Chelsea 0-0 Liverpool
Liverpool completed a clean sweep of the domestic cups with another penalty shoot-out victory over Chelsea at Wembley in the FA Cup final, when Kostas Tsimikas scored the decisive kick after Alisson saved Mason Mount’s effort.
It took 22 penalties to separate the teams in February’s Carabao Cup final and although this time only 14 were scored after another 120 goalless minutes, it was once again Jurgen Klopp’s side who came away with the silver medal by the narrowest of margins, handing Chelsea a third successive defeat in the FA Cup final in the process.
Mount crouched down as Liverpool players and staff ran to celebrate with their fans amid a mist of red flares – he has now lost six major finals at Wembley.
Earlier in the shootout, Sadio Mané, who scored a game-winning penalty for Senegal in the Africa Cup of Nations and another to send them to the World Cup earlier this year, had missed a chance to secure the title for Liverpool after Cesar Azpilicueta’s goal against the post, but Tsimikas kept his cool to become the unlikely hero.
Liverpool’s success was marred by injuries to Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk, which could damage their hopes of an unprecedented quadruple, with their Premier League quest set to continue at Southampton on Tuesday. sky sports and his Champions League final with Real Madrid on May 28.
But the scenes of wild celebration at the end on the pitch and in the stands suggested Liverpool were only focused on this moment. The last time they won both domestic cups was in 2000/01 and this was their first FA Cup win since Steven Gerrard’s feat against West Ham in 2006.
The 141st FA Cup final, 150 years after the first, looked unlikely to go all the way in the opening 15 minutes as Luis Diaz gave Trevoh Chalobah real trouble during an electric Liverpool start, but Chelsea took hold and hit the crossbar via a Marcos Alonso free-kick during their own fast start to the second half.
The woodwork was hit twice in quick succession by Liverpool at the other end within the final 10 minutes of regulation time, with Diaz denying it before Andy Robertson missed a volley at close range.
With extra-time weariness on a warm Wembley afternoon, extra time saw the pace drop, but the drama picked up again in the penalty shootout, and once again it was the red winger’s celebration.
How was the penalty shootout?
- Alonso scores, Milner scores
- Azpilicueta hits the postThiago scores
- James scores, Firmino scores
- Barkley scores, Alexander-Arnold scores
- Jorginho scores, Melena saved penalty
- Ziyech brand, Jota brand
- Mounting penalty savedTsimikas scores
Those Liverpool supporters had booed both the national anthem and Abide With Me before kick-off, but cheered on a sensational start from Diaz as the game began.
The winger had been a standout in Liverpool’s Carabao Cup success over Chelsea and was immediately tormenting Chalobah, beating the 22-year-old centre-back four times in the first quarter of an hour.
At the time, it seemed only a matter of time before a Diaz move gave Liverpool the opening goal, but, with full-back Reece James stepping in to help team-mate Chalobah, Chelsea weathered the early storm and created good moments. of his own for Christian Pulisic and Marcos Alonso.
The match, and possibly Liverpool’s season, took another turn in the 33rd minute, when Salah was sent off. He seemed relatively comfortable as he walked through the tunnel, but now there will inevitably be concerns about the role he may play in Liverpool’s remaining games.
His replacement, Diogo Jota, missed a fine opportunity just before halftime, volleying in Andy Robertson’s cross from eight yards before Romelu Lukaku, starting with Kai Havertz injured, did the same with a trickier opportunity moments later.
- Kai Havertz was a surprise omission from the Chelsea squad due to injury, with Romelu Lukaku starting up front, however Mateo Kovacic won his race to form. The Blues were otherwise unchanged from their 3-0 win over Leeds on Wednesday.
- Liverpool have made five changes since Tuesday’s win at Aston Villa, with Mohamed Salah back ahead of Diogo Jota, Thiago Alcantara in place of Curtis Jones, Jordan Henderson covering for the injured Fabinho, Ibrahima Konate preferring Joel Matip and Andy Robertson replacing Costas Tsimikas.
The second half also started with a flurry of chances, although this time they went to Chelsea, with Alonso dragging a shot wide, Alisson slashing hard past Pulisic and Alonso then hitting a free kick off the crossbar from outside.
Liverpool counterattacked with Robertson unable to rally at the far post, Diaz firing from the edge of the box, Jota shooting just outside the goal and Naby Keita making Edouard Mendy work. But still no progress.
The teams continued to trade blows, with Pulisic shooting wide and Diaz doubling down on a good shot before James parried a swift Liverpool counter-attack with a combination of good defending and then a foul on Thiago to earn the first booking of the game.
But Liverpool kept closing in and hit both posts in quick succession as the clock ticked down, with Diaz denied after a flick of the feet and a shot from eight yards before Robertson missed his volley from the other side when it seemed certain to convert. There was still time for Diaz to get wide of the goal but, for the fourth time this season, the 90 minutes weren’t enough to separate these teams.
There was another blow for Liverpool in the second leg, with Van Dijk substituted and looking frustrated on the bench. On the field, his partner in central defence, Ibrahima Konate, took a risk when he brought down Hakim Ziyech in the area, although referee Craig Pawson signaled for play to continue.
A series of Chelsea set-pieces came to nothing and in the second period of extra time, with fatigue set in, chances were scarce again as penalties loomed.
Chelsea: Mendy (8), Chalobah (7), Silva (8), Rudiger (7), James (8), Jorginho (8), Kovacic (7), Alonso (8), Mount (7), Pulisic (6), Lukaku (5).
Substitutes: Kante (6), Ziyech (7), Azpilicueta (5), Loftus-Cheek (6), Barkley (7)
Liverpool: Alisson (9), Alexander-Arnold (8), Konate (8), Van Dijk (7), Robertson (7), Thiago (8), Henderson (7), Keita (7), Salah (6), Mane ( 7), Diaz (9).
Substitutes: Jack (7), Milner (7), Matip (7), Tsimikas (7)
The man of the match: Luis Diaz (Liverpool)
Tuchel’s decision to replace Ruben Loftus-Cheek with Ross Barkley in the dying seconds was an intriguing move, given that his switch to Kepa Arrizabalaga in February fell through.
Barkley scored his penalty, but the story had an unhappily familiar ending for Chelsea, who, by the smallest of margins, missed out on another trophy, this loss coming on top of their FA Cup final defeats to Arsenal and Leicester City in recent years.
As for Liverpool, who have tied Chelsea for eight FA Cups, it is now a question of how many more trophies they can finish the season with…
Liverpool travel to Southampton on Tuesday at 8:00 p.m., while Chelsea host Leicester on Thursday at 7:45 p.m. On the final day of the Premier League season, Liverpool host Wolves and Chelsea host Watford on Sunday at 4:00 p.m.
Liverpool’s remaining matches
may 17th – Southampton (a) Premier League, live on Sky Sports
May 22nd – Wolves (h) Premier league
May 28 – Real Madrid (n) champions league finals
Chelsea remaining matches
may 19 – leicester Premier league
May 22nd – Watford (h) Premier league