LONDON (AP)Add the FA Cup to the collection. Jurgen Klopp has now won every major title for Liverpool.
A 6-5 victory over Chelsea on penalties in Saturday’s final produced Liverpool’s first FA Cup triumph since 2006 and kept it in contention for, potentially if unlikely, a quadruple of trophies.
Just like in the League Cup final in February, the FA Cup showpiece ended 0-0 through 120 minutes before Liverpool prevailed again. This time, the Reds were helped by Chelsea midfielder Mason Mason’s penalty being saved before Konstantinos Tsimikas clinched the shootout win with his first-ever goal for the club.
”The small margins are again the difference and I cannot be more proud of my boys,” said Klopp, who has emulated Alex Ferguson with Manchester United and become only the second manager to win the European Cup, Premier League, League Cup and FA Cup with the same English club.
In two weeks, Liverpool will be hoping to win the Champions League final against Real Madrid. Before then, Klopp has to hope Manchester City slips up in the final two rounds of the Premier League and Liverpool takes advantage to regain that trophy.
”That is part of the `mentality monsters’ as well, going to extra time and keeping the high level, performing well,” Liverpool goalkeeper goalkeeper Alisson Becker said. ”It gives us even more confidence to keep on going for the Premier League and also the Champions League final. This is a fantastic moment and now we just need to enjoy it.”
There was only more Wembley pain for Chelsea. Weeks of ownership turmoil for Chelsea are ending by becoming the first team to lose three consecutive FA Cup final appearances, having been beaten by Arsenal in 2020 and Leicester last year.
The final of world football’s oldest competition had never gone to penalties before at Wembley. There hadn’t even been a goalless final after extra time since it started being played at the national stadium in 1923.
But Liverpool’s last FA Cup success in 2006 was in one of the two previous shootouts that settled the cup final that both happened in Cardiff while Wembley was being rebuilt.
Saturday’s final ended with one half of the stadium shrouded in a red haze of smoke after beginning under a cloud when Liverpool fans jeered the national anthem and the introduction of Prince William.
After the ceremony to mark 150 years of the FA Cup, the 141st final was more tense than turgid, just like in the League Cup final. There were 58 shots produced by the teams without finding the net over their two games at Wembley in 2022.
One chance did come early for Liverpool with Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy saving from Luis Diaz. Then came Christian Pulisic’s shot that crept wide on a frustrating afternoon for the Chelsea forward.
The first half was punctuated by injury delays for Liverpool players.
Alisson had to be treated after his shin took a knock while blocking Marcos Alonso’s shot. The goalkeeper recovered but it wasn’t long before Mohamed Salah went down. The forward couldn’t continue due to a sore groin but he was able to walk off unaided when being replaced by Diogo Jota in the 33rd minute.
Liverpool missed the threat of the Premier League’s top scorer. Chelsea missed their chances to exploit that.
A blistering start to the second half by Chelsea saw Marcos Alonso shoot wide and send a free kick onto the crossbar around Pulisic’s effort being repelled by Alisson’s diving save.
A late flurry of Liverpool attempts couldn’t prevent the game going into extra time with the post hit by Diaz from a tight angle and Andy Robertson from close range.
And for only the second time – after Arsenal’s 2005 meeting with Manchester United in Cardiff – an FA Cup final ended 0-0 after extra time.
The shootout was going Liverpool’s way after captain Cesar Azpilicueta missed Chelsea’s second penalty until Sadio Mane missed a chance to win it when Senegal teammate Mendy saved his kick.
After the teams converted another round of penalties, Mount was thwarted and Tsimikas produced his biggest moment since joining Liverpool in 2020. Now Liverpool has the eighth FA Cup it has been waiting 16 years to win, and another two titles to aim for this season.
”We have to celebrate hard,” Tsimikas said. ”Tomorrow is another day and we still have a lot to do.”
For Chelsea’s men, the season will end with no domestic titles but the FIFA Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup and prospective new owners.
”We’re disappointed and sad of course,” Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said, ”but at the same time proud because we left everything that you need.”
Since the League Cup final loss, Roman Abramovich has put Chelsea up for sale after being sanctioned by the British government over his links to Russia amid the war on Ukraine. The Russian oligarch has agreed to a buyout by a consortium fronted by American sports investor Todd Boehly.
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