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Fernandes urges Man. United to use Liverpool win as fuel for late surge

Bruno Fernandes has urged Manchester United to use the “spicy” FA Cup quarter-final win against Liverpool as fuel for a late surge in their troubled season.

Erik ten Hag’s side came from 2-1 and 3-2 down to beat bitter rivals Liverpool 4-3 after extra-time at raucous Old Trafford on Sunday.

Amad Diallo’s last-gasp winner eased the pressure on under-fire boss Ten Hag and kept United in contention to salvage silverware from their rocky campaign.

“The game got a little bit spicy, a little more special because it’s an FA Cup game and if you lose, you’re out,” United captain Fernandes said.

“We know the rivalry between fans, we know how United fans wanted us to win the game to give us something to celebrate because it’s not been great for us.”

United will face Championship club Coventry in the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley in April.

Before then, Fernandes wants his team-mates to take the momentum from the victory over Liverpool and turn it into a sustained winning streak.

After Ten Hag began his United reign with defeats against Brighton and Brentford last season, it was a victory against Liverpool in the Premier League that kick-started a largely successful debut campaign for the Dutch coach.

United won the League Cup to end a six-year trophy drought, reached the FA Cup final and clinched a third-placed league finish.

Portugal midfielder Fernandes hopes Sunday’s result can be the turning point as they look to snatch a place in next season’s Champions League.

“We’ve talked about turnarounds but have never done the next step. I think we have to understand the FA Cup is a thing and the Premier League is another one,” he said.

“In the league now, we have 10 matches to go and we don’t depend on ourselves but as we saw Tottenham losing points to Fulham, Villa losing points to West Ham.

“But our main goal is to not lose points to Brentford away (after the international break). We need to put our effort into winning that game.”

Meanwhile, Harvey Elliott believes Liverpool’s challenge to win the Premier League and Europa League will benefit from the extra rest afforded by their FA Cup exit.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp admitted it was the first time he had seen his players struggle physically as they played their 46th game of a hectic season.

And Reds midfielder Elliott, who scored in the loss at Old Trafford, said: “Now we can focus on other things, it frees up a few weeks for us.

“Not as many games any more so the lads can be fresh and we can recover properly and focus on the rest of the season.”

The defeat was only Liverpool’s third in domestic competitions this season and Elliott doesn’t expect it to wreck the League Cup winners’ treble bid.

“Our confidence is always there, it isn’t going to affect us at all,” he said.

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