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Tuesday, December 06, 2022

Stephen Blunder helped Liverpool reach the Cup final

LONDON ( Associated Press) – John Stones’ tamed back pass lands on Jack Stephens. Just a simple clearance was needed for Manchester City’s backup goalkeeper with Liverpool already leading.

One touch controlled the pass. The second touch was… what are you doing? Dwarf American just took a long time.

Before the ball could be cleared, Sadio Mane ran into the penalty area and slid inside to push the ball over the line.

Liverpool went into a two-goal lead – building on a header from Ibrahima Konate – and Mane scored again before halftime to secure a 3-2 win over City on Saturday and reach the first FA Cup final in a decade.

The quadruple is still on for Liverpool with Chelsea or Crystal Palace in the FA Cup final next month.

There are only two paths to trophies for City, and Liverpool can thwart both.

Their struggle for the English Premier League trophy is far tighter than in this FA Cup semi-final, where Liverpool’s superiority was evident before goals from Jack Grealish and Bernardo Silva gave City hope of a comeback.

Their 2-2 draw in the league last Sunday prevented Liverpool from going into first place, leaving City one point ahead.

Next month in Paris could be the fourth installment of this rivalry this season if they win the semi-finals to reach the Champions League final. This will see Liverpool contest three finals in 2022, having already won the League Cup at Wembley.

Champions League chase

City and Liverpool are once again making sure to qualify for the Champions League. The rest of the Premier League’s top four are set to hold more, with Manchester United’s pursuit to help defeat Tottenham and Arsenal.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick led to a 3-2 win over Norwich when the last-placed team went down by two goals. United moved above Arsenal and into fifth place.

Tottenham were only three points ahead of fourth place after losing 1–0 to Brighton. Spurs were at least helped by a similar score loss by Arsenal in Southampton to prevent their neighbors from rising on the points level.

premier league relegation

Watford slipped close to relegation after a 2–1 loss to Brentford, falling to 11th place in their first Premier League campaign. Pontus Johnson scored in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

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More Associated Press Soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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