5 things you might have missed from the FA Cup final as Liverpool beat Chelsea on penalties

Did you miss what Kepa did ahead of the penalty shootout?
Did you miss what Kepa did ahead of the penalty shootout?
Akshay Tahiliani

Chelsea and Liverpool locked horns at Wembley in the FA Cup final but could not be separated after 120 minutes of football. It was an open affair with chances falling to both sides and they went begging in similar fashion. The first half was dominated by the Reds, who found a lot of joy on the left-flank as Luis Diaz continued his impressive performances.

Jurgen Klopp was met with an early setback as Mohamed Salah had to be substituted in the 33rd minute due to an injury. Liverpool created many chances but were unable to break the deadlock. Meanwhile, between the Reds' continued spells of possession, Chelsea found ways to counter with Christian Pulisic and Marcos Alonso playing important roles.

The second half saw Thomas Tuchel's men come out all guns blazing, however they could not trouble the scorekeepers. Alonso hit the crossbar with a well-taken free-kick that went sailing over Alisson. But Liverpool replied by hitting the post themselves twice in the span of one minute, with Luis Diaz and Andy Robertson striking Edouard Mendy's goal.

Eventually, even extra time couldn't separate the two sides as both the keepers were called into action. Mendy managed to save his Senegalese compatriot Sadio Mane's penalty following Cesar Azpilicueta's early miss to send the competition to sudden death.

Alisson then saved Mason Mount's spot-kick to give Liverpool the advantage, and Kostas Tsimikas converted superbly to crown Jurgen Klopp's men as FA Cup winners. On that note, here are some of the things you might have missed out on during the game:

#1 Liverpool fans boo the National Anthem

Chelsea v Liverpool: The Emirates FA Cup Final
Chelsea v Liverpool: The Emirates FA Cup Final

In keeping with tradition, the English national anthem was played at Wembley before kick-off in the final. The Reds faithful meanwhile went ahead with their own tradition and booed 'God Save the Queen' alongside 'Abide with Me', something they have been practicing for years now.

Liverpool fans did the same in February this year against the same opponents in the EFL Cup final. The roots of this scornful gesture can be traced back to 1980s when there was major opposition towards the Conservative Government. The divide between Merseyside and the rest of the country became more severe after the Hillsborough Disaster, which Liverpool fans feel was managed poorly.

National anthem greeted with deafening boos from Liverpool end

Chelsea's opponents on the day have frequently expressed their disdain towards English patriotism by waving a flag that says 'Scouse not English' at Anfield. The Reds faithful remain unsatisfied with the current regime and even jeered the introduction of Prince WIlliam at Wembley on Saturday.

#2 Chelsea fans take a cheeky dig at Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard

Chelsea v Liverpool: The Emirates FA Cup Final
Chelsea v Liverpool: The Emirates FA Cup Final

Although it was Jurgen Klopp's men who started brightly on the field, the Blues supporters at Wembley were not dithered seeing their team second best. Instead, they rolled back the clock to remind Liverpool fans of a moment of embarrassment concerning their legend Steven Gerrard.

The colossal midfielder has always been harshly judged for being unable to win the Premier League in his illustrious career. Eight years ago, when the Aston VIlla manager was playing for the Reds, he had a great chance to add Premier League silverware to his trophy cabinet.

#OnThisDay in 2014: 🤝 Steven Gerrard slips as Demba Ba races through and scores in front of the Kop! 😅[via @ChelseaFC]

The Anfield side bottled the title when Gerrard infamously slipped against Chelsea in 2014. Blues striker Demba Ba made the most of the mistake as he ran through on goal one-on-one against the keeper and deposited the ball into the net. The away side registered a 2-0 victory in front of the Kop and the Reds legend literally let the title 'slip' away.

Five minutes three second the Gerrard song bingo winner from Chelsea fans today.

At Wembley, it did took the Chelsea faithful just a few minutes to remind Liverpool about their former captain with a chant.

#3 Trent Alexander-Arnold produces outrageous pass to feed Diaz

Chelsea v Liverpool: The Emirates FA Cup Final
Chelsea v Liverpool: The Emirates FA Cup Final

The England international has at times been criticized for switching off and slacking when it comes to defending in his box, but Trent Alexander-Arnold never misses an opportunity to contribute in attack. He was slick once again when it came to spotting a forward run and picking out his men.

Luis Diaz was a live wire on the left-flank and frequently troubled the Chelsea backline with his dribbling and inside runs. In the 9th minute, while the Reds were in possession of the ball near the touchline, Naby Keita passed it to Alexander-Arnold, who executed a perfect first-time outside of the foot through ball.

Is Trent Alexander-Arnold serious with this pass?! 🤯 #FACupFinal (via @ESPNFC)

The Colombian winger got behind the Chelsea defense and was through on goalkeeper Eduoard Mendy. He tried to beat the keeper, but Mendy matched his attempt and Diaz was visibly annoyed with himself, having missed an early chance to open the scoring.

#4 Rudiger celebrates passionately after beating Mane in a foot race

Chelsea v Liverpool: The Emirates FA Cup Final
Chelsea v Liverpool: The Emirates FA Cup Final

One look at Antonio Rudiger playing in the Chelsea shirt and no one will be able to guess that he is going to depart as a free agent for Real Madrid in the summer. The German defender loves the game and is always involved with passion running high in his veins.

The game against Liverpool saw the Blues backline get caught out of position on various occasions and were at times left chasing the likes of Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota. In the first half of extra time, Tuchel's defense was caught very high on the pitch as Sadio Mane ran freely behind them on the right-flank to counter.

Rudiger turned on the burners to catch Mane and then celebrated in front of him 😤

However, the Chelsea centre-back showed a great turn of pace and not only did he catch the Senegal international but also outmuscled him to the ground. The German celebrated winning his tussle against the Liverpool forward in his own typical fashion.

#5 Kepa covers the camera as Tuchel and Mendy discuss tactics before penalty shootout

Leeds United v Chelsea - Premier League
Leeds United v Chelsea - Premier League

Chelsea's second-choice keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has often been seen as a penalty expert who himself feels pretty confident in spot kick scenarios. Since signing for the Blues, he has been subbed on specially for the penalties on a few occasions.

The Spaniard was once again closely involved when it came to penalties at Wembley. He was not subbed on in the 120th minute like the EFL Cup final two months ago, but he still made an appearance. Before the shootout began, Jurgen Klopp was in discussions with his players and so was Tuchel. After which, the two managers conversed with individual players and their shot-stoppers.

Parece que hay más tensión en el Chelsea. Kepa, tapando la cámara para que no enfoquen a Mendy. Mientras, Klopp y Van Dijk se parten de risa.

While Mendy was in discussions, Kepa tried blocking the camera with his gloves, making sure his teammate wasn't being spied on before the important penalties and no discussions were heard.

Edited by Nived Zenith


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