Thursday, March 23, 2023

Liverpool beat Chelsea on penalties to win FA Cup title

Former Premier League champions Liverpool got their hands on the FA Cup trophy for the first time in 16 years after beating Chelsea 6-5 on penalties after a goalless draw in the 2022 final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.

Substitute Costas Simikas scored the winning kick after Jurgen Klopp won the men’s cup after Alisson Becker saved from Mason Mount. It was the eighth time the Reds had won the FA Cup title.

The win in the FA Cup final secured Liverpool’s second piece of silverware this season after their Carabao Cup success against Chelsea in February.

Klopp’s side are also in contention for the Premier League title and have also reached the Champions League final against Real Madrid, thus keeping their hopes of a quadruple title alive.

Nothing could separate the two teams after 120 minutes of tense and goalless action in the capital.

But Klopp’s men emerged victorious in the shootout – as they did against the same opponents in the Carabao Cup final – to lift the trophy for the eighth time in the club’s history, a report on Liverpool’s official website said.

Liverpool created a trio of scoring opportunities in the opening nine minutes, all involving the lively Luis Diaz.

First, No. 23 drilled the ball into the face of the goal but it was just inches away from Thiago’s protruding boot. Moments later in a similar situation, Salah was unable to connect to Diaz’s cut-back, the report said.

The Reds’ best chance of the half was a brilliant out-of-the-boot pass from Trent Alexander-Arnold that sent Diaz through on goal.

Edouard Mendy could only save half of the forward’s resulting finish, although Trevoh Chaloba was on hand to clear the ball before it was trickled over the line. After this, Nabi Keita hit a four on the loose ball but fired wide.

Then it was the turn of Chelsea’s attack. Christian Pulisic saw a shot just behind the far post as Alisson then bravely saved in the box from Marcos Alonso’s charge.

salah injured
Then Liverpool suffered a setback when Salah fell on the turf and was unable to continue. His replacement, Diogo Jota, came out of close range from Robertson’s cross before the end of the half.

Chelsea flew out of the block after the hiatus. Alonso went close twice, pulling a shot wide and striking the crossbar with a whipped free-kick from a tight angle. Among those attempts was a significant save from Alison to deny Pulisic.

At the other end, Robertson couldn’t accommodate Alexander-Arnold’s cross to send it toward goal and Diaz fired partly wide as the Reds responded. Along with Jota, Nabi Keita, Pulisic, and Diaz, both teams continued to strike, failing with attempts in quick succession.

The trend continued in extra time as Liverpool played an additional 30 minutes without Virgil van Dijk, who was replaced by Joel Matip.

It was a tense 15-minute opening, with only Mount making the only shot of the first half.

And a similar story in the second ensured that the destination of the trophy would be determined through a spot-kick. Cesar Azpilicueta was the first to miss in the shootout, but Mendy then blocked Sadio Mane’s attempt to keep Chelsea in it.

However, when Alisson’s strong palm blocked Mount’s hit, Simikas stepped in calmly and sent the Chelsea goalkeeper the wrong way to spark gleeful scenes among players, staff and supporters.

Liverpool had previously won the FA Cup in 1965, 1974, 1986, 1989, 1992, 2001 and 2006.


Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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