Tuesday, May 17, 2022

´We´re here to lift trophies´ – Henderson hails Liverpool resolve in FA Cup triumph

SoccerNews in English Premier League 14 May 2022

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Jordan Henderson hailed Liverpool’s resolve after they overcame the loss of Mohamed Salah to emerge as FA Cup Final victors with a 6-5 penalty shoot-out win over Chelsea.

The Reds made it two domestic final triumphs from two against the Blues this season, as they overcame the London club in the tension of another sudden death shoot-out at Wembley on Saturday.

Konstantinos Tsimikas was the hero after Alisson saved Mason Mount’s spot-kick following a goalless encounter, adding the only missing major honour to Jurgen Klopp’s Anfield trophy cabinet.

Victory also keeps the prospect of an unprecedented quadruple alive – though Liverpool would need Manchester City to slip up in the Premier League, with the Champions League final still against Real Madrid to come.

The Merseyside club suffered a big blow when Salah was forced off just after the half-hour mark through injury.

Coupled with the loss of talismanic midfielder Fabinho for the final and with Virgil van Dijk not fit to return to the field for extra time, the Reds needed to show their mettle – and captain Henderson felt there was plenty of that on show.

“It was difficult, we knew it would be,” the England international told BBC Two. “We’ve had so many games in a short space of time.

“It was a big blow with Mo going off and Fab last week. But that’s what we’re all about, the attitude and mentality to keep going and to dig in when it’s tough.

“We’re here to lift trophies, we work so hard all season. To come here and get over the line means a lot to everyone. The fans deserve it, the whole club.

“It’s a big moment for us, we haven’t been in this final for some time so to win it was special. It’s fine margins, especially in finals, as we know in the last two.

“We’ve just got to give everything, like we always do. We’ve got to work for each other and play with the players that we’ve got.

“It’s incredible some of the talent we have got in the dressing room and the personalities. You put that together and you win trophies really.”

Henderson – who is the first player to appear in FA Cup finals a decade apart for the same club since David O’Leary for Arsenal in 1993 – will now focus on the last three games of the season.

Back-to-back Premier League encounters with Southampton and Wolves are to come, before a Champions League final rematch with Madrid in Paris that will see the Reds aim for revenge for their 2018 defeat.

“We’ve won two so far this season. We’ve still got some big games left. We just need to keep on going right until the end and see what we can finish on,” Henderson added.

“We’ve got to recover quickly, another big game on Tuesday against Southampton, we have to be ready for that. Then [it is] Wolves at the weekend, and then the Champions League final.

“We have three big games left and hopefully we can win all three and finish the season on a high.”

Goalkeeper Alisson hopes the Reds can use their latest Wembley triumph into momentum for further silverware.

“This gives us more confidence in the Premier League and also the Champions League final,” he told BBC One.

“[But] It’s a fantastic moment now, we just need to enjoy It’s amazing, we did such a good performance. 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.”

Both Alisson and opposite number Edouard Mendy made a save apiece in the shoot-out, with the latter denying Senegal team-mate Sadio Mane to force sudden death in the shoot-out.

Cesar Azpilicueta also failed to find three back of the net, as the Chelsea skipper rattled the post.

Alisson was quick to pay tribute to his fellow goalkeeper, adding: “Myself and Mendy [made] amazing saves.

“[But] I couldn’t have done the saves without the help of the team. They work well and make it easier for me. All goalkeeper coaches, they help me with the decisions.”

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