Match report as Liverpool repeat their Carabao Cup penalty shoot-out win over Chelsea with another success from the spot in the FA Cup; Kostas Tsimikas struck the decisive penalty after Mason Mount’s effort was saved by Alisson; Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk forced off injured
Liverpool completed a clean sweep of the domestic cups with another penalty shoot-out win over Chelsea at Wembley in the FA Cup final, as Kostas Tsimikas struck the decisive spot-kick after Mason Mount’s effort was saved by Alisson.
It had taken 22 penalties to separate the sides in February’s Carabao Cup final and while there were only 14 taken after another goalless 120 minutes on this occasion, it was once again Jurgen Klopp’s side who clinched the silverware by the narrowest of margins, handing Chelsea a third straight FA Cup final defeat in the process.
The teams continued to trade blows, with Pulisic shooting wide and Diaz bending a fine shot over before James stopped a swift Liverpool counter-attack with a combination of good defending and then a foul on Thiago to earn the first booking of the match
But Liverpool kept on coming and hit both posts in quick succession as the clock ticked down, with Diaz denied after a shuffle and shot from eight yards before Robertson miscued his volley from the other side when he seemed certain to convert. There was still time for Diaz to curl just off target but, for the fourth time this season, 90 minutes wasn’t enough to separate these sides.
There was another blow for Liverpool at the turn around, with Van Dijk subbed off and looking frustrated in the dugout. On the pitch, his centre-back partner Ibrahima Konate took a risk when he floored Hakim Ziyech in the box, although ref Craig Pawson waved play on.
A series of Chelsea set-pieces came to nothing and in the second period of extra-time, with fatigue setting in, chances were again in short supply as penalties loomed.
Chelsea: Mendy (8), Chalobah (7), Silva (8), Rudiger (7), James (8), Jorginho (8), Kovacic (7), Alonso (8), Mount (7), Pulisic (6), Lukaku (5).
Subs: Kante (6), Ziyech (7), Azpilicueta (5), Loftus-Cheek (6), Barkley (7)
Liverpool: Alisson (9), Alexander-Arnold (8), Konate (8), Van Dijk (7), Robertson (7), Thiago (8), Henderson (7), Keita (7), Salah (6), Mane (7), Diaz (9).
Subs: Jota (7), Milner (7), Matip (7), Tsimikas (7)
Man of the Match: Luis Diaz (Liverpool)
Tuchel’s decision to sub off sub Ruben Loftus-Cheek for Ross Barkley in the final seconds was intriguing move, given how his Kepa Arrizabalaga switch in February back-fired.
Barkley did score his penalty but the tale had an unhappily familiar ending for Chelsea, who, through the finest of margins, missed out on another trophy, with this loss adding to their FA Cup final defeats to Arsenal and Leicester City in recent years.
As for Liverpool – who have drawn level with Chelsea on eight FA Cups – it’s now a question of how much more silverware they can finish the season with…