Roy Keane's Liverpool wish answered after Jurgen Klopp oversees FA Cup win over Chelsea
The Reds lifted the trophy on Saturday afternoon after winning the penalty shootout following an action-packed 0-0 draw after 120 minutes. Blues captain Cesar Azpilicueta and academy product Mason Mount missed the crucial spot-kicks, with Konstantinos Tsimikas firing home the winner. Both sides certainly could have won the game in normal time, with players from each team missing significant chances.
The win means that Liverpool’s chances of securing a historic quadruple are still alive, though their chances of lifting the Premier League are very slim given Manchester City ’s three-point advantage at the top of the table with two games remaining. But that will be at the back of the mind of Klopp, who has now won the FA Cup for the first time.
Earlier this season, Keane said that Liverpool fans should be demanding a successful trip to Wembley from their manager, and the German obliged. Keane said: “He’s been at the club a few years now and obviously the fans are delighted he got them over the line with the league title and Champions League, but they want a trip to Wembley.
"They’ve got one with the League Cup and they’ll want more of that. The squad is a lot stronger than what it was a few years ago where he obviously made changes for cup matches. His priority coming here was to win that league title.
"The fans have waited so long, the squad wasn’t strong enough and there were some tough times, but again they’ve had an easy game last game on paper in terms of Shrewsbury at home. He’s got a game today where he’s got that squad which is much stronger and there is more depth to go on and compete."
Klopp was forced to call on the aforementioned depth at Wembley, with several stars picking up injuries. Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Andrew Robertson all needed to be replaced, and their replacements – namely Tsimikas – came up with the goods when it mattered. But the manager will certainly be fearful of the extent of the injuries.
Robertson only appeared to be suffering from cramp, whilst Van Dijk was substituted before extra time so there is yet to be an indication as to why the Dutchman was replaced by Joel Matip. Salah, on the other hand, suffered a reported ‘sore groin’ that saw him head straight down the tunnel after just over half an hour of football.
Speaking about the injury to BBC Sport, Jermaine Jenas said: “This is a big worry, Salah is not the type of player who just takes a seat. He plays a lot of games, a lot of minutes, he’s had a long season – I know most Liverpool players have but chuck the African Cup of Nations into that as well."
Many have been vocal about how Liverpool has a squad capable of winning any competition that they point their mind to, and victory in the Champions League final will evidence that further. Though whether they can beat Real Madrid in Paris later this month if Salah is ruled out remains to be seen given that he is the team’s top scorer.