Jurgen Klopp was overjoyed after seeing Liverpool beat Manchester City 3-2 to reach the FA Cup final in their pursuit of an unprecedented quadruple, convinced they beat the world's best team.

Liverpool secured their spot in the English football showpiece for the first time since 2012 with a thrilling victory at Wembley on Saturday, though for a while it looked set to be far more comfortable than it ultimately proved.

The Reds were 3-0 up at half-time thanks to an Ibrahima Konate header and Sadio Mane's double – his first punished a Zack Steffen lapse, before then lashing in an excellent volley for his second.

City pulled one back through Jack Grealish and forced a tense finish when Bernardo Silva made it 3-2 in stoppage time, but Liverpool held on to leave Klopp jubilant.

"Oh absolutely proud, it's incredible," he told BBC Sport. "I think the first half was one of the best we've ever played.

"We did all the right stuff, scored at the right moments, we played an incredible game in the first half, I have to say. I loved every second of it.

"The second half started with the City goal and then it opens up. The quality of City is insane and you could see it was a much more open game.

"We had our situations. [TV pundit] Micah Richards said it was all City situations, but we had our counter-attacks and we could have closed the game there, but we respect the quality of City so much.

"It's so difficult to win against them, but because of these boys in my dressing room, we have a chance. It's enough for me to give it a try."

The victory means Liverpool remain on course for the quadruple. They have already won the EFL Cup, are into the Champions League semi-finals and continue to push City in the Premier League title race.

Klopp stressed that prolonging their season makes winning the quadruple tougher even if it is the only way to secure a clean sweep, but he appeared to be relishing the challenge after defeating the team that he believes sets the bar for everyone else in world football.

"Quadruple talk… I can't believe it," he continued. "With this game now, I'm not sure we have another full week before the last matchday, so it's all difficult.

"But who cares, we came here wanting to go to the final, we knew about the problems, but the quadruple – qualifying for this kind of final makes it even more difficult.

"It's the only way to do it but makes it more difficult too, so it's a strange situation. But all good, we are over the moon. We beat the best team in the world and that's a pretty special moment."

Liverpool will find out their opponents for next month's final on Sunday, when Crystal Palace and Chelsea tussle at Wembley.

Cristiano Ronaldo reached the remarkable landmark of 50 hat-tricks at club level as he propelled Manchester United to victory over Norwich City.

Ronaldo, who has managed 60 trebles when his goals for Portugal are added to the count, remains an arch predator at the age of 37, and his display at Old Trafford rescued an off-key United team in Saturday's encounter with the Premier League's bottom side.

After reaching 49 club trebles by hitting three against Tottenham last month, Ronaldo brought up a half-century with a close-range strike, a header from a corner and a 25-yard free-kick.

It was his third United treble (one in 2008, two in 2022). He hit three hat-tricks with Juventus and an incredible 44 during a stellar nine-year spell at Real Madrid.

Ronaldo moved to 21 goals for the season in all competitions, going through the 20 barrier for a 16th consecutive campaign, and he now has 99 Premier League goals in his career.

His goals can be broken down further, with all three of his hat-tricks for United coming in the Premier League, while with Juventus he hit two trebles in Serie A and one in the Champions League.

During his time at Madrid, spanning 2009 to 2018, Ronaldo hit 34 hat-tricks in LaLiga, seven in the Champions League, two in the Copa del Rey and one in the FIFA Club World Cup.

He managed five goals in a LaLiga game twice for Madrid, against Granada in April 2015 and against Espanyol in September of the same year, and also plundered five four-goals hauls in the same competition.

Ronaldo also hit four for Madrid in a Champions League game against Malmo in December 2015.

Arsenal's chances of securing Champions League football for next season suffered another blow as Jan Bednarek condemned them to a 1-0 loss at Southampton.

Bednarek put the hosts ahead on the stroke of half-time, with Fraser Forster making two excellent saves as Southampton inflicted Arsenal to a third straight Premier League defeat.

Having watched Tottenham suffer a last-minute reverse to Brighton and Hove Albion earlier on Saturday, Arsenal would have moved level with their top-four rivals with a victory.

A flat performance from the Gunners, however, meant Spurs' slip-up went unpunished, allowing Southampton to end a five-match winless run of their own.

Despite the end result, Arsenal did make a bright start, with Cedric Soares drawing a decent save from Forster after cutting in from the right.

Southampton's goalkeeper was forced into a more difficult stop when he brilliantly diverted Bukayo Saka's effort over the bar.

The Saints recovered from their slow start to strike first, though, when Bednarek swept Mohamed Elyounoussi's cut back home from close range after 44 minutes.

Eddie Nketiah went close with a neat backheel after meeting Cedric's cross as Arsenal searched for a response, before Saka almost picked out the top-right corner after cutting in from the right on the hour.

Forster made his second stunning save in the 73rd minute, getting down to his left to turn substitute Emile Smith Rowe's fierce volley away from the corner.

He then denied Saka and Granit Xhaka in the final 10 minutes as Arsenal's season threatens to spiral downwards.

Cristiano Ronaldo's 50th club career hat-trick dug Manchester United out of a hole against lowly Norwich City as the under-par Red Devils won 3-2 at Old Trafford.

The 37-year-old's treble was his second in his past three Premier League appearances and took him to 21 goals for the season, going through the 20 barrier for a 16th consecutive campaign.

Ronaldo moved to 99 Premier League goals in his career, and United could only thank him for sparing them a potentially embarrassing afternoon.

He put United two up early on, but Norwich hit back through Kieran Dowell and Teemu Pukki, only for former Real Madrid and Juventus star Ronaldo to lash a free-kick winner through the grasp of Tim Krul in the 76th minute.

David de Gea sprinted from his line to expertly block Pukki's attempted dink over the goalkeeper in the third minute, and Norwich would soon regret failing to take that golden chance

Ronaldo saw a fizzing 20-yard shot saved by Krul in the seventh minute, but seconds later the United man did better, with Anthony Elanga dispossessing Ben Gibson in the penalty area and squaring for an easy close-range finish.

United kept pressing against opponents who at that point appeared ripe to be picked off, and Ronaldo got their second in the 32nd minute when he headed a corner from the right by Alex Telles past Krul.

Norwich surprisingly got one back in first-half stoppage time when Pukki's cross from the left was nodded in at the far post by an unmarked Dowell.

Incredibly, having been outplayed for so long, Norwich got level after 52 minutes when Pukki tucked past De Gea after Dowell played him in and the striker stayed just onside.

United lacked coherence in attack and were out of sorts throughout, with De Gea having to save well from Milot Rashica to keep the hosts on level terms, but then up stepped Ronaldo from 25 yards to save the day.

Cristiano Ronaldo extended his astonishing streak of scoring at least 20 club goals in a season when he netted twice before half-time for Manchester United on Saturday.

The Portuguese superstar's double before the break against Norwich City took him to 20 for 2021-22, and he has now reached or passed that mark in 16 consecutive seasons.

His sensational run began during a first spell at United, with Ronaldo first breaking the 20-goal barrier when he scored 23 for the Red Devils in the 2006-07 campaign.

He hit 42 in 2007-08, and during a subsequent nine-year stint at Real Madrid, where he became the club's record scorer, Ronaldo exceeded 50 goals in six consecutive seasons from 2010-11 to 2015-16.

Ronaldo left Madrid in 2018 and remained a clinical finisher for Juventus in Italy, scoring 101 goals across three seasons with the Turin giants before being tempted back to United last August.

While 37-year-old Ronaldo stretches his remarkable record, it seems likely his former LaLiga rival Lionel Messi will see his sequence of 20-goal seasons come to an end.

Argentine great Messi managed 20-plus goals in 13 consecutive seasons for Barcelona, but he has struggled to score with the same regularity during his first year with Paris Saint-Germain. Messi has netted only eight times so far this season for PSG, who have just seven Ligue 1 games remaining.

Tottenham coach Antonio Conte was left baffled by his team's performance in Saturday's 1-0 defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion, as he struggled to surmise what went wrong.

Spurs came into the weekend on a run of four successive Premier League wins, a run that had seen them score 14 times and concede just twice.

Their display on Saturday was a significant contrast, as Spurs failed to get a single shot on target for the first time in 21 league games, and it dealt them a major blow in the top-four race.

They remain three points clear of fifth-placed Arsenal, with the Gunners in action against Southampton later on Saturday.

Tottenham's underwhelming expected goals (xG) haul of 0.5 reflected their lack of invention and threat in attack, while Conte focused on Spurs' ponderous nature in possession.

He told BT Sport: "We started very slowly and in this type of game you have to move the ball more quickly. Maybe the weather? I want to find an excuse, but it was not a good game for us."

Leandro Trossard got the decisive goal late on with a tidy finish, and Spurs' inability to at least hold on to a point was another source of irritation for Conte.

Speaking in his post-match news conference, Conte added: "For sure not a good result for us. A lesson that we can learn is that there are games that if you are not able to win you have to not lose.

"It was very clear that it wasn't our day. It was important to get three points before our rivals in the race for the Champions League but the game was very difficult.

"It was a tactical game for both sides and Brighton were very good at closing the space. I think that we are able to do much better than his.

"Perhaps a draw was more fair but Brighton played a good game. If you win against Arsenal and Tottenham away, you know it's a good game."

Yet Conte was also philosophical about the situation, adamant Spurs must get used to the expectation that surrounds tussles like the one they are in for Champions League qualification.

"Once you reach a good position in the table, then you have to try to keep this position. It's a good experience for us to try to cope with pressure."

Manchester United supporters staged a fresh protest against the club's owners on Saturday ahead of the 17-year anniversary of the takeover by the Glazer family.

Many supporters marched to Old Trafford ahead of the Premier League game against Norwich City, some carrying banners as others held lit smoke flares.

With a large police presence, there were no reports of major trouble, although the protesting continued as supporters arrived at the stadium.

A large number heeded calls to boycott the opening 17 minutes of the match, instead staying on the stadium concourses and leaving seats empty.

An early goal from Cristiano Ronaldo, to give United the lead, was followed within minutes by supporters chanting "stand up if you hate Glazers" and "we want Glazers out".

United supporters have been unhappy with the Glazer business model at United since the early days of their ownership. While the club have been commercially successful, results on the pitch in recent seasons have been poor by the club's previous high standards.

The Glazer family, then headed by Malcolm Glazer, established a controlling stake in the Red Devils in May 2005.

The protest came on the day neighbours Manchester City and fierce rivals Liverpool – firmly established as the current top two teams in England – were contesting an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.

United lost early in that competition, and in the EFL Cup, while they were beaten by Atletico Madrid at the Champions League last-16 stage and came into the Norwich game sitting seventh in the Premier League.

Their last Premier League title came in 2012-13, with United having not won a major trophy since landing the EFL Cup and Europa League titles in the 2016-17 campaign.

Interim Ralf Rangnick has guided United through the second half of this season after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer became the latest manager to struggle to deliver success.

Ajax head coach Erik ten Hag is widely seen as the favourite to become the next permanent boss.

Tottenham were dealt a huge blow in the fight for fourth place in the Premier League as Leandro Trossard's late goal gave Brighton and Hove Albion a stunning 1-0 away win.

Spurs had the chance to stretch their advantage over Arsenal to six points ahead of the Gunners' trip to Southampton later on Saturday.

But they never showed any signs of doing that, Tottenham second-best throughout a largely uninspiring encounter that Brighton dominated.

The Seagulls got their reward in the 90th minute as Trossard's fine finish with the outside of the boot sealed a deserved three points and handed the initiative back to Arsenal – themselves beaten at home by Brighton last week.

 

Alisson sees similarities between himself and Brazil colleague Ederson but accepts the Manchester City goalkeeper "looks more cool".

Liverpool keeper Alisson moved to the Premier League in 2018, 12 months after Ederson had signed for City.

The two have since set the standard in England and beyond, establishing themselves as two of the best shot-stoppers in world football.

Alisson has the gloves for Brazil, earning 54 caps to Ederson's 18, but there is little to separate the pair.

They each have 17 clean sheets in the Premier League this season – five more than their nearest rivals – while only Josa Sa (10.0) and David de Gea (6.0) have prevented more goals according to expected goals on target data.

Alisson has saved 75.6 per cent of the on-target shots he has faced, preventing 1.7 goals, with Ederson's save percentage of 71.0 slightly lower as he has prevented 1.8 goals.

Where Ederson comes out on top, though, is with the ball at his feet. Alisson's passing accuracy of 84.8 per cent ranks second among Premier League keepers but trails his countryman's outstanding 88.4 per cent. The City man is the only keeper in the division to complete more than half of his long passes (56.4 per cent), too.

Ederson's ability in possession was on show last week in a moment that garnered plenty of attention when Alisson and Liverpool visited the Etihad Stadium for a 2-2 draw.

A rare slack touch in his six-yard box, with Diogo Jota closing in, did not concern Ederson, who calmly played a square pass along his goal-line – showing the cool that makes him stand out.

 

"Ederson is a fantastic goalkeeper, fantastic guy as well, really nice," Alisson told Liverpool's official website ahead of another meeting with City in the FA Cup semi-finals.

"We have a good relationship playing together in the national team, fighting for a place in the team. 

"The things that he has achieved with his team as well are big, the level he's playing as well is high. 

"He's among the top goalkeepers in the world – maybe top three, four in my opinion. One of the best with the feet, if not the best. 

"I think we have a similar approach to the game. We are calm on the pitch, calm with the ball, players who like to play with the team as well, like to build up. We also play with teams who like to build up from behind – not only long kicks. This helps us. 

"I think he looks more cool than me – sometimes I am more angry or put more energy on things.

"Each one of us has our own skills, our own characters, but we are performing really well and in a consistent way as well."

Ederson's unerring calm was highlighted by Pep Guardiola this week, telling reporters: "This guy is crazy, honestly. Sometimes, I think, if he doesn't feel something...

"For me, for a keeper, it's top to have that feeling. Concede a goal? He's calm. Make a save? He's calm. He's so stable and, as a keeper, it's fantastic.

"For the people outside, it's completely different. In that moment, I thought it couldn't be as close [to the line]; after, I saw the image on TV. It's one inch to the goal, and it doesn't matter."

Wayne Rooney considered links to the vacant Burnley job "a compliment", but he has reiterated his commitment to Derby County.

Derby manager Rooney was one of the names cited as a possible option for Burnley after the Premier League club sensationally sacked long-time boss Sean Dyche on Friday.

Dyche had overseen 425 matches in charge of the Clarets, including 258 in the Premier League. Only six other managers have taken in more games with a single club in the competition.

At nine years and 167 days, Dyche's tenure was the longest among Premier League coaches prior to his dismissal; Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool reign (six years and 189 days as of Friday) was a distant second.

Dyche leaves Burnley 18th in the top flight and four points from safety with eight games remaining, leaving little time to hire a replacement.

Burnley Under-23s coach Mike Jackson, supported by a staff including injured captain Ben Mee, will lead the first team at West Ham on Sunday, but Sam Allardyce has been linked with the post – along with Rooney.

The former Manchester United and England captain was also reported to be a candidate for boyhood club Everton before they appointed Frank Lampard, yet he remains for now at Derby, attempting to beat relegation from the Championship.

"I think it's a compliment to me and the staff, what we've been trying to do here," Rooney said after a 2-1 win over league-leading Fulham on Friday. "[It was] the same with Everton, when you get linked with Premier League clubs.

"I was surprised when I saw that Sean Dyche had been sacked, he's been brilliant for Burnley over the last 10 years.

"Obviously, I've seen the links, I've seen in the news, various news articles that I've been linked.

"But for me what's important is I focus on trying to keep this club in this division. And the future, my future depends on this takeover, that needs to be completed."

After excelling in the Champions League for Benfica, Uruguay striker Darwin Nunez has attracted interest from Newcastle United.

Darwin, who turns 23 in June, has scored 24 goals in 24 Primeira Liga games, as well as six goals in 10 Champions League appearances. No Benfica player has ever scored more goals in a single Champions League campaign.

While some of the world's biggest clubs – including Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United – are hoping to sign the breakout star, they will have to contend with an aggressive offer to bring him to St James' Park.

 

TOP STORY – NEWCASTLE MAKE £50M BID FOR DARWIN

Newcastle have been linked with all kinds of big-name signings for the upcoming transfer window, but Footmercato is reporting that they have made a £50million bid for Darwin in an effort to fend off the challenge of rival clubs.

At such a young age, he could be the kind of marquee signing the new Newcastle board can build their future side around as they also chase more experienced players, such as Christian Eriksen from Brentford on a free transfer.

The Footmercato report also mentions that if Darwin is to leave, Benfica plan to replace him with Petar Musa, who is on loan at Boavista from Slavia Prague.

 

ROUND-UP

– 90min is reporting Lazio coach Maurizio Sarri is very interested in reuniting with Jorginho, as he is unlikely to be offered a new contract at Chelsea beyond 2023.

– Erik ten Hag would like to bring Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni to Manchester United when he takes over as manager, according to ESPN.

Arsenal, Leeds United and Newcastle are set to compete for the signature of Hoffenheim's Florian Grillitsch when his contract expires after this season, per the Daily Mail.

– The Sun is reporting Kalvin Phillips will reject Manchester United's advances and sign a new deal with Leeds.

Burnley are targeting Sam Allardyce to take over as manager after the sacking of Sean Dyche, per The Sun.

Tottenham coach Antonio Conte believes forward Son Heung-min can get even better – and expects him to do so before the end of the season.

Son has 17 goals and seven assists in 28 Premier League appearances this season to tie his personal-best goals tally, which he set in 2020-21.

In a run of hot form, he has six goals from his past three league fixtures, with a brace against West Ham, a goal and an assist against Newcastle United and a hat-trick against Aston Villa – with Tottenham winning the three matches by a combined score of 12-2.

Both Son and the team are benefiting from Conte's new front three, partnering the South Korea superstar and Harry Kane with Dejan Kulusevski.

Since Kulusevski's Premier League debut in February, following his January move from Juventus, he ranks third in the division for goal involvements (nine), with only Son (12) and Kane (13) ahead of him.

Yet Conte sees room for improvement for Son, who is now over the calf injury that sidelined him in the first month of the year.

"We are talking about a really good player," he said. 

"I was sure that it was normal after an injury to need a bit of time to recover [to] the best possible condition and get back again into our idea of football again. But I was sure, because Sonny for us is a really important player and at the peak of his form.

"But he can improve, and that is my expectation – that he gives us from now until the end of the season a big push, and to try to finish his season in the best possible way. 

"Don't forget, one month ago I asked my best players, my more representative players, that now the team needed this type of player to take on the more important responsibilities. That role is also important for this.

"I can only speak about Sonny in an enthusiastic way, because he is not only a top player, but he is a really good guy. He is very polite and a fantastic guy. When you speak with him, not only about football, it is good."

While he loves to see Son scoring goals, Conte emphasised his primary concern is about the team, and he would not prioritise helping his forward break records.

"Every record is important, and it is important to score three goals, but only if your team wins," he said.

"In the last game, if Sonny had scored three goals and we had lost 4-3, the player cannot be happy. The player has to think that, first of all, I am playing for the team. 

"We want to help Sonny to break every record, and it was the same with Harry Kane, but they know very well that the team comes before the individual’s goal tally.

"Our first target has to be a team target – to try to finish this season in the best possible way."

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insisted star Mohamed Salah will finish the season strong after having his minutes managed in recent weeks.

Salah, who has 28 goals in 40 club appearances in all competitions this season, has only played a full 90 minutes once since Liverpool's home loss to Inter on March 8.

The Egyptian forward led his country to a runners-up finish in the African Cup of Nations in January, but has not scored for Liverpool from open play since February 23.

But Klopp is not worried about his star's production, highlighting the intensity of his recent schedule.

"I know that Mo will finish strong," he said. "It’s just at the moment we have to reset because each game for us is a final. From the beginning of January, that is crazy.

"The problem we have is that in January he had the most intense period in his whole career. The tournament went to the wire. 

"They played in the (Africa Cup of Nations) final, they had all these 120 minutes, the role he has is super, super massive. 

"There is a huge responsibility on his shoulders with dressing room meetings and stuff like this with no recovery at all."

Salah played all 90 minutes last time out against Manchester City, collecting an assist in the 2-2 draw.

Ralf Rangnick provided a frank assessment of a Manchester United squad that he believes is "not easy" to manage and potentially contains several players who cannot cope with the pressure of playing for the club.

United head into Saturday's clash with relegation-threatened Norwich City having won just one of their previous five Premier League matches.

The most recent of which was a dire 1-0 defeat last weekend to an Everton side that had lost six of seven top-flight games beforehand.

United's performance in that loss led to even greater concern among the fanbase about the collective mentality and attitude of the squad, with a small group of supporters staging a protest outside the training ground on Friday.

Another larger demonstration is expected at Old Trafford on Saturday, and Rangnick accepts there could be certain individuals in the team who are not equipped to handle the expectation on Man Utd players.

"I don't know if this is the case, but it might be, at least with one or two or three of our players, it seems to be like that," Rangnick said.

"That the level of expectation is high and that some of the players seem to struggle with their own performance with that.

"Again, no alibis, no excuses, we have to be ready to cope and deal with it for [Saturday], for sure I am fully aware of that, and I’m also convinced and very positive that all of the players know about this.

"This is a test of character tomorrow and mentality in this game. We are playing against the bottom team. Yes, I know they won against Burnley last week and we know that Everton lost against Burnley the week before and we also thought we should be psychologically in a better position than Everton, but we have to show it on the pitch.

"Whatever we talk about right now, whatever kind of speculation we have and whatever you think, or I think might be reasons for the performance at Everton, we have to be able to, in our own house, beat a team like Norwich and show the best possible performance. This is what it’s all about but the truth, the reality, is on the pitch, whatever we talk about right now."

Reports this week have suggested United are close to appointing Ajax boss Erik ten Hag as their new permanent manager, and on the evidence of 2021-22, the Dutchman will be presiding over a massive rebuild.

Rangnick was hired in an interim capacity in November, with United hopeful he could get them back on track for a top-four finish – that now appears beyond them, though the German insists he has no regrets even as he gave a fairly damning summary of his squad.

"No, I have no regrets whatsoever that I took that role. I would do it over and over again," he continued. "You have to see the situation that we had in December, and I don’t regret that at all.

"As a manager, I always think you have to question and ask yourself what could I have done better. Could you maybe have played with a different formation in this game, or could you have made this substitution earlier on? This is what is always happening.

"We always question and ask ourselves what we could have done better but in general, I think we are all aware that this is not an easy squad.

"That the whole situation was not easy, otherwise I wouldn't even be sitting here, and Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] would probably still be here.

"But again, I think we have shown in the past, in the last couple of months that we were able to raise the level but in the same sustainable way that I would wish it to have happened. And that's the reason why I am not happy at all with what we have done and achieved so far."

Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic has confirmed he will leave the club at the end of the season.

Matic signed for United from Premier League rivals Chelsea in 2017 and swiftly established himself as a crucial part of Jose Mourinho's side, starting 35 top-flight games in his first season at the club.

His role lessened under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but the former Serbia international nevertheless signed a new deal in July 2020, extending his stay at Old Trafford until the end of 2022-23.

However, having made only 11 Premier League starts this season, Matic has announced it will be his final campaign with the club.

"After a great deal of thought, I have decided that this season will be my last with Manchester United," the 33-year-old wrote in a post on his official Instagram account.

"I have informed the board, the manager and the players of my decision.

"It has been a huge honour and a privilege to play for this great club. A big thank you to the fans for their unwavering support.

"I will now give everything until the end of the season to help my team-mates finish as strongly as possible."

Matic could be the first of a mass exodus at United ahead of 2022-23, with fellow midfielders Juan Mata, Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard all out of contract at the end of June.

It is uncertain as to who will be in permanent charge of United next season, though it has been widely reported that Ajax coach Erik ten Hag reached a verbal agreement earlier this week.

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