FA Cup final: Penalty shootout smile for the Reds against Chelsea

Alisson Becker was the penalty shootout hero as Liverpool won the FA Cup in a penalty shootout against Chelsea, keeping their quest for an unprecedented treble alive.

Only 76 days after the Reds beat Thomas Tuchel’s men on penalties in a scoreless Carabao Cup final, Wembley saw another nail-biting contest between these two teams.

Nothing could separate them after 90 minutes and extra time, with Alisson coming up trumps in the shootout to give Liverpool their first FA Cup victory since 2006.

After Cesar Azpilicueta hit the post, Edouard Mendy denied Sadio Mane, only for the Brazil goalkeeper to deny Mason Mount before Kostas Tsimikas scored to complete a 6-5 victory.

Liverpool won the FA Cup for the first time in 16 years.

However, the Reds will have some significant issues heading into the Champions League final, with Mo Salah hobbling off in the first half and Virgil van Dijk unable to return for the extra-time period.

The first half was tremendously open, with Edouard Mendy and Alisson both making fantastic one-on-one saves to deny the outstanding Luis Diaz and Marcos Alonso, respectively.

Christian Pulisic also shot wide, while Diogo Jota, who came in for an injured Salah, glanced over the bar after being set up by Andy Robertson’s cross.

Chelsea took the lead early in the second half, with Alonso volleying an attempt wide and Pulisic forcing Alisson into a fantastic save.

Alonso’s looping free-kick to the far post smacked against the crossbar in the 48th minute.

Liverpool reacted, with Jota shooting wide and the lively Diaz looping over.

Late in the game, Jurgen Klopp’s side struck the crossbar twice in a minute, as Diaz slammed an attempt against the near post and then James Milner shinned one against the far post.

Diaz tried his luck again in stoppage time, but his curling attempt went just wide, sending the game into overtime.

Van Dijk’s absence from the extra-time session looked to add to Liverpool’s injury woes. And his absence provided Chelsea with the impetus they needed to move ahead.

However, neither team could generate another opportunity in the extra session, and an exciting final proceeded to penalties, with the Reds triumphing once again.

Watch the Liverpool team celebration with The FA Cup:

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