Liverpool wins the FA Cup against Chelsea but Salah and Virgil Van Dijk are injured

Again the penalties and again the champion Liverpool. As in the League Cup final, the eleven meters decided in favor of the ‘Reds’, who signed a fantastic 0-0 at Wembley to lift their eighth FA Cup on penalties, boosted by a mistake by César Azpilicueta and a save from Alisson Becker to Mason Mount.

The failure of the Spaniard, together with the paradon of the Brazilian, prompted a Liverpool who, during the 120 minutes, lost Mohamed Salah and Virgil Van Dijk due to injurybut that reinforces his confidence ahead of the end of the Premier League and the Champions League against Real Madrid.

The League Cup final a couple of months ago, on this same stage and with the same protagonists, showed that a goalless game can be a great match, it can be absorbing and it can be fast-paced. And they exhibited it again with a meeting at the height, if not better.

For 120 minutes, there was no goal at Wembley, but it didn’t matter in the least. The lack of aim was only suffered by the players, while the public enjoyed one of the most beautiful matches of the season.

A duel to which Liverpool came out with the intention of sinking the fang in the early stages, with a Luis Díaz unleashed that Chelsea could not decipher. The Colombian entered several times freely down his left lane, driving Reece James to despair, but missing out on a one-on-one with Mendy.

Chalobah had to take a ball over the line that spelled the end of ‘Red’ danger and opened the way for hostilities from Chelsea. A shot by Pulisic to a low center from Mount that went wide and an error by Marcos Alonso in the one-on-one with Alisson, who hit it perfectly and took a good blow to the knee, were the clearest of those by Thomas Tuchel, They received the final boost when Mohamed Salah, half an hour later, fell to the ground and asked for the change.

Muscle problem in the groin fourteen days before the Champions League final. A drama for the Egyptian and for Klopp. The German had to resort to Diogo Jota and the Portuguese almost scored in his first appearance, a shot in the nose of Mendy too high. The general feeling is that he should have scored.

Chelsea continued to find escape routes and their exit in the second half was a torrent of chances with three to have gone ahead. Alonso’s low and deflected volley, Alisson’s save on Pulisic and Alonso’s foul on the crossbar.

Liverpool players celebrate the title. Free Press Photo (Liverpool Twitter)

But the clock was running without the goal. Neither Lukaku, nor Díaz on the half turn, nor a brutal shot from Thiago. Nor the stick that spat out the Colombian’s shot and the one that repelled a shot by Robertson at an empty goal before extra time.

The arrival of extra time ended with the forces of Virgil Van Dijk, replaced with physical discomfort, and practically with those of both teams, who ended up exhausted and lowering the level of play. The two signed the penalties.

And like three months ago, the eleven meters decided. As in the League Cup, but with different protagonists under the sticks. That day Caoimhin Kelleher and Kepa Arrizabalaga were present; this time Alisson and Mendy.

The shootout was far from the perfection of the 21 penalties in February and there was a shot at the post by Azpilicueta, a save by Mendy to Mané, to leave Chelsea alive, and a final save by Alisson who, together with the last shot by the Greek Kostas Tsimikas delivered the eighth FA Cup in its history to Liverpool, which equals Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur in the record.

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