Manchester United could change even if they secure their Liverpool and Man City targets

At his introduction to the English press Erik ten Hag said, "An era can come to an end". That quote has endured now he has played his part in ending Jurgen Klopp's era.

Manchester United ejected Liverpool from the FA Cup in scenes reminiscent of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Scousebusting a quarter of a century earlier. The Premier League draw at Old Trafford three weeks later would felt like a defeat for Klopp.

The Cup tie has heralded a collapse from Liverpool, beaten twice at Anfield by Atalanta and Crystal Palace last week and now out of the Europa League. Liverpool followers had grand plans of crossing the Irish Sea for the Europa League final but must brace themselves for a sea change.

On the day Klopp sent Liverpool supporters into mourning, the BBC invited a fan on for their commemorative show. One could have been mistaken for thinking they were tuned into Radio City.

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"What we've got now is a four-month adventure with the greatest man and the greatest manager we could dream of," gushed a Scouser.

"This is the biggest football club in the world and that's the reason BBC is talking about this tonight. This city is football, loves football and why Jurgen Klopp has done so well here is because he - we - understand what that is about. It is the heart of Liverpool's cultural life; Jurgen Klopp is the heart of Liverpool's cultural life.

"And sometimes we'll get beat and shrug our shoulders. Jurgen Klopp has been an astonishing Liverpool manager and Liverpool is the city that defines football in this country and we'll all be fine in the end." Liverpool's St Crispin's Day speech it is not.

Ten Hag pricked the Liverpool bubble last season with his first victory as United manager that signalled Liverpool's first domestic defeat of 2022. Liverpool won only half of their Premier League fixtures and finished below Newcastle but they have been back with a vengeance this season.

Their supporters will always have a stirring League Cup final triumph over Chelsea but the club that "make us dream" is now reluctant to envisage the utopia of Klopp lifting the Premier League trophy in front of a resplendent Kop.

Louis van Gaal was the scourge of Liverpool and Ten Hag has been, too. Liverpool racked up 87 attempts at Andre Onana's goal across three games this season and did not win any of them. The four dropped points against United have been expensive.

Ten Hag and Van Gaal's records were marred by galling evenings at Anfield and United's Europa League surrender was another nail in Van Gaal's coffin. Ten Hag's United have never quite recovered from the 7-0 shellacking on the red side of Stanley Park in March last year.

Manchester City's FA Cup commitments mean Liverpool could end the weekend at the summit if Arsenal fail to beat Wolves and Liverpool defeat Fulham. City's game in hand is away to Tottenham - a stadium they have not scored at in the Premier League - and scheduled for the final midweek of the season.

United fans have had one of their most enjoyable weeks of the campaign. Schadenfreude was rife on Wednesday night and City's attempt at a tifo was widely ridiculed on WhatsApp groups. A video of the '192 Wembley Express' bus going backwards to the sound of a reverse warning sound was forwarded several times.

Carlo Ancelotti denied City and Liverpool two years ago and was the bane of City again this year. Fittingly, he insisted Madrid switch hotels to The Lowry, United's old haunt before Ten Hag arrived.

Ancelotti first stayed at the hotel for a Unicef match in November 2015. He managed in the away dugout at Old Trafford as Sir Alex Ferguson returned to his pitchside seat. Ferguson was a supporter of Ancelotti's after David Moyes was sacked in April 2014, alas he was no longer the kingmaker.

Had Ancelotti not signed a new contract at the Bernabeu he would have been high on bookies' chalkboards for the next United manager. He would be a popular pick, albeit an imperfect one now he is almost as wedded to Madrid as he was to AC Milan in the 2000s.

Klopp's era is six games away from ending but Ten Hag also looks like he has run out of energy. A potential second all-Manchester FA Cup final would bank great credits, having wrecked a possible quadruple for Klopp.

Round two on May 25?
Klopp won once, lost twice and drew twice against Ten Hag's United

City can't repeat the Treble but can do the double. As long as the Manchester clubs turn the Wembley arch blue on Saturday and red on Sunday, Ten Hag would have a shot at redemption for one of United's sorriest seasons.

"They are the enemy at the end of the day," Sir Jim Ratcliffe said of City and Liverpool. "There is nothing I would like better than to knock both of them off their perch."

Sacking a United manager after chiselling a year onto the honours' board would not be entirely popular. But Tommy Docherty's wasn't and neither was Van Gaal's.

Those eras ended after FA Cup finals.