Alisson Becker was the penalty shootout hero as Liverpool secured another penalty shootout triumph over Chelsea to lift the FA Cup and keep their quest for an unprecedented foursome alive.
Just 76 days after the Reds swept past Thomas Tuchel’s men on penalties after a goalless Carabao Cup final, Wembley saw another thrilling tie between those sides come to an end.
Nothing could divide them after 90 minutes and extra time again, with Alisson trumping on penalties as Liverpool won their first FA Cup since 2006.
Edouard Mendy prevented Sadio Mane from scoring the winning goal after Cesar Azpilicueta hit the post, only for the Brazilian goalkeeper to parry Mason Mount before Kostas Tsimikas struck to seal a 6-5 victory.
While the four-fold could prove unattainable given Manchester City’s Premier League advantage, Jurgen Klopp’s Reds still have a shot at Champions League glory as a stellar season draws to a memorable end.
Wembley rocked to Liverpool’s beat at full time, just as they had in the opening minutes when they flew off the blocks.
But Chelsea looked up early storming and began asking questions at the other end in a first half that saw Reds star Mohamed Salah hobbled off injured.
Marcos Alonso’s daring free-kick hit the bar during a rampant Chelsea start to a tumultuous second half that ended when Luis Diaz and Andrew Robertson hit the post for Liverpool.
That vibrant half gave way to tepid extra time between exhausted sides who rose for penalties, ending with red smoke and Liverpool cheers filling the air.
Reds boss Klopp becomes the first German manager to win the FA Cup.
“It was outstanding, another incredibly tense game against Chelsea and they deserved it,” he told BBC Two.
“The small margins are the difference again and I can’t be prouder of my boys, the change they’ve made.”
Becker said afterwards: “It’s unbelievable. We put in such a good performance.
“It was a shame we didn’t score in regulation time, but it was a real fight after extra time could do anything.
“We kept a clean sheet, it went to penalties and after that the lads were amazing when they scored the goals and then I just had to save the last goal. I’m so happy.”
https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/i-cannot-be-more-proud-of-my-boys-jurgen-klopp-hails-liverpool-after-fa-cup-final-win-over-chelsea-41649964.html ‘I can’t be prouder of my boys’ – Jurgen Klopp greets Liverpool after beating Chelsea in the FA Cup final