Maybe Chelsea should try to start scoring goals in regulation of domestic cup finals. Or maybe coach Thomas Tuchel should give more respect to American penalty takers. For the third time in three years and second in a manner of months, the Blues missed a chance to bring home hardware via a penalty shootout defeat after a scoreless draw.
Liverpool outlasted Chelsea 6-5 in a dramatic shootout following 120 minutes of scoreless football to claim the 2022 FA Cup trophy. The win kept Liverpool’s hopes for an unprecedented quadruple alive.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 14, 2022
Jürgen Klopp’s side has now won the Carabao Cup and FA Cup this season. Liverpool trails Manchester City by three points with two games to go in the Premier League and will play Real Madrid in the Champions League final on May 28.
Chelsea has now lost three straight FA Cup finals with one goal in 300 minutes against Arsenal, Leicester and Liverpool. The Blues have won two continental trophies — the Champions League in 2021 and Europa League in 2019 — since their last domestic trophy, the 2018 FA Cup.
When these teams last met in a cup final, just a few months ago in the Carabao Cup in February, Édouard Mendy, who was superb throughout the match, was replaced in goal just before the shootout by Kepa. The Spaniard failed to make a single save and his attempt soared way over the goal to gift Liverpool the trophy, 11-10 in the shootout.
Three years earlier, Kepa declined to be subbed out of the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City in a similar situation. Then-Blues coach Maurizio Sarri wanted to bring in Willy Caballero for the shootout, only for Kepa to simply refuse. The result? City won the shootout 4-3.
Tuchel saved his final sub until the 119th minute, but instead of bringing on Kepa, he brought on Ross Barkley, who you probably forgot even plays for Chelsea. Barkley converted his penalty kick in convincing fashion, to his credit.
Mendy, however, could only keep one Liverpool shot out — from his Senegalese compatriot Sadio Mané — and Konstantinos Tsimikas scored the clinching penalty in the seventh round to send the red half of Wembley into ecstasy.
LIVERPOOL WIN THE FA CUP ON PENALTIES!!! pic.twitter.com/QoxX73JYgR— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 14, 2022
The decisive miss on the day came from Mason Mount, whose tame effort was easily saved by Alisson.
Mount was left in the game while Tuchel took out American Christian Pulisic in the 105th minute for Ruben-Loftus Cheek, who himself was replaced by Barkley. Tuchel apparently doesn’t watch many USMNT games, otherwise he’d know Pulisic is a superb penalty kick taker. Pulisic was also subbed out of the Carabao Cup final, though Chelsea’s other shot takers that day all converted from the spot with the exception of Kepa.
2022 FA Cup Final Highlights
Unlike the Carabao Cup final in February, Mendy did not have to stand on his head to keep the match scoreless. While the match wasn’t totally devoid of chances, each keeper needed just two saves to record clean sheets.
Pulisic had an early chance and should have had an assist to Marcos Alonso. The woodwork played a role in keeping the match scoreless, but the game was hindered by an injury to Mohamed Salah, who walked off under his own power after just over half an hour.
Mo Salah comes off for Liverpool with an apparent injury pic.twitter.com/FbxOGlg0BS— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 14, 2022
Luis Díaz was a constant threat for Liverpool, but not even a superb pass from Trent Alexander-Arnold could help the Colombian get past Mendy.
Incredible pass from Trent.Brilliant save from Mendy.
What a start to this game! pic.twitter.com/Qn9Lv4K5BL
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 14, 2022
Thus the match headed to a shootout.
Mendy got his hands to the first attempt from James Milner but couldn’t keep any of Liverpool’s first four shots out. With the game on the line after César Azpilicueta failed to hit the target, Mendy kept Sadio Mané to extend the shootout.
In the end, it came down to Mount’s miss and Tsimikas’ make and Liverpool lifted yet another trophy.
FA Cup Final Shootout
While the Premier League title remains a long shot — Manchester City needs to drop at least three points over two matches — a treble remains possible with a rematch of the 2018 Champions League final against Real Madrid. Neutrals hope Salah is healthy for the match, because Sergio Ramos won’t be around to injure him in the opening minutes.