Kuyt: We've sorted out City, now for United
Published 22:31 26/01/12 By David Maddock
Dirk Kuyt has warned Manchester United they are next on the Anfield hit-list.
Liverpool fans were in full cry singing 'We only hate Mancs' during their Carling Cup semi-final triumph over Manchester City on Wednesday.
And Kuyt and his team-mates are ready to back up that statement in the best possible way by dumping their bitter rivals from the other end of the M62 out of the FA Cup when they a mouthwatering Saturday lunchtime showdown.
After a fine display against City, Liverpool are desperate for an impressive double over Manchester's other big guns.
"Believe me, the lads are more than ready for the weekend," said Kuyt. "It will be great to not only knock City out of the Carling Cup, but to then knock United out of the FA Cup.
"We set a benchmark against City. We have to make sure we play with the same effort, and I'm sure we will be fine.
"It [the display against City] was a great team performance. We deserved to go through. We deserve to be in the final."
Liverpool showed great spirit to twice come from behind and hold City to the draw required to book a Wembley berth, the performance and result going a long way towards erasing memories of that disastrous weekend display against Bolton that drew such damning criticism from manager Kenny Dalglish.
The Reds are now overwhelming favourites to beat Championship side Cardiff in the final and lift the Carling Cup.
And no one was more pleased - and relieved - than Kuyt, who holds a rather unenviable record at Anfield.
The Dutch forward is the longest-serving Liverpool player without a winner's medal of any sort, having endured six barren years in the red shirt.
He agreed to make the switch to Merseyside almost as Liverpool were lifting the FA Cup back in 2006, and arrived from Rotterdam side Feyenoord full of anticipation for future honours.
But despite scoring in the Champions League final in his first season, Kuyt has never picked up a winner's medal. And he admitted he is desperate to change that.
"I've been here a while now and played in a Champions League semi and final and a Europa League semi-final and finished second in the Premier League," he explained.
"But it's not enough to be second, and hopefully the Carling Cup can be a first trophy with many more to follow.
"We've been a nearly team during my time here. We have been very close and sometimes a bit unlucky. But that's behind us, we can't change it.
"What we can change is the future and hopefully the trophies will come. It's great to be in the final, but now that we are there, we want to win it."
Kuyt believes Wednesday's result was an important moment for Liverpool, because he feels beating Cardiff next month will kick-start a flood of honours.
"It's important for a club like Liverpool to be back in contention for these trophies. That's what the club is about," he added.
"I came here to win trophies, and that's the spirit of the players, the spirit of the manager and the spirit of the club. So it's fantastic to be at Wembley.
"When you come to Liverpool, you want to play in finals and games like [the City] semi. It's something every player dreams about and I can't wait."
What most impressed about Liverpool on Wednesday night was their dominance of City, and the spirit they showed in so swiftly putting behind them the nightmare at Bolton.
Despite the moans of City boss Roberto Mancini , few can argue Liverpool were good value for the win over the two legs.
Kuyt said the team's display was a message to Dalglish, who had heavily criticised their efforts at the weekend.
"It was a great team performance," he added. "We were very disappointed for the manager after what happened at Bolton, and the fans, but even more for ourselves because we know we can do better.
"So it was great to bounce back and, from the first whistle, everybody was up for it [against City], because this was about playing at Wembley.
"With the chances we created, we knew we were the better team. It was only because of Joe Hart's brilliant performance that we didn't beat City on the night.
"But our target was to reach the final and we're really happy we have made it, because we are desperate to win that trophy."
LIVERPOOL V MANCHESTER UNITED - MEMORABLE FA CUP MEETINGS
MANCHESTER UNITED 1 LIVERPOOL 0 (third round, January 9, 2011) Kenny Dalglish's second coming as Reds boss got off to the worst possible start as Ryan Giggs' second-minute penalty proved decisive for United, while Liverpool also had Steven Gerrard sent off.
LIVERPOOL 1 MANCHESTER UNITED 0 (fifth round, February 18, 2006) A Peter Crouch goal in the 19th minute helped Liverpool to victory en route to winning the competition, beating West Ham in a thrilling final at the Millennium Stadium.
MANCHESTER UNITED 2 LIVERPOOL 1 (fourth round, January 24, 1999) Liverpool almost ended United's treble quest prematurely when Michael Owen put them ahead in the third minute. But the Red Devils hit back with goals in the 88th and 90th minutes from Dwight Yorke and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The Norwegian sealed an even more famous late comeback in the Champions League final later that year to complete the treble.
MANCHESTER UNITED 1 LIVERPOOL 0 (final, May 11, 1996) A forgettable match was decided by Eric Cantona's late strike after a poor punch from Liverpool goalkeeper David James. Indeed, it is the garish white suits worn by Liverpool in the pre-match Wembley walkabout for which this game is best remembered.
MANCHESTER UNITED 2 LIVERPOOL 1 (final, May 21, 1977) All the goal action was concentrated into a five-minute spell early in the second half. Stuart Pearson put United 1-0 up in the 50th minute before Jimmy Case hit back for Liverpool two minutes later. However, Jimmy Greenhoff restored United's advantage, and they saw it out to claim the cup for a fourth time.
FA Cup head-to-head record: Played 16: Liverpool wins: 3 Draws: 4 Manchester United wins: 9.