Manchester United ‘can beat anyone’ says Erik ten Hag, as Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp loses cool with reporter | Football News

Erik Ten Hag praises mentality and attitude of Man Utd players after late goals in normal time and extra time help them edge FA Cup quarter-final and book Wembley semi vs Coventry; Jurgen Klopp loses cool with TV reporter after “very hard” game for his Liverpool side amid “intense season”

Jurgen Klopp was ruffled by a reporter’s “dumb question” after Liverpool lost an FA Cup epic to Manchester United, while counterpart Erik ten Hag declared that his side “can beat anyone” after their 4-3 win at Old Trafford.

United knocked out their great rivals with the help of late goals in normal time and extra time to grab victory in a thrilling contest, setting up a semi-final with Coventry at Wembley.

Sky Sports’ Peter Stevenson and Adam Bate react to Manchester United’s thrilling 4-3 win over Liverpool in the FA Cup quarter-finals.

Klopp had been philosophical about coming out on the wrong end of an at-times wild contest when he took questions after the game.

“We were nearly there in normal time and nearly there in extra-time and then we lose the game, that’s alright,” he said. “I cannot ask for much more.

“We have had a much more intense season so far, everybody knows that, you just have to count the games. Today was hard, very hard. The longer the game goes, the decision-making doesn’t get any better.

“Congratulations to United, going to the semi-final. We have a game less, or have two games less, and we [will] try to use that in the next few weeks.”

But while Klopp was measured in his response to much of the media after his side’s defeat, he had little time for a reporter from a Scandinavian TV network who questioned why Liverpool appeared to lose intensity in extra time.

Below is a transcript of what was said between Klopp and Niels Christian Frederiksen. As a note, Liverpool have played 18 matches in 2024 to Man Utd’s 12.

Klopp loses cool with Danish reporter

Reporter: “Normally intensity is the name of your game, so how come it became so difficult in extra time?”

Klopp: “Bit of a dumb question, I have to say. We played I don’t know how many games recently, I don’t know how many games United exactly played. That’s sport.

“Really disappointed about that question, but you thought obviously it’s good.”

Reporter: “So too many games?”

Klopp: “Oh, ah come on, you are obviously not in a great shape, and I have no nerves for you. What is wrong with you?”

Watch as a joyous Gary Neville reacts to Manchester United and Liverpool’s FA Cup classic, whilst Jamie Carragher claims that the victory isn’t the win that The Red Devils think it is.

Danish reporter: I don’t hold a grudge

Frederiksen has since given his reaction to the feisty exchange, insisting he understands Klopp’s frustrations.

“I interpret it mostly as an expression of his terrible frustration that they lost to Manchester United in the manner it happened, where they were ahead twice and should have sealed the deal,” Frederiksen told Danish sports magazine Tipsbladet.

“His dream scenario was to play an FA Cup final at Wembley in his last match in England, and that’s been taken from him now. So I can understand he’s super frustrated.

“Then he got a question he didn’t think was appropriate. It’s been a theme for them that they’ve had many injuries and many matches, which he has complained about. Then he got a question about why they didn’t have intensity in the game, and then he snapped.

“That’s fair enough. I have absolutely no problem with that. There will be absolutely no problems in the future. I can’t imagine that at all.

“When I interview him again, we’ll still be good friends – professionally speaking. I don’t think he holds a grudge, and I certainly don’t.”

Ten Hag talks up Man Utd after thriller

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag praised Amad Diallo after his late winner in extra-time won them their FA Cup quarter-final against Liverpool

Ten Hag refused to be drawn on whether it was his best win – “I have had some more very good wins, I can tell you” – but insisted the victory showed the capability of his team to overcome any challenge.

“This could be that moment where we get the belief, the energy that we can do amazing things,” said Ten Hag. “I think that if we can beat Liverpool the way we did, we can beat anyone.”

For the Dutchman, this display was a vindication of his repeated comments this season about the path his team are on.

“I’ve said for many weeks we have a team for the future that’s very good,” he told ITV. “You can see the potential.”

Goalscorers Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay celebrate as Manchester United knock Liverpool out of the FA Cup

Until the final minutes of the first half, when Liverpool, invited on, scored two in quick succession, United had been outstanding and played on the front foot. In extra-time, Ten Hag threw caution to the wind, taking off defenders for attackers and finishing with a backline of Diogo Dalot, Harry Maguire, Bruno Fernandes and Antony.

This was a win which owed plenty to his coaching and in-game decision-making, as well as the individual moments of quality from his players.

He couldn’t hide his satisfaction at how it had all paid off.

“The first 35 minutes I think was the best minutes from our season,” Ten Hag told ITV.

“We were really there, acting as a team. But then gaps in between the lines and you can’t allow this against Liverpool. Then they outplay you. And also after half-time, it continues.

“We had to change. We went into the risk, we went into one against one, and the players were wonderful – the mentality, the attitude was so great.

“They had strong belief to win this game. We went for it and we got it.”

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