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16th Apr 2022

Alan Shearer on crucial goalkeeping call that cost Man City against Liverpool

Liverpool raced into an early 2-0 lead in Saturday's FA Cup semi-final, as stand-in goalkeeper Zack Steffen failed to clear his lines before Mané got to him

Reuben Pinder

Just kick it away, mate

Liverpool raced into an early two-goal lead against Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final on Saturday, thanks to a goalkeeping gaffe from Zack Steffen. Alan Shearer was not the only one stunned by the error.

The American, who replaced Ederson between the sticks having played in City’s previous FA Cup fixtures, failed the dig the ball out of his feet and clear the danger before Sadio Mané closed him down and forced the goal.

The error compounded what was already a disappointing start from a heavily rotated City team, having conceded a towering header from Ibrahima Konaté in the ninth minute.

Liverpool dominated the first half an hour, enjoying a slim majority of possession and preventing City from creating any chances of real worth. City, meanwhile, lining up in a strangely arranged 4-4-2 system, were evidently missing Kyle Walker and Kevin de Bruyne, both of whom missed the game through injury.

Mané made it 3-0 before the half-time break, only for City to stage a second half comeback with goals from Jack Grealish and Bernardo Silva. The Reds held on in a tense finish, though, and won 3-2 to reach their first FA Cup final in a decade.

Following the game, former Newcastle and England striker Alan Shearer stressed that both sides’ goalkeepers were the difference. He told the BBC:

“Liverpool were certainly gifted one goal and I think the goalkeeper should have done better with the other two as well.

“Big decisions from Jurgen Klopp in terms of his team selection have helped win the game because there’s no doubt he played his number one goalkeeper.

“Manchester City didn’t and, ultimately, their goalkeeper has made mistakes which have cost them. Alisson in that second half, pulled off two very good saves – one, the one-on-one from Jesus, was superb. And that’s what’s turned out to be the difference.”

Absolutely no-one was arguing with that.

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