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Player ratings and analysis as Reds win their eighth FA Cup on penalties

Chelsea 0-0 Liverpool AET (Liverpool win 6-5 on penalties)

Liverpool stay on track for the quadruple after beating Chelsea 6-5 on penalties to win a primary FA Cup since 2006.

Kostas Tsimikas scored the decisive kick, with Mason Mount lacking in sudden demise. Cesar Azpilicueta had fired large with the Blues’ second spot-kick however Sadio Mane’s probability to win it for Jurgen Klopp’s males was saved by his worldwide team-mate Edouard Mendy.

Simply as they did in February’s League Cup last, the 2 golf equipment had placed on an attritional however by some means attritional showpiece.

Liverpool dominated in spells, Luis Diaz surging out of Reece James’ man-marking operation again and again to ship a near-perfect show that had the whole lot besides a purpose.

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After two beautiful flicks with the surface of the boot from Alisson and Trent Alexander-Arnold up the pitch, Diaz latched onto the counter-attack and compelled Mendy right into a save together with his legs. Trevoh Chalobah was capable of clear the ensuing goalline scramble however in doing so collided with Thiago Silva, who required ice on his knee however was capable of keep on.

And had Diaz’s early drag-back to Mohamed Salah not ended up simply behind the Egyptian, each their afternoons might need been completely different.

Certainly the ultimate was overshadowed by an harm to Salah shortly after the half-hour mark which Liverpool have since confirmed as a groin drawback. Salah will now be assessed forward of the ultimate two video games of the Premier League season as Liverpool try to wrestle the title from Manchester Metropolis, and so they play Actual Madrid in a repeat of the 2018 Champions League last – throughout which Salah additionally went off injured – on 28 Might.

That harm didn’t clarify the Reds’ lack of targets, nevertheless, with Diogo Jota firing their greatest probability in opposition to the put up after James Milner had picked his method via the Chelsea defence.

This was the Blues’ fourth last beneath Thomas Tuchel but it surely started chaotically, Mateo Kovacic doing his greatest to shut down enormous gaps between the again three and the midfield. When Christian Pulisic’s alternatives got here, they had been in opposition to the run of play and had been spurned by the American nonetheless, even when Mason Mount delivered a pinpoint go to seek out him close to the penalty spot.

With no Kai Havertz and with Romelu Lukaku struggling to say himself in opposition to Virgil van Dijk, Chelsea’s assault was reliant on Mount and Pulisic. Marcos Alonso got here simply as near breaking the impasse as he raced into the field however took one contact too many to play the ball into Alisson, later firing simply large with one other try as Tuchel’s males felt their method into proceedings.

Jota ought to have completed higher when Andy Robertson handed him a cross which solely required the faintest of touches. The 25-year-old as a substitute blasted it over the bar, one other uncharacteristically wayward piece of ending.

Additional time appeared inevitable and when it arrived, Van Dijk was withdrawn – presumably with an harm – to get replaced with Joel Matip. That shall be one other enormous concern for Klopp, whether it is critical, with Thiago Alcantara additionally fortunate to keep away from hurt in gentle of Reece James’ harmful scrape together with his studs down the again of the midfielder’s calf, incomes a yellow card.

Van Dijk had been astute all through, although Antonio Rudiger was his match, beating Sadio Mane in a race to the ball which epitomised what a loss he shall be when he joins Actual Madrid this summer time.

Tuchel might have had penalties in thoughts when he took off Ruben Loftus-Cheek, having solely launched him within the a hundred and fifth minute, although there was no cameo for Kepa Arrizabalaga this time.

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Player rankings

Chelsea

  • Mendy 8
  • Chalobah 7
  • Silva 7
  • Rudiger 7.5
  • James 7
  • Jorginho 7.5
  • Kovacic 7.5
  • Alonso 7
  • Mount 7
  • Pulisic 6.5
  • Lukaku 6

Substitutes

  • Kante 7
  • Ziyech 6
  • Loftus-Cheek 5
  • Azpilicueta 5
  • Barkley 5

Liverpool

  • Alisson 8
  • Alexander-Arnold 8
  • Konate 7
  • Van Dijk 7
  • Robertson 7
  • Keita 7.5
  • Henderson 7
  • Thiago 6.5
  • Salah 5
  • Mane 7
  • Diaz 8.5

Substitutes

  • Jota 6.5
  • Milner 7
  • Matip 6
  • Firmino 6
  • Tsimikas 7



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