As in the League Cup, so in the FA Cup.
Liverpool started the game extremely well, repeatedly carving Chelsea open, given time to pick passes through to Luis Díaz especially. But somehow we survived, with Mendy making at least one tremendous save (and eventually marking Díaz with both Chalobah and James).
Then, in a classic bit of scripting, we really should’ve taken the lead with our first meaningful play, possession, attack on 16 minutes. But Christian Pulisic’s aim was just off, the first of what would be many chances wasted by inches — by both sides.
Pulisic (again), Alonso (with Pulisic creating), and Lukaku would all waste presentable chances, with Diogo Jota doing the same for Liverpool, after replacing the injured Salah on the half-hour.
The second half began just as the first ended, with Chelsea wasting three chances in the first three minutes, including Alonso hitting the crossbar from a free kick, then Liverpool wasting a couple through their usual suspects Díaz and Jota.
Then, Chelsea’s early second-half impetus petered out, and Liverpool put us under great pressure, for the first time since the opening stages. The defending was a bit better this time thankfully.
Pulisic then missed another presentable chance, as both sides started making changes and the game slowed down for the first time all day.
Liverpool finished the second half the better of the two sides, and hit both posts in quick succession late on, first Díaz then Robertson. But Chelsea survived and forced extra time.
The extra-time produced no winner, with both teams clearly spent. And so, to penalties we went, where we once again came up short.
- Just one change from Wednesday, with Thiago Silva coming back in for Christensen, who’s not even in the matchday squad for some reason. Neither is Havertz, but that’s due to a minor hamstring injury he apparently had picked up the day before
- Kovačić’s ankle lasts a little over an hour, with Kanté on after that
- Chelsea go center forward-less on 85 minutes, with Ziyech coming on for Lukaku. RLC then on as a center forward for the second half of extra time. Barkley on for the final minute for Ruben himself, presumably for penalties?
- Only the third time in FA Cup history that a penalty kick shootout decided the outcome
- Chelsea penalties: Alonso (scores), Azpilicueta (hits post), James (scores), Barkley (scores), Jorginho (scores), Ziyech (scores), Mount (saved)
- Liverpool penalties: Milner (scores), Thiago (scores), Firmino (scores), Alexander-Arnold (scores), Mané (saved), Jota (scores), Tsimikas (scores)
- Next up: Leicester City at home in the penultimate game of the season