Juergen Klopp’s relentless Liverpool beat Chelsea 6-5 on penalties in a fluctuating English FA Cup final on Saturday to stay on course for an unprecedented quadruple of trophies.
An absorbing Wembley showpiece had somehow ended 0-0 after extra time despite a raft of chances and near misses for both sides with fine performances from the two goalkeepers.
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 keeper Edouard Mendy had kept his side alive when he saved Senegal team mate Sadio Mane’s penalty, but it proved to no avail as Liverpool lifted 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.
“I’m really proud of my boys,” Liverpool Manager Klopp said. “We are mentality monsters, but there were mentality monsters in Chelsea colours as well – it was one penalty. Chelsea played outstanding, but in the end there must be one winner, and that was us today.”
Saturday’s win means Liverpool have won 50% of their target for the season.
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 28 May. “This is something that will give us even more confidence to keep on going in the Premier League, and also for the Champions League final,” Alisson, who made a crucial save from Marcos Alonso in the first half, said.
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. (Reuters)