Klopp 'couldn't be more proud' after Reds win FA Cup

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Jurgen Klopp hailed Liverpool's "outstanding" display after they overcame Chelsea in a penalty shoot-out to win the FA Cup final at Wembley.

After two hours of fiercely competitive action ended without a goal – as was the case when the two sides met in February's EFL Cup final, Allison saved Mason Mount's sudden-death spot-kick, allowing Konstantinos Tsimikas to seal Liverpool's first FA Cup triumph since 2006.

The Reds lost Mohamed Salah to injury in the first half before both Virgil van Dijk and Andrew Robertson were substituted after normal time, while Sadio Mane missed their first opportunity to seal victory in the shoot-out.

But Liverpool dug deep to win both domestic cups for the first time since they did so in 2001 under Gerard Houllier, and they could yet add the Premier League and Champions League trophies in a remarkable campaign.

Klopp emulated Alex Ferguson to become only the second manager to win the Champions League, FA Cup, League Cup and the English top-flight title with the same English club.

After also becoming the first German boss to win the FA Cup, Klopp said he could not have been prouder of his team.

He also appeared to hint the discomfort suffered by Van Dijk was not serious after replacing the Netherlands defender with Joel Matip at the start of extra time.

"[We were] outstanding, I have to say it was again the same, an incredibly intense game against Chelsea, they would have deserved it exactly the same way [as us], like in the EFL Cup," he told the BBC.

"Small margins were again the difference and I couldn't be more proud of my boys, what they did, the shift they put in, how they fought, how hard it was...

"[We had] the early change with Mo, Virgil is fine I think – all these things, missing good chances, overcoming good moments from Chelsea and having also good moments, playing a really good game but nothing will change the result…Then the penalty shoot-out was nerve-wrecking, my nails are gone!"

Chelsea became the first team in FA Cup history to finish as runners-up up in three consecutive seasons, having lost to Arsenal in 2020 and Leicester City last year.

Klopp said he felt for the Blues, who he said had matched his own side in proving they were "mentality monsters."

"I really feel for Chelsea, the second time after 120 minutes that they get nothing, that's hard," he added.

"For us, I'm pretty happy! They're mentality monsters, but I saw mentality monsters in blue as well. It was one penalty, that's it. Chelsea played outstanding, but in the end there must be one winner and that was us today."

Chelsea v Liverpool momentum graphic
Chelsea v Liverpool momentum graphic

Penalty hero Tsimikas revealed Klopp had encouraged him to step up earlier in the shoot-out, but was delighted to have been granted the opportunity to be the match-winner.

"It's very, very special for me," the left-back told the BBC. "The manager asked me which number I want, I said number seven. He said 'why so far down?' and I just said 'I want number seven.' Number seven gave me the opportunity to win the game, I chose the right side and I scored, so I'm very happy for that.

"Of course, we wanted it so much, it was our goal from the start of the season. We still have two more goals to achieve, we'll go for it and hopefully, at the end, everybody will be happy.

"We have to celebrate now, but we still have in our minds the big final and the two upcoming [league] games, and we have to be 100 per cent focused to achieve our goals.

"We gave absolutely everything, we have to celebrate hard, but tomorrow's the next day, we still have a lot to do. We have games in the Premier League and we have a big final {in the Champions League against Real Madrid]."

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