May 15, (THEWILL) – Liverpool won the 2021/2022 FA Cup on penalties against Chelsea at Wembley on Saturday evening, to keep their dreams of an unprecedented quadruple alive.
For the second time this season, the Reds and Blues went the full 120 minutes in a final, and Jurgen Klopp’s side won, sending Thomas Tuchel’s side to their third FA Cup final defeat.
Early in, Liverpool had a lot of possession and had the first real shot on goal. Thiago went close to tapping home into an empty net just four minutes into the game but Luis Diaz’s cross was too forceful for him.
Diaz was then one-on-one with Edouard Mendy, who blocked the shot and allowed Trevoh Chalobah to clear off the line, forcing Chelsea to defend for the first 15 minutes.
Chelsea eventually clawed their way back into the game, displaying some excellent moments as they attempted to change the tide, and Christian Pulisic came within inches of giving his team an improbable lead. The American was found by Mason Mount’s low cross, but his effort sailed agonisingly wide of Alisson’s post.
Alisson was then called upon to stop Marcos Alonso, with the Liverpool goalkeeper sprinting out to the onrushing winger’s feet as he lunged for the shot.
The image of Mohamed Salah walking off half an hour in was Liverpool’s biggest problem in the first half. The Egyptian had to be substituted 14 days before the Champions League final from what Liverpool fans will hope is nothing serious.
Late in the half, the Reds broke through thanks to a mistake by Mateo Kovacic in midfield, and an Andy Robertson cross found Diogo Jota, who turned his difficult shot over the bar, just before Romelu Lukaku ran down the other end and fired high and wide when he could have done better.
Chelsea had a brighter start to the second half. Within the opening minute, both Alonso and Pulisic had fantastic chances to break the deadlock, with the former dragging wide and the latter drawing another impressive stop from Alisson.
With the Blues riding high in the early stages of the second half, Alonso had a free-kick rebound off the crossbar.
Diaz found an inch of space on the edge of the Chelsea area but dragged his shot wide, with Mendy getting nowhere near the ball if it had been on target.
Midway through the second half, both Jota and Pulisic missed half-chances, as both sides posed major threats without backing it up in front of goal.
Diaz struck the outside of Mendy’s post with eight minutes remaining, before Andy Robertson saw his own effort rebound against the woodwork. The Scot’s effort was the better of the two, connecting at the back post with a James Milner cross but failing to find the perfect touch.
Diaz finished off the second half with a dangerous curling effort from outside the area that, once again, went wide of the post.
Chelsea were the superior team in the opening half of extra time, but they never got closer than a cross that Alexander-Arnold diverted away from goal with a brilliant flick.
In the second half of extra time, tired legs took over and there was not much quality, therefore the final went to penalties.
Following goals from Alonso and Milner, Cesar Azpilicueta blundered when his strike hit the post, allowing Thiago to put Liverpool ahead 2-1.
Ross Barkley and Alexander-Arnold also scored, as did Reece James and Roberto Firmino. Jorginho scored before Mendy saved Sadio Mane’s shot to send the final to sudden death.
Hakim Ziyech and Jota made no mistakes, but Alisson brilliantly saved Mount’s shot, and Kostas Tsimikas stepped up to fire past Mendy and seal Liverpool’s FA Cup victory.