Liverpool continue their storyboard 2021-22 this season when they ousted Chelsea on penalties in a tight FA Cup affair that resulted in beloved Reds boss Jürgen Klopp lifting another piece of silverware in what is fast becoming a brilliant career on Merseyside.
LIVERPOOL WIN THE FA CUP ON PENALTIES!!! pic.twitter.com/QoxX73JYgR
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 14, 2022
Though the Reds must now potentially deal with the run-in of the end of the season without star man Mohammed Salah, they were still able to see themselves past a resilient Blues outfit on penalties and remain in with a chance to lift a historic quadruple come the end of the season.
Like any cup competition, the FA Cup this season was one of joy, heartbreak, and every possible emotion in between. In that light, here is a round-up of the best moments from this year’s installment of the biggest domestic cup competition in football.
Upset of the tournament | Bournemouth 0-1 Boreham Wood; FA Cup fourth round
As tempting as it is to suggest that Middlesbrough’s 8-7 penalty shootout win over Manchester United in the fourth round of the FA Cup was the upset of the tournament, National League side Boreham Wood get the vote here when they ousted Premier League-bound Bournemouth with a 1-0 win during the same dramatic fourth-round weekend.
Currently sitting in the fifth tier of the English football pyramid, The Wood forgot their status among clubs in England for ninety minutes in a result that saw them reach the fifth round of the competition. Though their storybook came to a close when Everton dispatched them 2-0 at Goodison Park, they had their time in the sun when they stood toe-to-toe with a club who has tasted the waters of the Premier League and came out of the other end victorious.
Moment of the Tournament | Manchester City 2-3 Liverpool; FA Cup semi-final
In a tournament historically flooded with big moments, it may seem somewhat counter-intuitive to select Liverpool’s semi-final win over Manchester City as the moment of the tournament, perhaps especially over the final itself if any Liverpool-linked match was to be mentioned. But the significance of the clash given what is at stake this season for the Reds makes this worth mentioning.
With City and the Reds locked in a titanic struggle for silverware this season, Pep Guardiola’s men had the chance to put an end to Jürgen Klopp’s march to a quadruple-winning season at the source, but Liverpool stood tallest by the end of 90-minutes and put City’s chance to bed at the Etihad Stadium no less. Today would not have been possible without it, and the fact that the Anfield outfit has reached the final of the Champions League while still mathematically in with a chance to win the Premier League remains massive. And it all goes back to this result.
Player of the Tournament | Ibrahima Konaté
It is not common that a center-back would be given the nod as a player in any competitive cup tournament either at club or international level, but French youth international Ibrahima Konaté has earned that nomination from us in spades after showing massive signs of improvement this season under Jürgen Klopp since his arrival from German upstarts RB Leipzig in the summer.
— Ibrahima Konate (@IbrahimaKonate_) May 14, 2022
Though he struggled in the opening phases of his adaptation period to Merseyside, the gifted young center-back has come on strong recently when called on and reminded quite a few naysayers why Liverpool brought him to the northwest of England from the Saxony, to begin with. He was the only Liverpool player to feature in every single minute of FA Cup action this season and was utterly superb in the win over Chelsea in today’s final. Fully deserved.
Goal of the Tournament | Stuart Armstrong
Ralph Hasenhüttl’s Southampton enjoyed a deeper run in the FA Cup this season when they eventually fought their way to the quarterfinals of the competition before being put to the sword by Man City in a 4-1 loss at St. Mary’s in front of the home support, but there is still plenty to remember bout their credible performances in the competition and that includes a stunning strike from Scottish international Stuart Armstrong.
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) February 16, 2022
Also taking place in the fourth round, Saints eventually fought to a 2-1 win in extra time against Coventry City on the south coast of England, with the highlight of the match – and our vote for goal of the tournament – coming when Armstrong smashed a curling effort with the outside of his right foot from 30-yards and into the top corner past keeper Simon Moore which drew Saints level on the afternoon before earning the win later on. It was a stunning hit from a player who, though sometimes inconsistent, can turn the tide on his day. And what a day it was for him.
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