Liverpool wins FA Cup final after beating Chelsea in nerve-racking penalty shootout

For all its qualities – intense pressure, defensive solidity, whirlwind attacks – perhaps its best is the sense of drama on occasions like these.

Just like the League Cup final earlier this year at Wembley, Jurgen Klopp’s men needed penalties to see off Chelsea and lift some silverware at the same stadium.

Because, the Red Devils will become the first English team to win all 3 domestic tournaments and European cups is impossible, but a treble is still possible thanks to this FA Cup championship.

Two trophies in the closet this season, and room to keep two more. That’s why Liverpool fans are dreaming. History can still be made.

Just like the League Cup final, the goalless 120 minutes proves the quality of the game. Chances have been created, goal milestones have been mixed up, but perhaps it is fitting that on the 150th anniversary of football’s oldest cup competition, the final is decided in different ways. most discount.

Liverpool's Greek defender Kostas Tsimikas was no hero in the penalty shootout.

Chelsea missed the second penalty (Cesar Azplicueta), Liverpool fifth (Sadio Mane). There was a strange feeling that the first 10 penalties couldn’t decide the outcome and so the game went to a sudden death – the League Cup final ended 11-10 on penalties. and the goalkeeper needs to step up.

Fewer penalties were needed this time, however, as Alisson Becker saved Mason Mount’s penalty, giving Kostas Tsimikas an unlikely hero chance.

The Greece international was not a regular starter for Liverpool, but played coolly home to spark cheers from those in red.

Liverpool’s players engulfed Tsimikas, manager Jurgen Klopp sprinted towards his players and the fans lit flares to saturate the air with a splash of red.

The club’s song ‘I’ll Never Walk Alone’ rang through the stadium as Liverpool fans cheered on the team that gave them their first FA Cup win at Wembley in 30 years.

Such is the size of this Liverpool team, however, the celebrations will have to be short as there are other challenges ahead – a Champions League final at the end of the month and two matches in London. Premier League in which must try to overcome the three-point advantage of Manchester City at the top of the table.

Liverpool fans can celebrate their first FA Cup win since 2006.

Lots of opportunities

Even a traditional occasion like this – a marching band before kick-off, trophy royalties – recognizes world events.

Like many major sporting occasions, political statements were made. First, Liverpool fans booed the British national anthem, then captains and officials stood with the Ukrainian flag with the words ‘PEACE’ printed in black and just before the oldest match started. , the players were kneeling.

The match had only been a few minutes when Liverpool had their first chance. In fact, the reds should have scored at least once, which was their dominance for the first 15 minutes, but the excellent Thiago, Luis Diaz, Mo Salah and Mane floundered in front of goal.

Despite Chelsea playing second-hard for most of the first half, the Londoners arguably had their best chance in that period with just a world-class save from Liverpool’s Alisson – a dash down to Marcos Alonso ‘s feet – preventing them from taking the lead .

The fact that Salah, Liverpool’s top striker this season, was ruled out early due to injury added to the anxiety for Liverpool at half-time, but even without the Egyptian, the Reds still have can reassert its dominance before the break.

Indeed, Salah’s replacement, Diogo Jota, should have put Klopp’s men ahead just before the break.

Mo Salah was a big miss for Liverpool as he hobbled through injury.

Just as Liverpool did in the first half, Chelsea got off to a brilliant start in the second half. Once again, Alonso was denied entry to the scoreboard, this time on the crossbar as his dangerous free-kick hit the woodwork.

Two of the best teams in English football went head to head and had plenty of chances: Jota, Diaz and Andy Robertson for Liverpool; Christian Pulisic (2 times) for Chelsea.

It was hard to breathe. It’s very interesting. It created a dazzling atmosphere as both groups of fans raised their decibels on a fine London summer evening.

All that’s missing is a goal. Minutes passed, the substitute player made a mistake crept into the tired game, but still no one was able to concede the opponent’s net.

Diaz looked up at the sky as the impressive Edouard Mendy blocked another of his chances, this one in the 82nd minute, and his gesture reflected the emotions of all the fans watching: either one of two. goalkeeper will be defeated?

Robertson hit the post with seven minutes left before Diaz hit it again. But when the final whistle blew, the game – for all the opportunities, for all the entertainment – remained goalless.

Inevitably, energy dropped in extra time and few chances were created as penalties appeared on the horizon.

Once again Chelsea, still under sanctions by the UK government, suffered their heaviest defeats, becoming the first team to lose three consecutive FA Cup finals.

“We are sad, but at the same time proud to have left everything on the pitch,” coach Thomas Tuchel said after the game.

https://www.cnn.com/2022/05/14/football/chelsea-liverpool-fa-cup-final-spt-intl/index.html Liverpool wins FA Cup final after beating Chelsea in nerve-racking penalty shootout

Emma Bowman

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