FA Cup: Liverpool Beat Chelsea On Penalties To Clinch Title | Football News

Liverpool kept their fingers crossed to win the FA Cup for the first time since 2006 after a dramatic penalty shootout against Chelsea when the quadruple chasers kept their history bid alive on Saturday. Jurgen Klopp’s team won 6-5 on penalties at Wembley as Greek defender Kostas Tsimikas was the unlikely hero with the decisive kick after Alisson Becker withdrew Mason Mount’s effort. A hard-fought final had ended in a 0-0 draw after extra time, setting the stage for a nerve-wracking penalty that included misses by Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta and Sadio Mane, whose shots were saved by Edouard Mendy when he had a chance to win the trophy.

For the second time this season, Liverpool beat Chelsea on penalties, having already defeated them 11-10 after another 0-0 draw in the League Cup final in February.

Liverpool’s triumph keeps them in the hunt to become the first English team to win all four major trophies in a single season.

With two prizes already secured, the Reds will hope for a slip from Premier League leader Manchester City, who are three points ahead of them in the title race with two games left for both teams.

Although Liverpool cannot win a second English title in three seasons, they can still take an astonishing campaign by winning the Champions League final against Real Madrid in Paris on 28 May.

With that ambition in mind, Klopp’s only concern was when he danced jubilantly in front of Liverpool supporters in the middle of a swirling fog of red flak smoke if his team will be at full strength against Real.

Liverpool lost Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk to injuries that could exclude them from their last two Premier League matches next week and will raise fears about their ability to recover in time for the Champions League final.

Liverpool have won both domestic cups during the same season for the first time since 2000-01, where Klopp got hold of the famous old trophy for the first time.

For Chelsea, it was a painful third in a row FA Cup final loss after previous losses against Leicester and Arsenal.

Mentality monster

Liverpool made a solid start as they swarmed forward in a blur of fast passes and relentless pressure.

Diaz should have put Liverpool in the lead after accelerating to a sublime pass from Trent Alexander-Arnold, who caressed the ball through Chelsea’s defense with the outside of his boot.

Diaz’s tame shot was saved by Mendy, but the ball still rolled towards goal until Trevoh Chalobah climbed back to hack at the last minute.

With Tuchel gesturing furiously on the sidelines, Chelsea dug in and eventually turned back the red wave.

Mount led their first serious raid and crossed for Christian Pulisic to cut his shot just outside.

Pulisic brought the fight to Liverpool again a few moments later, and released his pass to Alonso, who should have scored but took a bad first touch and threw his shot straight at Alisson Becker.

Diogo Jota wasted a golden chance to give Liverpool the lead shortly after his introduction as Salah’s replacement, the Portuguese forward who volleyed over from Andrew Robertson’s cross.

Chelsea were on the offensive after the break and Pulisic’s blow was well saved by Alisson before Alonso’s free kick was cannoned outside the crossbar.

But Klopp’s self-proclaimed “mentality monster” has not come so close to quadrupling without remarkable strength.

They wrestled back to speed and Diaz cut the outside of the post before Robertson volleyed against the woodwork.

In the spring heat, and since both teams had played at least 60 games during a marathon season, it was no surprise that fatigue became a factor in a tame overtime that never looked to produce a winner.

Tuchel had sent on his goalkeeper who saves penalties, Kepa Arrizabalaga, before the league cup final in a move that struck back.

Promoted

Tuchel stuck with Mendy this time, but the result was still the same.

Klopp admitted that Liverpool’s remarkable season would be disappointing if they only finished with the League Cup, but he no longer has to worry about that.

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