Liverpool etched their name onto the FA Cup for an eighth time overall and the first since 2006 as they edged out Chelsea on penalties after a highly entertaining, intriguing battle at Wembley Stadium.
Even despite the fact that star man Mohamed Salah left the field through injury in the 33rd minute — only the second time he’s had to come off injured in the first half of a Liverpool appearance — the Reds had just enough to get past Thomas Tuchel’s side on the day.
That time again 🕺🏻 pic.twitter.com/9iZJp8lrOd
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 14, 2022
In familiar fashion in matches between these two sides of late, the game ended goalless after normal time, though not for the want of trying from either outfit, as it became the first FA Cup final to go to extra-time since Manchester United beat Crystal Palace back in 2016.
Reds defender Kostas Tsimikas then stepped up to slot home the decisive spot-kick in the ensuing penalty shootout as manager Jurgen Klopp added a sixth trophy to his ever-growing Liverpool cabinet.
The Sporting News has dug into the data behind the game, with all the key stats and facts below.
MORE: Diaz dazzles for triumphant Liverpool as Lukaku labours — How the FA Cup final was won and lost
The opening 90 minutes
Liverpool’s Luis Diaz proved a constant threat, having five attempts at goal through normal time, though the Colombian winger couldn’t add to his six-goal haul since moving to Anfield in the previous transfer window.
Chelsea pair Marcus Alonso and Christian Pulisic had the best chances for the Blues, attempting three shots apiece in the opening 90 minutes. Alonso in particular came agonisingly close, striking the woodwork with a looping free-kick midway through the second half.
Thiago Alcantara again proved instrumental in keeping Liverpool ticking, completing the most successful passes of any player on the field (66), 24 of which ended in the final third, in normal time.
Jorginho arguably proved to be Chelsea’s most important player prior to extra-time. The Italy midfielder attempted the most duels in regulation time (14) and won a joint-high nine of those. He also topped the charts for the most interceptions (three) as he helped to break up play for the Blues in the middle of the park.
⬥ Most tackles attempted (3).
⬥ Most duels attempted (9).
⬥ Most duels won (7).
⬥ Most interceptions (2).
🔵 Chelsea’s Jorginho with plenty of game-high figures at half-time in the #EmiratesFACup final! 💪#CHELIV | #CFC pic.twitter.com/GjUG8YLKYE
— 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐍𝐞𝐰𝐬 UK 🇬🇧 (@sportingnewsuk) May 14, 2022
Aged 37 years and 234 days, Chelsea central defender Thiago Silva became the oldest player to start an FA Cup final since Blackpool’s Stanley Matthews in 1953.
For the first time since the 2007 FA Cup final, the match went to extra-time following a goalless 90 minutes. On that occasion, Chelsea beat Manchester United 1-0 courtesy of a 116th-minute Didier Drogba strike.
This also became just the third FA Cup final in history to be decided by penalties.
Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold created a game-high four chances for his side and also had the most touches of any player during the final (117).
Chelsea’s Thiago Silva, who was visibly fighting fatigue throughout extra-time after falling to the ground exhausted several times, ended the match with the most attempted duels of any player (17), winning 11 of those. Teammate and fellow centre-back Trevoh Chalobah finished the game with a match-high five tackles after putting in another solid display overall.
It ends on penalties again
Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy had only saved one penalty during his time with the club prior to this match, though his huge stop to deny fellow countryman Sadio Mane sent the shootout to sudden death.
Mason Mount then missed the vital penalty for Chelsea, meaning the 23-year-old midfielder has now lost all six of the finals that he’s played in at Wembley for both club and country.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is the first German manager to lift the FA Cup. He also becomes the sixth different Reds manager to win the prestigious trophy.
In the process, Klopp also extended his strong personal run against Thomas Tuchel. Klopp has now lost just three of his 19 previous meetings with his German counterpart. Interestingly, the previous six meetings have now all ended in draws during regular time.
For the first time since the 2000/2001 campaign, Liverpool have now won both major English domestic cups in the same season.
Chelsea’s torrid run of form against Liverpool continues in the process, as the London side have now won just two of their past 12 competitive fixtures against Klopp’s side.
The Blues also become the first side in FA Cup history to lose three successive finals in consecutive years. Newcastle United also lost three in a row, but with a bit of a bigger gap: they were runners-up in 1974, 1998 and 1999.
WE ARE THE #EmiratesFACup WINNERS!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/eZMe5IRbB2
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 14, 2022