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Alisson ensured Edouard Mendy could not repeat shootout antics in FA Cup final

By Tom Blow

Alisson hand-delivered the ball to each Liverpool penalty taker to stop Edouard Mendy from playing mind games during the FA Cup final shootout.

The Reds won their first FA Cup final in 16 years following a dramatic victory against Chelsea. The game went to penalties after neither side managed to break the deadlock inside 120 minutes, despite there being nearly 30 shots on goal at Wembley.

Alisson was one of Liverpool's many heroes, producing a brilliant save to deny Mason Mount's spot kick. That allowed Kostas Tsimikas to score the winning penalty, an opportunity he didn't waste. That resulted in a 6-5 shootout victory for Jurgen Klopp's side.

As well as produce an excellent save, Alisson also stopped Mendy from playing mind games. The Chelsea goalkeeper kept interfering with penalties during Senegal's shootout victory against Egypt in February's Africa Cup of Nations final.

The Brazilian was determined not to let that happen and scooped up the ball after every Chelsea spot kick, handing it straight to his Liverpool team-mates. It proved to be a wise decision, as only Sadio Mane - Mendy's international team-mate - missed his penalty.

Saturday's victory means Alisson has now won the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, EFL Cup, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup at Anfield. That's six trophies in only four seasons. Liverpool won just one trophy in the 12 seasons prior to his arrival.

Is Alisson the best goalkeeper in the world? Let us know in the comments below!

Alisson could win even more silverware before the season is finished. Liverpool are just three points behind leaders Manchester City in the Premier League title race and will face Real Madrid in the Champions League final in Paris on May 28.

"It's amazing, we did such a good performance," Alisson told the BBC at full-time. "It was a shame we didn't score. It was a proper fight, we kept a clean sheet, and then afterwards the boys were unbelievable scoring the goals. I just had to save the last one.

"I am so happy. Myself and also Mendy did amazing saves. I couldn't have done the saves without the help of the team. They work well and make it easier for me."

On his penalty save, Alisson added: "It was good, hey? All goalkeeper coaches they help me with the decisions. They are fantastic players, Chelsea did really well but we deserved to win this. I only make the save because we deserved to win this.

"This gives us more confidence in the Premier League and also the Champions League final. It's a fantastic moment now, we just need to enjoy"

Speaking to BBC Two, manager Klopp added: "In the penalty shootout, it was nerve-racking, my nails are gone but I really feel for Chelsea... we are mentality monsters but there were mentality monsters in blue as well – it was one penalty. Chelsea played outstanding but in the end there must be one winner and that was us today."

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