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The match was deadlocked at 0-0 after the sides played 120 minutes but Liverpool won the penalty shootout 6-5 to lift the FA Cup on the tournament’s 150th anniversary. A penalty off the post from Cesar Azpilicueta and a weak effort from Mason Mount that Alisson saved were just enough to see the Reds keep their dream of a quadruple alive. This also makes Chelsea the first club ever to lose three straight FA Cup finals.
Mohamed Salah was withdrawn in the 32nd minute due to a groin injury, so it’s not all smiles for Liverpool but the hope is that it was a precaution as this was the 10th game in the past month for the Reds. The match almost didn’t make it to extra time as Luis Diaz was unlucky not to score hitting the post near the end of regulation before Diogo Jota hit the other post only seconds later. While Liverpool came out of the gate hot, adjustments from Thomas Tuchel and strong defending from Thiago Silva kept things close for the 120 minutes before another epic shootout between the two teams.
There was no messing around for Tuchel who had swapped keepers at the end of extra time ahead of the last shootout these two teams played, back in the League Cup final. Edouard Mendy stayed between the sticks and came up big stopping Sadio Mane but it wouldn’t be enough in the end. Liverpool secured their second trophy of the season thanks to a cool finish from backup left back Konstantinos Tsimikas, who secured the win and the trophy.
LIVERPOOL WIN THE FA CUP ON PENALTIES!!! pic.twitter.com/QoxX73JYgR
This FA Cup triumph is Liverpool’s first since 2006 and it helps cement their special season with a second trophy and a chance to add more silverware in the Champions League Final and the Premier League still to come. They trail Manchester City by only three points with two matches remaining and have Real Madrid ahead of them in Europe’s biggest competition.
It took longer than expected to secure things due to Liverpool’s finishing, but they got it done when it mattered. The Reds took 17 shots during the match only putting two on target compared to Chelsea’s 10 which also led to two on target. But with the defensive performance from Thiago Silva to marshal Liverpool attackers where he wanted them to shoot helped make keeper Edouard Mendy’s job easy before his strong performance in the shootout. But ultimately Liverpool found a way. It’s another victory for Jurgen Klopp over Thomas Tuchel as well, after Liverpool bested Chelsea on penalties in the EFL Cup final in February. And it’s also Chelsea’s third straight FA Cup final loss, a record in the 150 year history of the competition.
Here are a few takeaways from the match
Just when it seemed like things were shifting for Lukaku at Chelsea with three goals in his last two matches, this past week couldn’t have gone worse for him. First he on Friday after comments about transfer rumors, and then he only touched the ball 15 times in the FA Cup final on Saturday. His future is murky with Chelsea and games like this won’t do much to assure Tuchel that he can do what is needed to succeed in his system.
Lukaku only took one shot during the match and while he did create chances for Christian Pulisic by drawing in multiple defenders, he didn’t do enough on his own when it mattered and was subbed out for Ruben Loftus-Cheek in extra time. While Chelsea’s system doesn’t help Lukaku who has had his best seasons either playing alongside another forward or having the team play directly through him, something will need to change tactically at Chelsea or Lukaku could well be on his way back out the door during the summer.
With Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk leaving the match for Liverpool and Fabinho already out until the Champions League final, it makes you wonder how Klopp will approach Southampton on Tuesday. Until now he has done a good job rotating when he could to secure victories whenever possible but this squad seems near the breaking point. With Salah’s substitution it seemed clear that these competitions might just be too much strain on the players? After a strong start to the match, Liverpool were out of energy after the 60th minute and if they plan to put everything possible into trying to win the Premier League, the team will need to push plenty of goals past Southampton. They trail City not only by three points, but also by seven in goal difference.
But, as the Champions League final is the more likely prize, rotation could be incoming as Klopp looks to protect his players. It was surprising to not see van Dijk play 120 minutes in the match so it has to be a thought going through Klopp’s head.
While Timo Werner’s fitness is one of the reasons that Pulisic started, he played an important role on the left wing for the Blues. Pulisic was able to cut inside and make things happen. He took two shots and also created two chances across 105 minutes while also completing four dribbles. In extra time he had a big chance that Joel Matip played perfectly to stop but in what has been a trying season for Pulisic, he still showed how dangerous he can be in a Chelsea shirt.
Tuchel’s best lineup has been fluid this season but Pulisic has always found himself in the mix, especially for bigger games. On another day, when he isn’t facing Liverpool’s imperious defense, this performance leads to a goal and an assist, which is promising.
Liverpool will dream of a quadruple as Mendy dove the wrong way making things easy.
LIVERPOOL WIN THE FA CUP ON PENALTIES!!! pic.twitter.com/QoxX73JYgR
Another shootout miss in a critical moment for Mount and Liverpool can win this with a make!
This shootout must go on
Flares were thrown onto the field but that wouldn’t faze him
Usually cool from the spot, Mendy wins the battle of mind games.
MENDY SAVES FROM MANE! pic.twitter.com/x88SFdO2t3
He ditched the run up and had no issues.
Liverpool were ready for this
It was a simple take but Barkley makes up for being subbed into the match late.
Mendy got a touch but Firmino’s run up did just enough to throw him off
Cool, confident finish
Liverpool takes advantage of Chelsea’s miss
It was a bad pen from the start as Alisson also read it the whole way.
Mendy got a touch but it wouldn’t be enough.
It was a straightforward finish past Alisson to get things started.
It was a match with chances but neither side took advantage.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek has left the match after just entering during extra time for Ross Barkley. With Timo Werner still rooted to the bench, it makes you wonder if he’s fit enough to feature.
Another case of fresh legs coming in but the question is will Tuchel’s final substitute be Kepa Arrizabalaga entering the match for penalties.
While there was contact between him and Alexander-Arnold this is a game that has given the players room to foul a bit more than usual. As it wasn’t enough to go to VAR, both sides will play on.
Chelsea had the better of the chances but Matip’s entry into the match made a difference in keeping Liverpool in the match. As each team has played so many matches, this last 15 will see even more tired legs.
Mount’s delivery was true but Milner was there to hold it off. They would get a redo and weren’t able to make anything from it after a poor delivery.
But with the depth available to Klopp, Roberto Firmino will enter with 22 minutes remaining.
Matip’s fresh legs were able to stay with Pulisic and stop his chance from ending in a goal. So far so good with Jurgen Klopp’s substitute.
HOW IS THIS STILL 0-0?!?! pic.twitter.com/c0aPJ5tMwN
For only the sixth time in FA Cup history, the final is level after 90 minutes. Liverpool and Chelsea both had their spells of dominance but this final has had the same result after 90 minutes as the league cup final between these two sides.
An impressive day for Thiago in defense for Chelsea as he was able to stop Luis Diaz in a footrace in the 90th minute of this game. It’s something special how Thiago is able to defend.
Diaz finds his way into space and fires his shot off the post. After he put his hands to the sky in a gesture of what more can he do and truly, what will it take for the goal that he deserves. Liverpool followed up by hitting the other post in less than a minute.
Mane thought he was in but Thiago keeps it leverl. With only ten minutes remaining, is extra time coming?
James Milner enters for Naby Keita. While this won’t make Liverpool more dynamic, it will keep them solid at the back while the front three are hopefully able to push forward.
This is Kante’s first appearance for Chelsea since the end of April as he has missed their last three matches.
Alexander-Arnold’s delivery wasn’t up to his usual standards but the Reds did win another corner from things. This one went a little better but was claimed by Mendy as they’re beginning to get chances to match Chelsea in the second half.
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