Alisson Becker came up clutch for Liverpool as they beat Chelsea via penalty shootout to win the 2021/22 FA Cup at Wembley on Saturday.
Liverpool started the game positively and enjoyed an early spell of supremacy against Chelsea, with Luis Diaz, in particular, posing problems. The Colombian drew a save from Edouard Mendy while Naby Keita fired wide off the mark within ten minutes. But Chelsea began to grow into the contest, and Christian Pulisic saw an effort go wide, while Alisson Becker made a save to prevent Marcos Alonso from scoring.
Liverpool were dealt a blow at the half-hour mark as Mohamed Salah had to be taken off with an injury. His replacement, Diogo Jota, had a good chance to open the scoring close to half-time but failed to take it. At the other end, Romelu Lukaku also skied from a decent position as the two teams went into the break at 0-0.
Chelsea began the second half on a strong note, as Pulisic had a shot saved sharply by Alisson before Alonso came close to scoring, only to see his free-kick bounce off the bar. Liverpool retook the initiative as Luis Diaz came close to scoring again while Jota fired an effort wide. Pulisic missed hitting the target from a great position for Chelsea, while the Reds saw Diaz and Andrew Robertson get denied by the woodwork as the game went into extra time.
Chelsea were the better of the two teams in the first half of the added half-hour but could not find a way through. The second half was a dour affair, with both sets of players tiring out as the match headed into penalties. After both teams had scored their first efforts from the spot, Cesar Azpilicueta missed for Chelsea, allowing Thiago Alcantara to put Liverpool in front.
But after Reece James, Roberto Firmino, Ross Barkley, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jorginho had put away their penalties, Sadio Mane saw his effort saved by Mendy, sending the game into sudden death. Hakim Ziyech converted for Chelsea before Jota matched his effort for Liverpool. It was then that Alisson pulled off a fine stop to deny Mason Mount, allowing Kostas Tsimikas to win it for the Reds.
Having beaten Chelsea via penalties in the Carabao Cup final, Liverpool repeated the feat to lift the FA Cup and keep their hopes of a quadruple burning bright. Here are our player ratings for both sets of players after a closely-fought final at Wembley.
Chelsea Player Ratings
Edouard Mendy: 7/10
?? Édouard Mendy percentages against Liverpool:
? 2 Saves
? 100% High-claims
? 100% Punches
? 100% Run-outs
? 100% Aerial Duels
? 3 Clearances
? 55 Touches
? 27 Passes
? 11 Accurate Long Balls
— Mozo Football (@MozoFootball) May 15, 2022
The Chelsea goalkeeper made a huge save to deny Luis Diaz in the first half, and generally showed good command inside the box. He also stopped his compatriot Mane from the penalty spot in the shootout to send the game into sudden death but could not lead the Blues to a win.
Trevoh Chalobah: 6/10
The Chelsea academy graduate found himself in trouble against Luis Diaz, who was in the mood. Chalobah struggled to cope with the Colombian in the early stages of the game, but eventually settled down and made some vital interventions to keep the scoreline at 0-0.
Thiago Silva: 7/10
The veteran defender picked up a knock early in the game but shook it off and put on a solid display as usual. Silva was at hand to keep Liverpool at bay on several occasions, while his passing from the back was also sharp.
Antonio Rudiger: 7/10
Not as involved as he usually is, although most of Liverpool’s threat came from the flank. But Rudiger was up to the task and kept Salah quiet until his substitution and did the job against Mane and Jota later on in an assured display.
Reece James: 7.5/10
??????? Reece James against Liverpool:
? 94 Touches
? 53 Passes
? 80% Pass Accuracy
? 4/8 Long Balls
? 3 Crosses
? 2/3 Aerial Duels
? 4/9 Ground Duels
? 3 Interceptions
? 2 Tackles
? 1 Clearance
? 1 Blocked Shot
— Mozo Football (@MozoFootball) May 15, 2022
The Englishman was unable to have much of an impact on the attacking side of things during the first half as he had to drop deep to help Chalobah against Diaz. But James stepped it up after the break and was one of Chelsea’s most enterprising outlets while remaining solid at the back throughout the 120 minutes. Converted his spot-kick.
The midfielder was key to calming things down for Chelsea after they were pegged back by Liverpool in the early exchanges. Jorginho controlled the tempo of the game and made some neat forward passes while working hard off the ball to force turnovers and stop attacks.
Mateo Kovacic: 6/10
Rushed back into action despite picking up an ankle injury against Leeds, the Croatian was evidently not fully fit, and it showed in the early parts of the game as he was off pace at times and gave away the ball cheaply on occasion. But Kovacic improved with time and worked his socks off before being withdrawn for N’Golo Kante.
Marcos Alonso: 7/10
A lively presence on the left flank, Alonso caused Liverpool plenty of grief with his forward forays as he drew a save from Alisson in the first period and saw an effort go just wide after the break. The Spaniard then had the beating of the Reds’ goalkeeper from a free-kick but was denied by the crossbar. He was solid in his defensive duties as well.
Mason Mount: 6/10
Mason Mount has now lost six finals at Wembley ? pic.twitter.com/2pEF3FkwBW
— GOAL (@goal) May 14, 2022
Chelsea’s talisman had a quiet outing at Wembley as he failed to exert the kind of influence expected from him. Mount created a few opportunities for his teammates in the first half but was much more subdued as the game wore on, while he failed to convert from the spot in the shootout. Has lost each of his six final appearances at Wembley for club and country.
Christian Pulisic: 6/10
The USMNT international got into dangerous positions regularly on Saturday but was lacking the cutting edge in the final third. Pulisic had several decent opportunities to score but failed to work Alisson. He did create a few chances and looked good when running with the ball at his feet, but needed to be more clinical.
Romelu Lukaku: 5/10
Barring one or two moments of neat link-up play, Lukaku failed to do much of note at Wembley on Saturday. The Belgian international had been in good form coming into the game, but the Liverpool defenders dealt with him with relative ease.
N’Golo Kante: 6/10
Replaced Kovacic in the 66th minute and had some sloppy moments on the ball. But Kante worked hard off the ball and made a few important recoveries.
Hakim Ziyech: 5/10
Came on for Lukaku in the 85th minute. Got into some decent positions, but failed to put Chelsea in front.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek: N/A
On for Pulisic in the second half of extra time. Did not do much of note before being withdrawn late on.
Cesar Azpilicueta: N/A
Replaced Chalobah for the final 15 minutes. Missed from the penalty spot.
Ross Barkley: N/A
Brought in the final minute of extra time for the shootout. Made no mistake with his spot-kick.
Liverpool Player Ratings
Alisson Becker: 9/10
Alisson Becker has now kept a clean sheet in a Champions League final, an FA Cup final, and Club World Cup final ?
Safe hands ? pic.twitter.com/qznMLcAbU8
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 14, 2022
The Liverpool shot-stopper came up clutch for his team as he made a vital save to deny Alonso in the first period before stopping Pulisic after the break. The Brazilian then made a huge save to stop Mount from scoring the penalty, helping the Reds lift the FA Cup.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 8/10
A terrific all-round performance from the Liverpool right-back who was a major threat going forward with his passes to create chances for Diaz and Andrew Robertson simply outstanding. At the same time, Alexander-Arnold was solid at the back and made a string of important tackles and interceptions over the 120 minutes.
El pase de Alexander-Arnold es todo lo que está bien en el fútbol. pic.twitter.com/JYkoQKn0Uc
— Pablo Giralt (@giraltpablo) May 14, 2022
Ibrahima Konate: 7.5/10
Preferred over Joel Matip, the summer signing delivered on the big occasion for Liverpool. Konate did well to keep Lukaku tied down on the evening and was assured in possession. The centre-back also exhibited good quality when on the ball, while his recovery pace came in handy on a couple of occasions late in the game.
Virgil van Dijk: 7/10
The Dutchman was his typical composed self at the back for Liverpool, dealing with the threat posed by Lukaku with relative ease while trying to release his teammates with long diagonals. Klopp was forced to take him off at the end of ninety minutes due to an injury concern, and Liverpool will hope it is nothing serious.
Andrew Robertson: 7/10
The Scotsman had his task cut out against Reece James but held his own even though the Chelsea star asked plenty of questions of him. At the same time, Robertson offered good energy in his overlaps and had two good chances to score. However, he failed to connect with Alexander-Arnold’s cross and then saw an effort bounce off the woodwork.
Naby Keita: 6.5/10
Getting a starting berth due to Fabinho’s absence, the Guinean played with his usual energy and intensity as he pressed the Chelsea players and played good looking forward passes. He should have done better with a chance in the first period. Seemed to slow down with time and was taken off for James Milner.
Jordan Henderson: 7/10
Started at the base of the Liverpool midfield and kept things tight and organised for his team. The Reds’ skipper was always on the prowl to find the wide attackers with passes over the top, while he also plugged the holes at the back when needed to ensure that Chelsea did not have much joy going forward.
Thiago Alcantara: 7/10
The Spaniard kept things ticking along for Liverpool, with his range of distribution on full display as Liverpool controlled proceedings early on. Thiago continued to show off his silky passing throughout the game even though his influence somewhat waned as he grew fatigued. Made no mistake from the penalty spot.
Mohamed Salah: 5/10
Mo Salah has no luck in cup finals ? pic.twitter.com/65zlqXTcGH
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 14, 2022
The Liverpool talisman was taken off just half an hour into the game due to an injury after he had done little during the period he was on the pitch. Klopp will be hoping that it is nothing serious as the Reds gear up for an important couple of weeks.
Sadio Mane: 6.5/10
Starting through the middle yet again, the in-form Liverpool forward did not offer much of a goal threat on the evening. But he still was vital to the team with his movement and link-up play causing problems to the Chelsea defence while he was happy to help the team out off the ball. Missed his spot-kick and will be thankful it did not cost his team.
Luis Diaz: 9/10
A top-notch display from the January signing that deserved a goal on the evening. Diaz was a menace to the Chelsea defence from the get-go, with his pace and directness putting the Blues on the back foot regularly. The Colombian came close to scoring on more than one occasion and even struck the woodwork in the second half, while he also helped create numerous chances for his teammates.
Luis Diaz picking up the Man Of The Match award.
Best player on the pitch today ? pic.twitter.com/gPiC9Rf5RX
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 14, 2022
Diogo Jota: 6/10
Came on for the injured Salah in the first half. Jota had a great chance to put Liverpool in front close to half-time but fired his shot over the bar. He had a couple more decent opportunities to break the deadlock but the clinical edge was missing. However, he converted from the penalty spot.
James Milner: 7/10
The veteran star came on for Keita in the 73rd minute and added more energy in the Liverpool midfield. Milner created a chance for Robertson and made no mistake from the spot in the shootout.
Joel Matip: 7/10
Thrown on in place of van Dijk for the extra time and held his own at the back to keep Chelsea at bay.
Roberto Firmino: 6/10
Replaced Diaz in the 98th minute to make his first appearance for the Reds in around a month. Dispatched his penalty.
Kostas Tsimikas: N/A
What a moment for Kostas Tsimikas ? pic.twitter.com/9Cmt1qs0Mh
— B/R Football (@brfootball) May 14, 2022
On for Robertson with less than ten minutes left. Did little of note until converting the match-winning penalty in the shootout.