FA Cup final: Liverpool win on penalties against Chelsea

Liverpool won an absorbing English FA Cup final on Saturday as they prevailed 6-5 in a penalty shootout after the Wembley showpiece somehow ended 0-0 after extra time.

Substitute Kostas Tsimikas slotted the winning penalty after Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta’s had hit the post and Alisson had saved Mason Mount’s effort.

Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy had kept his side alive when he saved Sadio Mane’s penalty but it proved to no avail as Liverpool won the trophy for the first time since 2006.

It was a carbon copy of the League Cup final in February, which Liverpool won 11-10 on penalties after that game also finished goalless.

Liverpool’s championship run

Saturday’s win means Liverpool remain on course for an unprecedented quadruple of trophies.

They are three points behind Manchester City in the Premier League race with two games to go and meet Real Madrid in the Champions League final on May 28.

“I’m really proud of my boys,” Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp told the BBC. “Chelsea were outstanding but in the end there can only be one winner and today it was us.”

For Chelsea it meant an unwelcome record of becoming the first side to lose three FA Cup finals in a row, after losing to Arsenal in 2020 and Leicester City last year.

In a match of fluctuating fortunes and bags of missed chances, Liverpool had the best of a pulsating first half with Luis Diaz close several times, before Chelsea came back in the second, with Marcos Alonso rattling the crossbar.

Klopp’s Liverpool enjoyed the greater possession and finished the 90 minutes on top, Diaz and Andrew Robertson both hitting the post in the final 10 minutes and the indefatigable Diaz whistling a shot just wide in the 90th.

Tired legs on a warm day contributed to a scrappy extra time period, though both sides earned corners that were comfortably defended.

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson was handed the Cup by Prince William to roars from the Liverpool fans while the Chelsea end was largely empty.

Quadruple? Ask me tomorrow, says Liverpool’s Klopp

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp celebrates after winning the FA Cup | Photo Credit: Hannah McKay

Liverpool coach Juergen Klopp said the chances of his side claiming a quadruple of trophies this season, including the FA Cup which they won on Saturday, would become clearer on Sunday when Premier League leaders Manchester City are due to play.

“Let’s just see what happens,” Klopp told reporters after his side won their second domestic English cup this year, beating Chelsea 6-5 on penalties after an enthralling but goalless two hours at Wembley.

“If they lose against West Ham then I will start thinking. If they do not, we will judge that we will go from there, ”the German said.

Liverpool are three points behind Manchester City with an inferior goal difference and both clubs have two games left to play in the 2021/22 English domestic campaign.

City are away at West Ham United on Sunday when victory would put them six points ahead and requiring only a draw on the final day of the season to retain the title.

Liverpool will also contest the Champions League final against Real Madrid in Paris on May 28.

Klopp said he expected he would have to make changes to his side when they travel to Southampton on Tuesday after being taken to extra time at Chelsea.

He said he would check in on Sunday regarding the fitness of forward Mohamed Salah and of defender Virgil van Dijk, both of whom were substituted on Saturday, but he said he did not think they were facing worrying injuries.

“I think they both will be fine,” he said.

Klopp heaped praise on Liverpool’s Colombian winger Luiz Diaz – who signed for the Reds in January from Porto – after he tore Chelsea apart in a blistering opening spell to the FA Cup final and looked a threat throughout the match.

“What a boy, what a story, what a player, but he should have scored,” Klopp said. “He fits like a glove to our football and that’s really, really special.”

Saturday’s win means Klopp has become only the second manager to win the European Cup or Champions League, FA Cup, League Cup and the English top-flight title all with the same English club, along with Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.

Published on

May 15, 2022

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