Jurgen Klopp sent a respectful message to Chelsea and provided an update on Virgil van Dijk’s fitness after Liverpool won the FA Cup at Wembley.
Following a 0-0 draw in normal time, during which both Marcos Alonso and Andy Roberton hit the woodwork, the final went to extra time. But neither side could break the deadlock and the destination of the historic trophy was to be decided on penalties – just like in Liverpool’s Carabao Cup triumph in February.
Liverpool had the advantage when Cesar Azpilicueta’s effort hit the outside of the post.
But Sadio Mane saw his spot-kick saved by Senegal team-mate Edouard Mendy, forcing the penalty shoot-out to go to sudden death.
Alisson then denied Mason Mount, handing the impetus back to Klopp’s side. And it was Kostas Tsimikas who stepped up to send Mendy the wrong way, giving Klopp his first FA Cup honour as Liverpool boss – our player ratings are available here.
One of the only negatives for the Reds was integral defender Virgil van Dijk going off injured.
During a post-match interview with BBC Two, Klopp was classy when speaking about Chelsea and provided an insight into Van Dijk’s fitness.
“Outstanding, it was an incredible, intense game against Chelsea,” the German said. “They would have deserved it exactly the same way, like in the Carabao Cup – that’s how small the margins are.
“I couldn’t be more proud of my boys, the shift they put in, how hard they fought, early changes. I think Virgil is fine but his muscle was hurt.
“All of these things, missing good chances, overcoming good moments from Chelsea, then having really good moments ourselves.
“Then in the penalty shootout, it was nerve-racking, my nails are gone but I really feel for Chelsea – for the second time, 120 minutes and you get nothing, that’s too hard. But for us I’m pretty happy.
“We are mentality monsters but there were mentality monsters in blue as well – it was one penalty. Chelsea played outstanding but in the end there must be one winner and that was us today.”
Alisson praises keeper counterpart Mendy
During a post-match interview with BBC One, Liverpool hero Alisson said: “It’s amazing, we did such a good performance. It was a shame we didn’t score [in normal time].
“It was a proper fight, we kept a clean sheet, and then afterwards the boys were unbelievable scoring the goals. I just had to save the last one.
“I am so happy. Myself and also Mendy did amazing saves. I couldn’t have done the saves without the help of the team. They work well and make it easier for me.”
On his save from Mount’s penalty, Alisson added: “It was good hey? All goalkeeper coaches, they help me with the decisions.
“They are fantastic players, Chelsea did really well but we deserved to win this. I only make the save because we deserved to win this.
“This gives us more confidence in the Premier League and also the Champions League final. It’s a fantastic moment now, we just need to enjoy [it].”