Football Features

“A magnificent mountainous man” – Player ratings as Liverpool beat Chelsea on penalties to win the FA Cup

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 20:11, 14 May 2022

In another tight and tense final, Liverpool beat Chelsea 6-5 on penalties to win their first FA Cup for over a decade.

Jurgen Klopp’s boys are still chasing the quadruple after an incredible penalty shoot-out victory where Alisson stood tallest of all.

Here’s how the players rated at Wembley:

Chelsea

Edouard Mendy – 7 – Made some big saves when called upon, but really he was lucky that Liverpool’s finishing was erratic.

Trevoh Chalobah – 6 – Really struggled in the early stages as Luis Diaz ripped him to bits but eventually recovered to play reasonably well.

Thiago Silva – 8 – Switched the play superbly, generated Chelsea’s first attacks in the game. Was really solid considering he was at a pace disadvantage against the entire Liverpool front line.

Antonio Rudiger – 7 – A rock as always. One chasedown tackle on Sadio Mané was delightfully Rudiger-esque.

Reece James – 8 – A fantastic performance from Chelsea’s wing-back. Defended well, advanced play nicely and was so often the deadliest weapon Chelsea had when it came to prising open the Liverpool back-line. Lofted a deliciously casual Panenka in the shootout.

Jorginho – 7 – Very solid in his use of the ball, spreading play nicely. Scored a clutch penalty in the shoot-out.

Mateo Kovacic – 6 – Did well for half the game, considering his fitness issues, and helped to keep Chelsea on the front foot. But he didn’t really come out of half-time and had to be subbed on the hour.

Marcos Alonso – 7 – Should have been the match-winner as he had several chances at the back post. An awful first touch when played through by Pulisic, leading to a hurried shot, was the worst of them. Smashed a free-kick off the bar in the first half as well but scored his penalty with extreme composure, wrong-footing Alisson.

Mason Mount – 6 – Said before the game he wanted payback on Liverpool and very much played like it with his movement and drive. Constantly drove Chelsea forward but couldn’t find the final touch. Missed the crucial penalty with an honestly poor effort.

Christian Pulisic – 7 – Missed two good chances, one particularly excellent, in the first 25 minutes. Played Alonso through soon after. A livewire all game long. Forced a great save from Alisson early in the second half. Ended the game without a goal though he will surely be wondering exactly how that is.

Romelu Lukaku – 5 – In the first half, his touch was sloppy but his movement was superb. After the break both were on point. Missed a great chance at the end of the opening period but created a great one for Pulisic at the start of the second.


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Chelsea substitutes:

N’Golo Kanté (for Kovacic 66′) – 7 – Added typical defensive energy and drive, winning the ball and moving it on nicely.

Hakim Ziyech (for Lukaku 85′) – 6 – Some lovely footwork but couldn’t get going.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek (for Pulisic 106′) – 4 – Came on, showed some intensity to win the ball back but immediately tripped over his own feet in a sad summation of his career so far.

Cesar Azpilicueta (for Chalobah 106′) – 4 – Came on late. Struck the post in the shoot-out.

Ross Barkley (for Loftus-Cheek 119′) – 7 – A shock substitute in his first appearance since the FA Cup third round win over Chesterfield on January 8th. Thundered his penalty in.


Liverpool

Alisson – 9 – Stood tall repeatedly to intimidate or deny Chelsea from opening the scoring. His saves from Alonso and Pulisic were particularly great but the way he dominated his area, coming to collect crosses, was just as impressive. And then his save from Mason Mount in the shoot-out was the icing on the cake as it all but delivered the FA Cup for Liverpool. A magnificent mountainous man and one of the two best goalkeepers in the world (he’ll face the other one in the Champions League final).

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7 – Played the ball of the afternoon with a sumptuous outside of the foot pass to send Luis Diaz through. Thereafter he wasn’t really too excellent in attack but played a supreme defensive game, covering for team-mates so well. Stepped up to score a supreme penalty in the shoot-out.

Ibrahima Konaté – 8 – A rock solid display from Konaté as he repeatedly ran back to cover for Liverpool.

Virgil van Dijk – 7 – A solid display from Liverpool’s Dutch defender. Marshalled the Chelsea attack, in particular Romelu Lukaku, very well until he had to be withdrawn due to injury.

Andrew Robertson – 4 – Excellent cross for Jota at the end of the first half but besides that, the Scot wasn’t at his best. Defensively vulnerable all evening long and missed a great chance in the second half following an incredible cross from Milner.

Jordan Henderson – 7 – Defended well, advanced it neatly.

Naby Keita – 5 – Didn’t show his qualities as much as Klopp would have liked. The game mostly passed him by.

Thiago – 7 – Struggled for much of the first half but really exerted his authority on the game after the interval, although Kanté’s introduction stymied the dominance he had been building and the game became more even. Sat Mendy down for his penalty.

Mohamed Salah – 5 – Wasn’t really much of a force in the game before he went off early due to injury. He went down of his own accord before gesturing to his groin, so he may just be being extra cautious ahead of the Champions League final.

Luis Diaz – 7 – Started the game in electric form, ripping Chalobah down the left. Quietened down after that but was clearly Liverpool’s greatest hope for creating a goal and had so many chances. Ultimately, however, he just couldn’t get the ball to go in.

Sadio Mané – 5 – A quiet display when put up against the monstrous Chelsea back-line. This was the kind of game where he would probably have been better playing off the left rather than toiling away as a No. 9. Slumped a terrible penalty into the arms of Mendy when he had the chance to win the cup for Liverpool.


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  • To win in extra time: Liverpool 10/1 | Real Madrid 18/1
  • To win on penalties: Liverpool 12/1 | Real Madrid 12/1

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Liverpool substitutes:

Diogo Jota (for Salah 34′) – 4 – Missed a sitter on the stroke of half time, which was the most notable thing he did in the game until he buried his penalty to keep Liverpool alive.

James Milner (for Keita 74′) – 6 – Provided a bit more energy than Keita. Put in a supreme cross that should have led to a goal for Robertson. Just about scored his penalty as Mendy got a hand to it.

Joel Matip (for Van Dijk 91′) – 7 – Came on and defended well.

Roberto Firmino (for Luis Diaz 98′) – 5 – First appearance since the FA Cup semi, but didn’t impact the game until the shoot-out when he scored with supreme composure.

Kostas Tsimikas (for Robertson 111′) – 6 – Put in some nice crosses and scored the cup-winning penalty.

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