Liverpool held their nerve to win the FA Cup for the primary time since 2006 after a dramatic penalty shoot-out in opposition to Chelsea because the quadruple chasers stored their historical past bid alive on Saturday. Jurgen Klopp’s facet received 6-5 on penalties at Wembley as Greek defender Kostas Tsimikas was the unlikely hero with the decisive kick after Alisson Becker stored out Mason Mount’s effort. A tough-fought ultimate had completed a 0-0 draw after extra-time, setting the stage for a nerve-jangling shoot-out that featured misses by Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta and Sadio Mane, whose shot was saved by Edouard Mendy when he had an opportunity to clinch the trophy.
For the second time this season, Liverpool emerged victorious in opposition to Chelsea on penalties, having already overwhelmed them 11-10 following one other 0-0 draw within the League Cup ultimate in February.
Liverpool’s triumph retains them within the hunt to change into the primary English crew to win all 4 main trophies in a single season.
With two prizes already secured, the Reds will hope for a slip from Premier League leaders Manchester City, who’re three factors away from them within the title race with two video games left for each groups.
Even if Liverpool are unable to win a second English title in three seasons, they might nonetheless cap an astonishing marketing campaign by successful the Champions League ultimate in opposition to Real Madrid in Paris on May 28.
With that ambition in thoughts, Klopp’s solely concern as he danced jubilantly in entrance of the Liverpool supporters amid a swirling mist of purple flare smoke was whether or not his crew might be at full power in opposition to Real.
Liverpool misplaced Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk to accidents that would rule them out of their final two Premier League video games subsequent week and can spark fears about their means to get better in time for the Champions League ultimate.
Liverpool have received each home cups in the identical season for the primary time since 2000-01, with Klopp getting his arms on the well-known outdated trophy for the primary time.
For Chelsea, it was a painful third successive FA Cup ultimate defeat after earlier losses to Leicester and Arsenal.
Liverpool made a blistering begin as they swarmed ahead in a blur of swift passes and relentless urgent.
Diaz ought to have put Liverpool forward after accelerating onto a chic go from Trent Alexander-Arnold, who caressed the ball by way of Chelsea’s defence with the skin of his boot.
Diaz’s tame shot was saved by Mendy, however the ball was nonetheless rolling in direction of aim till Trevoh Chalobah scrambled again to hack clear on the final second.
With Tuchel gesticulating furiously on the touchline, Chelsea dug in and eventually turned again the purple tide.
Mount led their first critical raid, crossing for Christian Pulisic to clip his shot simply huge.
Pulisic carried the battle to Liverpool once more moments later, slipping his go to Alonso, who ought to have scored however took a poor first contact and scuffed his shot straight at Alisson Becker.
Diogo Jota wasted a golden probability to provide Liverpool the lead quickly after his introduction as Salah’s alternative, the Portugal ahead volleying over from Andrew Robertson’s cross.
Chelsea had been on the offensive after the interval and Pulisic’s strike was properly saved by Alisson earlier than Alonso’s free-kick cannoned off the bar.
But Klopp’s self-proclaimed “mentality monsters” have not come this near a quadruple with out outstanding fortitude.
They wrestled again the momentum and Diaz clipped the skin of the submit earlier than Robertson volleyed in opposition to the woodwork.
In the spring warmth, and with each groups having performed a minimum of 60 video games in a marathon season, it was no shock fatigue grew to become a consider a tame additional interval that by no means appeared like producing a winner.
Tuchel had despatched on his penalty-saving specialist keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga forward of the League Cup ultimate shoot-out in a transfer that backfired.
Tuchel caught with Mendy this time, however the consequence was nonetheless the identical.
Klopp admitted Liverpool’s outstanding season could be a disappointment in the event that they solely completed with the League Cup, however he not has to fret about that.
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