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FA Cup

Micah Richards and Gary Lineker shower praise on Kobbie Mainoo after Man United midfielder ran the show in FA Cup win v Liverpool

Manchester United produced one of their best performances of the season as they pipped Liverpool to a place in the FA Cup semi-finals with a 4-3 victory at Old Trafford yesterday.

It was a solid display from the Red Devils as most of their players stepped up against an in-form Liverpool side.

Kobbie Mainoo delivered a top shift in the middle of the park, getting the better of the more experienced Reds midfielders.

Micah Richards, Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer were all blown away by his display, showering praise on him on the latest edition of the Rest is Football podcast.

“How good was Kobbie Mainoo?” Richards asked.

“He’s such a talented young man, isn’t he?” Lineker replied.

“Oh my world, he just gets better and better and better,” Richards continued.

“We analysed him when he first played for Man United and we talked about how calm he was on the ball. But it’s not just that – he runs forward, he’s got great feet, his passing range looks good.

“I think he still got work to do on the tactical side of things in terms of protecting his back-four a little bit more, but what a performance that was. He was amazing today, really.”

The Red Devils starlet won the midfield battle and was one of the reasons Man United eventually won the game.

The teenage sensation made a key pass, two interceptions, completed 31 passes, won 75% ground duels, 100% of his tackles and completed 100% of his dribbles.

Mainoo has been one of the best players in a largely underwhelming Man United squad this term and is expected to be nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year award.

As pundits and former stars have pointed out, the 18-year-old deserves to be in the England squad for the European Championships in June.

Manager Gareth Southgate could find it difficult to exclude him from his final squad for the tournament in Germany if he keeps performing like this until the end of the campaign.

Given the ridiculous fees Premier League clubs spent on midfielders last summer, Man United manager Erik ten Hag deserves plaudits for giving Mainoo a chance to prove his quality.

Mainoo could be on his way to establishing himself as the best in his position in the English top-flight.