The Football Association Challenge Cup, FA Cup, is an English Cup hosted yearly for domestic male English footballers, which was first played in 1871/1872. It is the oldest national football competition in the world and it is played by means of a knockout competition. Arsenal FC is the most successful club in the history of the FA Cup, having won the trophy 14times since its inception. Arsene Wenger, the former manager of Arsenal FC is the most successful manager in terms of winning the FA Cup 7times.
Last year, Leicester City won the trophy by scoring 1 past Chelsea.
On Saturday, May 1, 2022, Liverpool and Chelsea met to fight for the FA Cup trophy. Liverpool beat Manchester City in a game that ended in 3:2 in favour of Liverpool to qualify for the Finals, while Chelsea, the current Champions League holders also showed their quality by beating Crystal Palace by two goals to nil to play in the final.
Liverpool came into the finals with so much confidence, as they have had a great spell of wins in recent matches. Chelsea on the other hand has struggled a lot in recent times because of the change in ownership, which has affected the whole team in one way or the other. However, Chelsea put the lapses in their recent form behind them and entered the game with a winning mentality.
The star man of Liverpool, Mohamed Salah, had an injury in the early minutes of the first half, making way for Diogo Jota, who, along with Luiz Dias and Mane, who were starters of the game, but so many attacking threats to the Chelsea defence, hitting the post a number of times and unfortunately for them, couldn’t put any of them behind the net of Chelsea with Eduardo Mendy between the sticks. Chelsea also had a very good game, hitting the post from a free-kick by Marcos Alonso.
The normal 90minutes of football came by and the two sides were not separable in any way, as the score remained 0 on both sides. The extra-time rule had to come to play. The first half of the extra time passed and there was still no goal. The last 15minutes of the game saw both sides with all sides seeing their players suffer at the hands of fatigue. All the players might be thinking, “when is this going to end?”
The final whistle came by and still, none of the teams found the back of the net of the opponent and so, they need to visit the books of the penalty shootout rule.
The first penalty kick was taken by Marcos Alonso, the Chelsea left-back, who put the ball past Allison Becker. The veteran James Milner passed his shot to the net, equalizing Liverpool’s deficit. The captain of the Chelsea side, Caesar Azpilicueta, missed his spot-kick by hitting it against the right-hand post. Thiago Alcantara, who had a very great game, iced the cake by scoring his penalty to put Liverpool ahead. Reece James, who also had a very good game, but his shot into the centre of the goal with so much confidence. Roberto Firmino, who came into the game in extra time, puts a shot past the goalkeeper to maintain the lead for Liverpool.
During the match, Loftus Cheek came on for Chelsea but was again substituted for Ross Barkley and it was this Ross Barkley, who puts his spot-kick at the other side of Allison’s dive to give Chelsea a bit of hope. Alexander-Arnold scored from the kick and Jorginho also came to score his for Chelsea to push Liverpool to the last penalty, which was to be taken by Sadio Mane. Eduardo Mendy came face-to-face with his fellow countryman and he dived to the right place at the right time, saving Mane’s kick to the left. These saves brought the score level and Hakeem Ziyech for Chelsea scored his penalty. Diogo Jota, who replaced Mohamed Salah put the ball past Mendy to leave the penalty kick still open.
Mason Mount, the Chobham graduate, failed to take advantage of the miss of Sadio Mane, which could have ended the game earlier. The Liverpool goalkeeper went to his left and caught the shot of Mason Mount, leaving room for a possible win of the Cup, should the next kick taker score it. Tsimikas for Liverpool stood up and took the decisive penalty and was able to overcome the pressure and put the ball past the Chelsea goalkeeper, who once saved them and elongated the penalty shootout.
Tsimikas won the game for the Reds, not only the game but the famous old trophy in 16years. The FA Cup finals were climaxed with celebrations from the Liverpool team, its staff, owners and fans across the world. This is the second Liverpool title for the season and they are still open to winning the EPL title, having a very close competition with Manchester City for the first position. They are also open to the EUFA Champions League, as they face Real Madrid on the 28th May, 2020 at the Parc de Princes, France.
Can Liverpool win all the 2titles left to make their season the best? Only time will tell…
Francis Hilbrands Agyemang.