Updated: Nov 23, 2022
It was an exceptionally sunny day for what looked to be a very exciting FA Cup final between Liverpool and Chelsea. It seemed to be a rematch of the Carabao Cup final back in February and so drama was expected. As far as finals go, it was not the most entertaining which is surprising given they are 2nd and 3rd in the Premier League. Liverpool were the more dominant force throughout the game, although both teams did have ample opportunity to score. Chelsea faced an early onslaught of attempts on goal from the reds, with Mendy pulling off some great saves nearing the 10-minute mark. Chelsea had a very close attempt after Mount collected ball and picked out Pulisic who just brushed the outside of the post as he missed the goal. By the time the original 90 minutes of play were over both Alisson and Mendy deserved man of the match awards, it seemed as if this was a final of missed chances, from Alonso’s free kick to Diaz’s few attempts from just outside the box.
Extra time saw Liverpool’s dominance featured heavily, that is not to say that Chelsea did not create any opportunities for goal. Just like in February neither team was able to score a winner in extra time so to penalties it went. Notably Mendy was not subbed off to bring Kepa on for the penalties which happened last time, whether this is because it was Kepa’s penalty miss that secured Liverpool’s victory in the Carabao Cup or because Tuchel has more faith in Mendy we don’t know.
Penalties are always dramatic to watch, as a neutral you might get slightly fewer heart palpitations, but you’ll still prefer one team or the other. Liverpool took an early advantage as Azpilicueta missed Chelsea’s second penalty, unfortunately for the reds, Mane was not able to make use of that as he failed to score Liverpool’s 5th which could have won the cup, this took it to sudden death. Mount took Chelsea’s 7th penalty and had his shot saved, giving Liverpool another opportunity to clinch the Cup. Tsimikas slotted his penalty in the bottom left corner, and Liverpool won the 2022 FA Cup by 6 penalties to 5.
A moment that really spoke to me happened after Mount’s penalty while all the Liverpool players were avidly celebrating (justifiably so). Henderson detangled himself from his Liverpool teammates and went over to Mount, who was naturally distraught and consoled him. I think this shows what a class act Jordan Henderson is that as the captain of the winning team, instead of celebrating he took the time to check on England teammate and friend Mount.