Liverpool have won their second trophy of the season after taking Chelsea all the way to penalties in today’s FA Cup final, with the match remaining 0-0 over 120 minutes.
For the fourth time this season, Jurgen Klopp’s side failed to beat the Blues over the course of 90 minutes despite having more possession (53%), more shots (17) and more passes completed (613) than Thomas Tuchel’s team at Wembley.
Just like the Carabao Cup final, the game went all the way down to a nail-biting penalty shoot-out which would have had supporters of both clubs hiding behind their sofas after the first five were taken. Sadio Mane missed his fifth to put Chelsea right back into the contest after Cesar Azpilicueta struck the post earlier on.
However, Alisson proved why he is considered one of the best goalkeepers in the world by keeping his cool and saving Mason Mount’s attempt, setting up the perfect scenario for substitute Kostas Tsimikas to slot the seventh (and decisive) penalty to ensure Liverpool’s first FA Cup triumph since 2006.
Although the match in open play was largely uneventful, the hard work put in to get into a position to take it right down to the final penalty was crucial, and Klopp could rely on Liverpool’s metronome Thiago Alcantara to provide the control to keep his team in the game from the centre of the pitch.
According to SofaScore, the Spain midfielder had 107 touches of the ball, completed 79 of his 90 passes (88%), made two key passes, three tackles and one interception. Also, he was successful with 100% of his dribbles and won 11 of his 17 duels, proving that he was massively effective, both hardworking off the ball and dominant in possession.
The Liverpool manager has now won almost every single major honour possible in his Liverpool tenure, with a Premier League title, Champions League, Carabao Cup, Super Cup and FA Cup all on his CV, which will surely leave Klopp delighted.
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The Reds will now continue their pursuit to take their outside chance of chasing the Premier League title behind Manchester City, and then they head to Paris to take on Real Madrid in the Champions League final.
Klopp will be hoping that his squad can carry on their winning momentum into their next challenge. For now, he can thank his unsung hero Thiago for an all-round superb performance from midfield as Liverpool finally get their hands on the FA Cup again.
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