both Chelsea fans to attend games and away fans to attend Stamford Bridge, whilst ensuring sanctions are respected."

Chelsea must head to Lille on Wednesday before travelling to Boro, who have already eliminated Manchester United and Tottenham from this season's FA Cup.

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