Klopp wins again, Tuchel loses again: Liverpool win their second title this season – on a historic day for their team manager.
The King of Liverpool was the first to be congratulated by Prince William. The Duke of Cambridge, as president of the FA, had just said a few words of condolence to Thomas Tuchel when Jurgen Klopp was already standing in front of him, grinning with a wide smile. The heir to the British throne handed him the gold medal for winning the FA Cup – and the German was the last to lift the trophy.
It was a historic night at Wembley, as 84,897 spectators witnessed the first victory of a German team manager in the world’s oldest football competition. “Massive,” Klopp said, “This victory is huge.
Like the League Cup final between Liverpool and Chelsea in February, the 150th FA Cup final was capped on penalties after 120 minutes without a goal – the Reds then won 11-10, this time 6-5.
Klopp’s emotions after Konstantinos Tsimikas’ decisive goal for a “mentality monster” speak for a lot: he happily ran after his players on the field, danced in front of the stands and kissed the crowd. “It was a great and intense match,” he later said. He added that Chelsea “should have deserved it, but in the end there can only be one winner”.
Liverpool FC: Jurgen Klopp dreams of a quartet
He won the League Cup, he won the FA Cup – what now? In the midst of his emotions, Klopp dared to speak of his one-time quadruple victory this season. “The quartet – it’s amazing to talk about, it’s crazy,” said he, “but,” he said, “it would be very difficult. It is possible, if you will, but it is also not.” Somehow not, because the championship seems so far fetched.
On May 28, Liverpool will play Real Madrid in Paris for the Champions League title. First of all, the Reds have to go to Southampton in the Premier League on Tuesday, and what worries Klopp most is the condition of Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk. Both had to leave the field prematurely in Saturday’s final – at least it doesn’t look like their commitment to the top-flight final is in jeopardy.
Winning the FA Cup means a lot in England, and Klopp never tires of mentioning how much his side invested in bringing him to Liverpool for the eighth time and for the first time since 2006.
“You can see from the players’ performance how much that means for them,” the German coach emphasized. “It was the 60th game in a very intense season, so to put in such a performance is absolutely unbelievable.”
This is Chelsea’s third consecutive defeat in the FA Cup Final, after losing to Leicester City last year. Tuchel admitted that it would not be easy to get the team back on its feet in the last two games of the season, but he also emphasized: “The season is not over yet. We still have goals in the Premier League.” At least participation in the Champions League is within reach.
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