Liverpool advances in the FA Cup in Klopp's first game since announcing plans to stand down
It was business as usual for Liverpool in its first game since Jurgen Klopp announced his shock decision to walk away at the end of the season.
The Merseyside club advanced to the fifth round of the FA Cup after a 5-2 win against second-tier Norwich on Sunday.
How Klopp would love to end his trophy-laden reign on a winning note by guiding Liverpool to more silverware this year. And victory at Anfield kept alive his team's four-pronged trophy pursuit, having already secured a place in League Cup final this week.
Liverpool also tops the Premier League and is in the knockout stage of the Europa League.
The customary rendition of “You'll Never Walk Alone” felt even more emotionally charged than usual as fans showed their appreciation for Klopp before kickoff.
The German smiled as he drank in the atmosphere, but if there were any concerns the announcement of his departure would take the edge off his team, there was little sign of that as it routed Norwich.
“It was great for the fans to show their love to me and we need an atmosphere on the pitch," Klopp said. "We need the crowd and for them not to think about the manager. We need to forget it for a while and go for each opponent like crazy and that’s what we want to do and the next chance is on Wednesday (against Chelsea in the league).”
Curtis Jones opened the scoring in the 16th minute and although Ben Gibson leveled for the visitors six minutes later, Darwin Nunez restored Liverpool's advantage.
His strike in the 28th gave Liverpool a halftime lead and goals from Diogo Jota in the 53rd and Virgil Van Dijk in the 63rd put the home team in control.
Borja Sainz's stunning goal in the 69th made it 4-2, but there was little danger of Klopp's day being spoiled and Ryan Gravenberch completed the scoring in the fifth minute of time added on.
Liverpool plays Watford or Southampton in the next round.
The cup represents Erik ten Hag's last realistic chance of a trophy in his second season at the club and it took second-half goals from Antony and Rasmus Hojlund to secure the Premier League team's place in the next round.
United had quickly raced in front through goals from Bruno Fernandes in the seventh minute and Kobbie Mainoo in the 13th.
But Ten Hag's team was shocked when Bryn Morris pulled one back with a deflected long shot in the 36th. And it took only two minutes of the second half for Will Evans to slide in an equalizer.
In front of incoming United director Dave Brailsford, it had the potential to be a humbling day for Ten Hag - even if the game had ended in a draw.
But when Luke Shaw's curling shot hit the post, Antony was quick to react and converted the rebound from an angle in the 68th.
Hojlund made certain of the win in the fourth minute of stoppage time.
United will play Bristol City or Nottingham Forest in the next round.
The FA said it would investigate after the game between West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton was stopped because of “dangerous and inexcusable” crowd trouble.
Wolves won the heated West Midlands derby 2-0, but the result was overshadowed by scenes off the field at the Hawthorns and the lengthy delay until the game could be restarted.
“The disorder that occurred at the Black Country derby between West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers is completely unacceptable,” the Football Association said.
The game was stopped shortly after Matheus Cunha scored Wolves' second. Pedro Neto had fired the visitors ahead in the first half.
Stuart Armstrong scored an 89th-minute equalizer to earn Southampton a replay against Watford after a 1-1 draw at Vicarage Road.
Ryan Reynolds' Wrexham was give added incentive to overcome Blackburn on Monday after the winner of their game was drawn against Premier League Newcastle in the fifth round.
James Robson is at https://twitter.com/jamesalanrobson
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