An action-packed, quality-filled 120 minutes+ at Wembley on Saturday ultimately culminated in Liverpool getting the better of Chelsea, to lift their first FA Cup trophy since all the way back in 2006.
The two Premier League heavyweights of course locked horns once more a short time ago, in a repeat of February’s League Cup showpiece.
And, as proved the case three months ago, despite a whole host of presentable opportunities, neither managed to conjure up the one telling moment of quality required across a full two hours of action, resulting in proceedings being sent to a penalty shootout.
Crashed against the post by @andrewrobertso5 💥
— Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) May 14, 2022
It was Liverpool who held their nerve last time out on the back of 20+ spot-kicks, and, following another tense battle from the spot on Saturday, Jurgen Klopp’s Reds emerged triumphant once more.
After Edouard Mendy handed Chelsea a lifeline in keeping out fellow countryman Sadio Mane’s 5th Liverpool strike from 12 yards, Mason Mount’s ensuing miss telling proved, as surprise hero Kostas Tsimikas stepped up to confident slotly into the bottom corner, keeping Liverpool’s hopes of an international quadruple alive and well in the process.
LIVERPOOL WIN THE FA CUP ON PENALTIES!!! pic.twitter.com/QoxX73JYgR
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 14, 2022
*Note* – Owing to the lottery nature of the process, player ratings are based on the 120 minutes of play prior to the penalty shootout.
Edouard Mendy – 6 – Made a fine early save from Luis Diaz to keep a rampant Liverpool at bay, and acted as ‘sweeper keeper’ effectively whenever called upon.
Trevoh Chalobah – 5.5 – Recovered admirably after a shaky start to the action, in an altogether thankless task up against the relentless Diaz.
Thiago Silva – 7 – Even at 37, continues to look completely at home on the grandest stages in football. The consummate professional.
Antonio Rudiger – 6 – An uncharacteristically quiet evening’s work for the wily German, who dealt with what Liverpool had to offer in confident fashion.
Rece James – 8 – What a player Reece James is quickly developing into. Stout in his defending, pinpoint with the ball at his feet, and narrowly edged out fellow English international right-back Alexander-Arnold in our ratings.
Marcos Alonso – 7 – A fine showing from Chelsea’s always-willing left-wing-back, who caused Liverpool all sorts of problems with his surging drives down the Reds’ right.
Jorginho – 7 – Assured that Thiago wasn’t allowed to steal the show in the engine room battle at Wembley. Masterful in possession and more than willing in carrying out his defensive duties, too.
Mateo Kovacic – 5.5 – Better on the defensive side of the ball than in possession, the Croat’s fitness issue perhaps hampered his impact on proceedings. Still, by no means a bad performance.
Mason Mount – 5.5 – Struggled to get involved for much of the clash, but worked tirelessly to ensure that Liverpool’s midfield never had it easy.
Christian Pulisic – 6 Another to have had plenty of opportunities in front of the goal, Pulisic should really have added his name to the scoresheet this evening. Growth lively, and caused Liverpool’s backline plenty of problems.
Romelu Lukaku – 5 – Far from his best display, as van Dijk and Konate dealt comfortably with any threat posed by the Belgian international.
N’Golo Kante – 6 – Added some much-needed impetus to Chelsea’s midfield ranks, coming up with several crucial challenges to swing momentum back in his side’s favour.
Hakim Ziyech – 4.5 – Kept Liverpool guessing in adding an altogether different case dimension to Chelsea’s frontline, but, as proved the with Pulisic, little end product to show for his efforts.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek – 2 – Bizarrely hauled off less than 15 minutes after being introduced in extra-time.
Cesar Azpilicueta – N/A
Ross Barkley – N/A
Alison – 6 – Typically excellent in possession and produced more than one telling save to keep his side in the game.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7 – One outside-of-the-boot through ball could have resulted in an assist of the season contender during the first-half. Saw a lot of Chelsea’s best work come down his side early on, but nevertheless defended stoutly from an individual standpoint.
Ibrahima Konate – 6.5 – Continues to prove himself the man for the big occasion, Konate, at 22, once more looked as though he had been lining out at the highest level for a decade with his performance on Saturday.
Virgil van Dijk – 6.5 – Typically brilliant in his role as defensive leader for Liverpool. Will have sent hearts racing, though, in departing the action prior to extra-time getting underway, presumably owing to a fitness concern.
Andrew Robertson – 5.5 – By no means a poor performance, but by his own lofty standards, Robertson was not quite up to par on either side of the ball.
Jordan Henderson – 6.5 – Kept things ticking over nicely at the base of Liverpool’s midfield in the absence of the more combative Fabinho.
Naby Keita – 6 – Saw his influence wane after a superb start, but nevertheless held his own amid a tense battle in the middle of the park. Hooked a little over 15 minutes from time.
Thiago Alcantara – 7 – Class personified in his passing, albeit with a couple of rare loose touches in between. Remains one of the very best midfield conductors in the business.
Mohamed Salah – 3 – Lasted just half an hour before being forced to succumb to a muscular injury. Made little in terms of telling impact before then.
Luis Diaz – 7.5 – Opened proceedings looking absolutely unplayable, and probably should have opened the scoring in a one-on-one with Mendy. Remained Liverpool’s biggest attacking threat by some way throughout the action.
Sadio Mane – 6 – Posed little threat in front of goal, but linked play superbly. Liverpool are just a better side with Mane on the pitch.
Diogo Jota – 5.5 – Introduced for Salah with an hour remaining in proceedings and certainly made an impact, but too often lacking in his finished product.
James Milner – 6 – Almost bagged a telling assist shortly after coming on owing to a wonderful delivery from the right. Provided exactly what would have been asked of him by boss Klopp.
Joel Matip – 6 – Replaced van Dijk ahead of extra-time, and didn’t put a foot wrong across his half-hour cameo.
Roberto Firmino – 4.5 – Failed to make an impact after his extra-time introduction to the fray.
Kostas Tsimikas – N/A
What the fans said
The two best 0-0s of the season been Chelsea vs Liverpool in the domestic cup finals
— Ben Crellin (@BenCrellin) May 14, 2022
Neither team deserve to lose this 😊
— Mark G (@Frankie44444) May 14, 2022
What a game this is.
— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) May 14, 2022
If there’s one player who didn’t deserve that it’s Mason Mount.
— Jacob Steinberg (@JacobSteinberg) May 14, 2022
— ChelsTransfer (@ChelsTransfer) May 14, 2022
You really have to feel for Chelsea. Especially after all they’ve been through these last 19 years
— Charlie Eccleshare (@CDEccleshare) May 14, 2022
If anyone had dared suggest when Jurgen Klopp was appointed in October 2015 that Liverpool would collect every single trophy available to them by May 2022, I think most would’ve laughed. Oh, and there’s a Champions League final to come!
— David Lynch (@dmlynch) May 14, 2022
What you may have missed
37y 234d – @tsilva3 is the oldest outfield player (37 years & 234 days) to start an @EmiratesFACup final since Stanley Matthews in the 1953 final for Blackpool, aged 38. Nous. pic.twitter.com/opzRtocpbo
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 14, 2022
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