Chelsea's dismissal of Thomas Tuchel has caught the footballing world by surprise, with his exit coming just a week after the close of the transfer window and a lavish spending spree.

The Blues are on the hunt for a new manager yet again, Todd Boehly swinging the axe in the same sort of fashion that predecessor Roman Abramovich would have – although Boehly's approach seems far more fierce.

Defeats to Leeds United, Southampton and Dinamo Zagreb were certainly disappointing for the Blues but, with just six games gone in the Premier League and one game down in the Champions League, there was plenty of time to turn things around.

The hunt for Tuchel's successor will be a difficult one, particularly given the strong record the German has boasted during his time at Stamford Bridge.

Here, Stats Perform dives into Opta's insight into Tuchel's spell in west London.

Delivering on all fronts

Tuchel leaves Chelsea with a 60 per cent win percentage across all competitions, with a 55.6 per cent percentage in the Premier League standing as the fourth highest in Blues' history among managers to have taken charge of at least 50 matches.

In the Champions League, where Tuchel led Chelsea to glory just months after taking the job in XXX, the German boasted an impressive 66.7 per cent win percentage in the competition.

It was in the FA Cup where Tuchel had the best return, with an 80 per cent win percentage having led the Blues to back-to-back finals, though they suffered defeat in both to Leicester City and Liverpool.

In 589 days in charge of Chelsea, Tuchel led the club to four major finals (2x FA Cup, League Cup, Champions League) and no manager has even taken charge of the Blues in more, with Jose Mourinho also boasting four.

Best of the rest

Unable to compete with Manchester City and Liverpool at the summit of English football, Chelsea firmly established themselves as the best of the rest under the guidance of Tuchel.

Under Tuchel's guidance, Chelsea picked up 122 points from 63 Premier League matches with only City (152) and Liverpool (136) picking up more.

Chelsea's return of 168 goals across all competitions under Tuchel was again beneath only the duo, with City netting 240 and Liverpool scoring 201.

With 49 clean sheets in 100 matches, Tuchel's side stand head and shoulders above all their rivals though, City ranking second with 44 and Liverpool in third with 43.

Had them in the first half

Quickly finding steam with Chelsea, leading them to Champions League glory and the FA Cup final just months after taking the reigns, Tuchel's return in the first half of his stint with the Blues is impressive.

In all competitions, Tuchel's first 50 games yielded 32 victories, 11 draws and seven defeats, with just 24 goals conceded.

A notable decline came in the final 50 matches of Tuchel's spell, however, with four fewer wins (28), two more draws (11) and nine losses – though the most alarming stat is conceding 53 goals, over double the amount from his first 50.

Thomas Tuchel has been dismissed by Chelsea following Tuesday's Champions League loss to Dinamo Zagreb, ending a near-20-month stay at Stamford Bridge.

The German arrived midway through the 2021-22 season as Frank Lampard's successor, and steered the Blues to an improbable Champions League triumph just weeks later.

But despite success for the former Paris Saint-Germain boss in Europe, domestic glory has been harder to come by.

This week's defeat to Zagreb was the final straw for new owner Todd Boehly, after a slow start to the new Premier League season that has seen Chelsea win just three of their first six games.

In the wake of his departure, Stats Perform takes a look at the highs and lows of the Tuchel era at Stamford Bridge...

HIGH: European glory from the ashes

Having stepped in to replace Lampard with Chelsea ninth in the Premier League and slipping away from European qualification, Tuchel did more than steer them back on track – he pulled off a shock silverware smash-and-grab.

Not only did he drag them to an eventual fourth-place finish, he oversaw two-legged wins over Porto and Real Madrid to reach the Champions League final – and there, shocked favourites Manchester City to claim the Blues' second title in Europe's biggest club competition.

LOW: Ignominy on the continent

For that high-water mark, however, Chelsea have also had issues at continental level, perhaps best exemplified by two disparate results – this week's loss to Zagreb and last season's Champions League quarter-final exit to Madrid.

Defeat to the Croatian side came with a toothless attack that failed to gel for the German, but the crash against Madrid – when they allowed Karim Benzema to find an extra-time winner – showcased their struggle to close out games.

HIGH: Final delights...

In the time Tuchel has been in charge at Stamford Bridge, he reached all three domestic cup finals available to him, with FA Cup showpiece appearances in 2021 and 2022, and an EFL Cup trip to Wembley, too.

That saw him stand alone in the history of the club and cemented his reputation as something of a cup specialist.

LOW: ...and failures

But on each occasion, he failed to guide the Blues over the line, losing last season to underdogs Leicester City before suffering a pair of defeats against a quadruple-chasing Liverpool side this year.

While he has enjoyed greater success abroad, the struggles at Wembley have haunted his reputation – and may well have played a part in his ultimate dismissal.

HIGH: Champions of the world

Chelsea's Champions League triumph qualified them for a shot at two more major prizes last season – and credit is due for Tuchel guiding them to both, allowing them to stake a claim as the greatest club team in world football.

A nervy Super Cup win over Villarreal was aided by Kepa Arrizabalaga's penalty shootout heroics, while Kai Havertz' extra-time penalty helped the Blues sink Palmeiras to be crowned Club World Cup winners.

LOW: Lukaku lethargy

If there is to be a player that marks Tuchel's legacy at Chelsea outside of his Champions League triumph though, it will almost certainly be Romelu Lukaku – one of the worst transfer flops in recent memory.

Returning to Chelsea after a Serie A title win with Inter, hopes were high for the Belgian's homecoming, but his poor form and difficulties within the German's system saw him frozen out over the latter half of the season.

Lukaku returned to Inter on a year-long loan over the off-season, with just eight Premier League goals in 26 games, and it remains to be seen whether he ever steps foot back in Stamford Bridge again or, if like Tuchel, his time at the club is now over.

"They're not used to Erling's natural runs yet, like we're not used to Darwin's. They'll need some time for Erling, but that doesn't mean he can't score."

Jurgen Klopp's assessment of Erling Haaland and Manchester City on Friday could easily have gone against the Liverpool manager.

After all, add in a great goalscorer to an already great team and surely the result can only be more greatness? But in   Saturday's Community Shield game – taking place at Leicester City's King Power Stadium – Klopp's words rang true, and instead it was City's Julian Alvarez and Liverpool's Darwin Nunez who each made their mark.

Liverpool ran out the victors in this latest instalment of English football's new number one rivalry, as City lost the season's curtain-raiser for a second successive year. It was new signing Nunez – named as a substitute when Haaland had been given the nod from the off for the Reds' opponents – who added gloss in a 3-1 victory that makes it advantage Klopp in the rivalry stakes for the coming season.

It was easy to forget, due to the vociferous atmosphere emanating from both ends, that this match amounts to what is essentially an exhibition, even if Pep Guardiola has often cited the Community Shield as a major trophy – one that Klopp had not previously won.

The intensity in the stands was matched by the players, especially in one spell midway through the first half when the tenacious Bernardo Silva sparked a flurry of robust tackles in midfield.

Liverpool dominated the opening stages, enjoying 57 per cent possession in the first 15 minutes and going close through Mohamed Salah and Andy Robertson.

 

It has been an off-season of change for City. Kalvin Phillips and Alvarez have joined Haaland through the door, but Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Oleksandr Zinchenko have left, and a lack of fluidity to the Premier League champions' play was noticeable as they laboured to get out of first gear.

There was a moment prior to Trent Alexander-Arnold's 21st-minute opener, when Kevin De Bruyne spun clear of his marker and Haaland looked all set to burst through and square up Liverpool's stand-in goalkeeper Adrian, yet the Belgian's pass was just too close to Virgil van Dijk.

That summed up a hugely frustrating first half for City's new number nine, who only had three touches prior to the half-hour mark, all of which came in his own half.

Alexander-Arnold's strike, his 10th Reds goal from outside the area, led to red smoke bombs being thrown onto the pitch from a jubilant Liverpool end, and City at that stage looked punch-drunk.

Then, the chances came. First, Haaland drilled at Adrian while off-balance, before he just failed to get proper purchase on a cross from the left – Riyad Mahrez heading into Adrian's arms on the rebound.

In normal pre-season circumstances, Guardiola might well have taken Haaland off when he made his first changes just before the hour, but it was instead Mahrez and Jack Grealish who made way for Alvarez and Phil Foden. At the same time, Klopp introduced Nunez for his domestic bow.

Nunez's impact was near-instant, getting in behind City's line and drawing a desperate lunge from Ederson in the area, but the linesman flagged for offside rather than a Liverpool penalty. Soon after, City's goalkeeper made a brave stop to deny the former Benfica forward.

Where one substitute went close, another then hit the net. In an interview in the matchday programme, Alvarez insisted his focus was not on matching Haaland, but instead on improving his own game. It was the Argentine forward who bundled in City's equaliser after Phil Foden forced Adrian into a save, with VAR overturning an incorrect offside call.

If City and Haaland might need time to gel fully, then the opposite should be true for Alvarez, who was a livewire from the moment he came on, becoming the third Argentinian to score in the Community Shield, after former City strikers Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez.

Though where VAR had come to City's aid for Alvarez's goal, it helped Liverpool 10 minutes later, when a Nunez header struck the arm of Ruben Dias, which referee Craig Pawson deemed to have been in an unnatural position upon checking the screen.

For all the talk of new striker signings at both club, it was perhaps fitting that a familiar face in Salah stepped up for the penalty to remind everyone involved of his quality with a firm finish into the bottom-right corner.

Arguably the most important business Liverpool could have done in the close season was their July 1 move to tie Salah down to a new contract, and the 30-year-old has been directly involved in 13 goals for Liverpool against City, his most against a single side for the Reds.

Haaland had the ball in the net at the other end early in seven minutes of stoppage time, but it did not count – Foden had failed to keep it in. Moments later, Nunez stooped low to head in Robertson's cross. He is the fourth player to have scored on his competitive Liverpool debut under Klopp, after Salah, Van Dijk and Salah.

If there was any further evidence needed that this day would not be Haaland's, the 22-year-old hit the crossbar with the goal gaping with very nearly the last kick of the match to send Liverpool's fans into further delirium. It was the best chance of the match from open play, with an xG (expected goals) rating of 0.54. He was at least able to laugh it off as a bad day at the office, but goalscorers as prolific as him do not take misses like that well.

The former Borussia Dortmund player had just 16 touches over the 90 minutes.

Haaland's day will come, perhaps even against West Ham in City's Premier League opener, but on Saturday's evidence, Liverpool have adapted to their new striker swifter than their great rivals have theirs.

 

Darwin Nunez capped a memorable debut with a clinching header as Liverpool earned a 3-1 victory against Manchester City in the Community Shield.

The Uruguay international nodded home from close range deep into injury time to confirm the first silverware of the season heads to Merseyside after an energetic, enthralling encounter at Leicester's King Power Stadium.

Trent Alexander-Arnold's first-half strike had been cancelled out by Julian Alvarez with 20 minutes to go, before Mohamed Salah put the Reds back on top from the penalty spot.

It was then Nunez whose goal made sure Jurgen Klopp completed his career clean sweep of elite English domestic honours.

The new man was forced to wait for his debut, however, after being initially named on the bench, and Liverpool did not look to need him thanks to an energetic start out of the gates.

Alexander-Arnold unfurled a fabulous strike from the edge of the box in off the left post in the 21st minute, while miscued chances for City's star buy Erling Haaland left Pep Guardiola with a frustrating first half on his hands.

The introduction of Argentina star Alvarez from the bench proved an inspired move by Spaniard Guardiola, with the former River Plate man flicking home after Phil Foden's saved effort to level matters.

But when Ruben Dias was flagged for a handball from Nunez's header with full-time fast approaching, Salah was able to put the Reds back on top with his low spot-kick.

Nunez's big moment in stoppage time confirmed the result, while Haaland hit the crossbar in the dying moments to sum up his tough day at the office.

Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool will head into the 2022-23 season "as confident as possible" about the prospect of challenging on all fronts once again.

Liverpool fell short of an unprecedented quadruple last season, faltering in both the Champions League final and on the last day of the Premier League season after lifting the EFL Cup and FA Cup.

Liverpool relied on penalties in both of their cup successes as they failed to score in five and a half hours of football in major finals last season, which led to concerns over their ruthlessness in front of goal.

Darwin Nunez has since arrived at Anfield from Benfica in a deal reportedly worth £64million (€75m), with a further £21.4m in potential add-ons, in a move that Klopp will hope provides greater reliability in attack.

Star forward Mohamed Salah has also penned a contract extension and, despite Sadio Mane leaving for Bayern Munich, Klopp remains convinced Liverpool can compete with Manchester City once more.

"As confident as possible. You never know obviously but I saw today on the plane a squad full of quality," he told reporters at Sunday's news conference in Thailand, where Liverpool are on a pre-season tour. 

"You always need a little bit of luck, how we all know, if you want to win a trophy. But to play a good season you need first and foremost consistency, that's what it's all about and that's what we will try.

"I have no doubt about the quality of the boys. We brought in new players – yes, we lost a few players – but we brought in new players; if you want, fresh blood, really helpful.

"There are no places already sorted, who will play where. The boys will make pressure, which is important.

"We have five subs from now on in the Premier League as well – we have to get used to that, we have to adapt to that. I'm really looking forward to it.

"There are no guarantees in football but there's a good chance that we play another good season, I would say."

Liverpool face fierce rivals Manchester United in Bangkok on Tuesday in what will be Erik ten Hag's first game in charge of the Red Devils.

The Reds hammered United by an aggregate scoreline of 9-0 in the Premier League last season, and Klopp insists there will be no such thing as a friendly between the two teams.

"Manchester United, a new manager, trained a little bit longer than us so might be, I'm not sure, in a better situation in the moment," he added.

"But we see it as an important test because it's against United and we don't play friendlies, obviously both teams don't play friendlies against each other, so we will see what we can do.

"We never prepare for one match, we prepare for a full season. That means the boys who started Monday last week had a proper start so far, we could train in the way we wanted.

"We had now a full week already and we are now here to play two games in Asia, first this one and then in Singapore against Crystal Palace. So, we have to see.

"We have to train and we have to play, it means the games are actually like a session as well but the boys have to go really hard.

"Let's see where we stand in this specific moment and then we can go home to England and then we go from there to Austria for another camp."

Mohamed Salah wants to emulate George Weah as only the second-ever African to win the Ballon d'Or, and was "shocked" by his seventh-place finish last year.

The Egypt international posted sixth and fifth-place finishes in 2018 and 2019 in the annual awards ceremony to crown the best men's footballer in the world.

But he saw his standing slip two years later after a 2020 cancellation, placing outside the top six as Lionel Messi extended his record haul.

Since then, Salah has helped fire Liverpool to a domestic cup double, plus a second-place Premier League finish and another Champions League final during 2022 as he recorded 46 goal involvements in 2021-22 (31 goals, 15 assists).

In addition, he has already picked up a slew of individual prizes, including another Premier League Golden Boot, the FWA Footballer of the Year and - most recently - the PFA Player of the Year.

But it may not be enough for the forward to emulate Liberia star Weah, who is the only African to previously lift the Ballon d'Or.

"I want to win it to join George Weah, the only African [in 1995]," Salah told L'Equipe.

"It's true that I was shocked by my ranking in 2021 (seventh). For this year, the defeat against Real Madrid is a disadvantage, even if I played a good game in the final.

"But it doesn't cancel out everything I've achieved for months. Let's wait for the vote. And if I'm not Ballon d'Or in 2022, I'll do everything I can to be the next one."

Salah's disappointment at losing in the Champions League final to Madrid last month has not dimmed his appreciation for fellow attacker and Ballon d'Or frontrunner Karim Benzema.

Salah admits he sees himself in the France forward, and feels a kinship in his approach to how he imposes himself upon the wider team.

"I understand what Benzema says. He doesn't just see himself as a goalscorer, he knows he influences every aspect of Real Madrid's game," he added.

"Like others, I want to be seen as the best player in the world.

"At Liverpool, everyone runs for everyone else. If I don't fight for the defence, they won't fight for me.

"I have to be an example, to be the first to press, to sacrifice myself for the team."

Mohamed Salah says he would sacrifice all the personal awards he has won this season to have another attempt at the Champions League final with Real Madrid.

Vinicius Junior's second-half strike proved the difference as Madrid secured a 1-0 victory in Paris on Saturday, defeating Liverpool to lift their 14th European Cup.

Liverpool were repeatedly thwarted by Thibaut Courtois at the Stade de France, the goalkeeper making nine saves – a record in a Champions League final since Opta began recording data in 2003-04.

That ended Liverpool's season, which saw the Reds come close to an unprecedented quadruple, with a whimper and just the EFL Cup and FA Cup to their name.

Manchester City pipped Jurgen Klopp's side to the Premier League title, but Salah still claimed individual accolades for joint-most English top-flight goals, assists, goal of the season, and both the FWA and PFA Fans' Player of the Year awards.

No Premier League player could match the Egypt international's 36 goal involvements (23 goals, 13 assists), setting him a class above his competitors.

But the 29-year-old insists he will look back on the 2021-22 campaign with regret after failing again to beat Madrid, who also lifted the 2017-18 Champions League trophy with 3-1 victory over Liverpool.

"Being recognised by the fans and by the sports journalists in the same season is something special that I will never forget," Salah posted on Twitter. 

"I would however give all those personal awards up for a chance at replaying that final, but that is not how football works.

"I cannot express in words how much we wanted to bring that trophy back to Liverpool but in the end we couldn't. I cannot thank the fans enough for your support.

"It has been a very long season but a part of me wishes the next one starts again tomorrow."

Manchester City and Liverpool will reignite their rivalry in the Community Shield, which will take place on July 30.

The new Premier League season is scheduled to start the following weekend, and champions City will take on FA Cup winners Liverpool in the campaign's traditional curtain-raiser.

Liverpool finished second in the top flight, one point off City, who came from behind on the final day against Aston Villa to secure their fourth league title in the space of five seasons in dramatic fashion.

Jurgen Klopp's team had harboured hopes of an unprecedented quadruple but ultimately had to settle for winning the two domestic cup competitions, having lost 1-0 to Real Madrid in last week's Champions League final.

While the Community Shield is typically held at Wembley Stadium, it is taking place at Leicester City's King Power Stadium on this occasion.

Wembley is hosting the final of the women's Euro 2022 tournament on the same weekend.

City lost last year's Community Shield 1-0 to 2020-21 FA Cup winners Leicester, going down to a late penalty from their former player Kelechi Iheanacho.

Liverpool featured in the 2020 Community Shield, albeit that was played behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They lost to Arsenal on penalties following a 1-1 draw.

Indeed, the last time the league champions won the trophy was in 2019 when City defeated Liverpool 5-4 in a penalty shoot-out, once again after the match had finished 1-1.

Quadruple-chasing Liverpool have confirmed plans for an end-of-season victory parade the day after the Champions League final.

Jurgen Klopp's Reds do not yet know how many trophies they will finish the campaign with, but they have already secured the EFL Cup and FA Cup.

The Premier League could yet be added to that haul if Manchester City slip up on the final day of the season, while European glory is the target when Liverpool take on Real Madrid in a Paris final.

That showpiece match takes place on May 28, with Liverpool now intending to return home in time to celebrate their potentially historic season on May 29.

Liverpool Women will also be involved in the parade, having won the FA Women's Championship.

City mayor Joanne Anderson said: "We're delighted that we can now confirm the club will definitely parade around the city on May 29 – and I'm pleased we will be celebrating the achievements of both the men and women’s teams.

"A huge amount of work goes on behind the scenes in preparation for an event of this size and scale, so it's fantastic that the city is now going to be able to experience this.

"Lifting the FA Cup, the Carabao Cup and the FA Women's Championship trophy is an incredible achievement that deserves to be acknowledged, and we have everything crossed that they won't be the only trophies they are lifting on the day!

"Whatever the outcome of the end of the season and the Champions League final, Liverpool FC and Liverpool FC Women have already done us proud, and we will give both teams the homecoming celebration they deserve."

With the parade set for 4pm local time, a Liverpool statement added the club would spend the morning of May 29 paying tribute to the 39 supporters who lost their lives in the Heysel Stadium disaster, of which it is the 37th anniversary.

Thomas Tuchel has no idea if Andreas Christensen will play for Chelsea again after the defender ruled himself out of the FA Cup final for "private" reasons.

Christensen's contract expires at the end of the month and Barcelona are the favourites to sign him on a free transfer.

The Denmark international started in the 3-0 Premier League win at Leeds United, but was not in the squad for a defeat to Liverpool on penalties on the FA Cup final at Wembley last Saturday.

Blues boss Tuchel on Wednesday confirmed the centre-back told him he was unavailable on the morning of the game.

Tuchel is unsure if Christensen will play in the London club's two remaining Premier League games against Leicester City on Thursday and Watford three days later, as they strive to secure third place. 

Asked if Christensen will return, the German said in a press conference: "Not sure yet if he's involved tomorrow and at the weekend.

"Andreas came on the morning of the match and told me he was not ready to play.

"He had his reasons, they stay private and confidential, but it was not the first time as you can see over the last weeks we had some of the same situations why he did not play so regularly.

"We thought that we are in a good progression and good development because he played very strong in the match before the final against Leeds but the conversation took place and we have to respect it and we of course respected it and he has our support.

"It is unlikely for the weekend, it was on very short notice before the cup final and other matches in the weeks before. So no chance I have any prediction for tomorrow and the weekend."

Timo Werner will miss the clash with Leicester due to a thigh injury, while Kai Havertz also has a thigh problem and will be monitored ahead of the game.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has stated the national anthem should never be booed after Jurgen Klopp defended Liverpool fans voicing their disapproval ahead of the FA Cup final.

Boos could be heard ringing around the Liverpool end at Wembley Stadium on Saturday when 'Abide With Me' and national anthem 'God Save the Queen' were performed before kick-off.

More disapproval followed when Prince William, a member of the royal family and chair of the Football Association (FA), shook hands with the Liverpool and Chelsea players.

Liverpool went on to win their eighth FA Cup by defeating Chelsea on penalties, and Klopp described the "majority" of his supporters as "wonderful people" even if he did not want to hear the boos.

"Of course I have thoughts but I think in these situations it's best to ask the question: 'Why does it happen?' Klopp said on Monday ahead of a Premier League clash with Southampton.

"They wouldn't do if there was no reason. I've not been here long enough to understand the reason for it – it's for sure something historical – and that's probably questions you can answer much better than I could ever.

"The majority of our supporters are wonderful people. Really smart, go through lows and highs. They wouldn't do it without reason."

The behaviour of the Liverpool supporters has been met with widespread condemnation and Johnson's official spokesperson criticised the vociferous Reds supporters.

Asked if the Prime Minister believes there is ever a justifiable reason to jeer the anthem, he said: "No. Obviously the events over the weekend, it was a great shame that as we were marking 150 years of the FA Cup that brings people together that a small minority chose to act in that way."

Lindsay Hoyle, the Speaker of the House of Commons, added: "I utterly condemn any fans who booed Prince William at Wembley today.

"The FA Cup final should be an occasion when we come together as a country. It should not be ruined by a minority of fans' totally shameful behaviour.

"In this year of all years – the Queen's Platinum Jubilee – this is dreadful."

Antonio Rudiger said the sanctions placed on Chelsea by the UK government were not the reason behind his decision to leave the club.

Germany defender Rudiger has been a crucial player for Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea but has not agreed to a new contract.

The former Roma centre-back will therefore leave at the end of the season on a free transfer, with Real Madrid his likely destination.

Rudiger has helped Chelsea to four FA Cup finals, winning one, and a Champions League success since joining in 2017. The UEFA Super Cup, Europa League and FIFA Club World Cup are also included in his honours.

When confirming that Rudiger had asked to leave Chelsea in April, Tuchel suggested that the sanctions placed on the club's owner Roman Abramovic in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine meant the Blues were unable to match the 29-year-old's financial demands.

Rudiger, however, insisted that the sanctions had no impact on his decision.

"I don’t want to go too deep into things," he told reporters at Wembley on Saturday, after Chelsea lost 6-5 on penalties to Liverpool in the FA Cup final, their third consecutive defeat in the competition's showpiece.

"There was a chance but sanctions were not the problem.

"It’s been five years with ups and downs as normal. There were a lot of positive things, but that's why I'm even more frustrated because I wanted to have a different ending.

"It's about both sides. Chelsea have been great to me and I have been great for Chelsea. I am very, very thankful, both me and my family.

"I became a man here. My kids were born here and everything. London, and especially Chelsea, will always be special to me."

Chelsea have become the first side since Newcastle United (1974, 1998 and 1999) to lose on three consecutive FA Cup final appearances, while the Blues are the first team since Middlesbrough in 1996-97 to lose both of England's domestic cup finals in the same campaign, after their penalty shoot-out loss to Liverpool in the EFL Cup final in February.

"I think it was a good game just like the EFL Cup final. We had chances, they had chances," reflected Rudiger.

"But at the end of the day we know that penalties are always a lottery and we lost.

"It's about winning, it's not about next season. The game was about today and it was there to take. Unfortunately we didn't win.

"It's always difficult to say whether we are lucky or unlucky. For myself it's the third time [I have lost an FA Cup final] so you can't always say unlucky, unlucky, unlucky."

Rudiger has two games left before he leaves Chelsea, with the Blues hosting Leicester City on Thursday before closing out their season against Watford.

Liverpool's FA Cup triumph has been described as "unreal" by Trent Alexander-Arnold, who has now won every major club honour available to him so far in his career.

Alexander-Arnold scored his spot-kick as Liverpool went on to beat Chelsea 6-5 in the penalty shoot-out at Wembley on Saturday.

After a goalless draw over 120 minutes, Edouard Mendy saved Sadio Mane's penalty, but Alisson subsequently denied Mason Mount, setting the stage for Kostas Tsimikas to net the winning spot-kick.

The Reds won the EFL Cup against Chelsea in February in similar circumstances, triumphing 11-10 in a shoot-out on that occasion.

Alexander-Arnold is only 23, but has already won the FA Cup, EFL Cup, Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup and the Premier League.

He told the Reds' official website: "[It feels] unreal, to be honest. I was sat there thinking this is the only one I’ve got left now to complete the set and to do it is an amazing feeling. 

"It's something that I've dreamed of and it's something that not many players can say they have done, so to be able to do it with this amazing club and this amazing team is a special feeling for me."

Liverpool, who face Real Madrid in the Champions League final on May 28, have won both of England's domestic cup competitions for the first time since 2000-01, when they also went on to win a European trophy that season.

The EFL Cup final between these teams also finished goalless, despite the array of attacking talent on show, while the two league fixtures both ended all square this season.

Alexander-Arnold added: "Honestly, it's always tight when we play Chelsea. We just can't get the better of each other, it always comes down to pens and draws.

"That's four draws now [this season], it's rare, so it's hard to beat them but we were resilient and we've got the job done when it matters. We've kept calm under pressure."

Tsimikas was the unlikely hero for Liverpool, with the back-up left-back keeping his cool from 12 yards after replacing Andrew Robertson.

"It just shows the depth that we've got, lads coming in," Alexander-Arnold said. "The way we did it in the EFL Cup and now.

"It's amazing, the changes we've made, the players coming on and doing their job unbelievably well. It's an amazing group and it's a special season."

Liverpool still harbour hopes of sealing an unprecedented quadruple, though they have only two games left to catch league leaders Manchester City, who are three points clear.

Liverpool star Mohamed Salah is confident he will be fit to face Real Madrid in the Champions League final despite suffering an injury in the FA Cup final win over Chelsea.

Salah was forced off just over 30 minutes into Saturday's showdown at Wembley.

Even without their talisman, Liverpool went on to claim their second trophy of the season – the Reds triumphing 6-5 on penalties after a goalless draw over 120 minutes.

Liverpool have two Premier League games remaining, and sit three points behind leaders Manchester City, before they then face Madrid in Paris on May 28 and there was concern over Salah's participation after he was withdrawn.

But asked by reporters if he would be fit to feature against Los Blancos, a smiling Salah replied: "Of course."

Salah was not the only Liverpool player to suffer in north London. Andrew Robertson had to go off with apparent cramp, albeit his replacement Konstantinos Tsimikas scored the winning spot-kick, while Virgil van Dijk was replaced by Joel Matip at the end of normal time.

Van Dijk had an issue with his knee, but told ITV Sport that he is hopeful it was a minor injury.

"Hopefully well, we're going to check it out," he said. "I felt in the first half when I sprinted, I felt a twinge behind my knee, I played on.

"In the end, I can't risk it for the team and I need to trust Joel. Hopefully it will be fine."

In his post-match news conference, Jurgen Klopp said: "Obviously I spoke to both already after the game, both are really okay. All that we know is it's not a big thing, we really came through."

However, he is unsure if the pair will be fit to face Southampton on Tuesday.

"But the next game is on Tuesday and that's obviously pretty quick," he continued. 

"I think they both will be fine, but not… maybe… we have training tomorrow morning, then if they tell me 'I'm completely fine' I will be surprised but I will take it and then we have to go from there. So we will see."

With Salah and Van Dijk playing this season, Liverpool have won 31 times out of 43 games, suffering only three defeats.

The Reds have scored 101 goals across all competitions in matches the duo have featured in, while they have managed 41 in the 17 games that at least one of the two have missed.

However, Liverpool have not lost any of those games, winning 13 and drawing four.

Their average goals conceded per game does, though, rise slightly, from 0.7 with the pair playing, to 0.9 without.

Jurgen Klopp hailed the impact of Luis Diaz after he put in a man-of-the-match performance for Liverpool as they beat Chelsea on penalties in the FA Cup final.

Saturday marked the second time Liverpool have beaten Chelsea on penalties at Wembley this season, having also done so in the EFL Cup final in February, where Diaz was similarly among the best players on the pitch.

On this occasion, Diaz had six shots – twice as many as any other player for either team – but did not score as the game ended goalless, denied by Edouard Mendy with his sole effort on target when through on goal in the first half.

In his post-match media conference, Klopp could not hide his joy at the performance of a player who only arrived on Merseyside from Porto at the end of January.

"What a boy, what a story, what a player... but he should have scored!" Klopp joked. "It's so funny, we hug each other and all we shout is 'Vamos' or whatever, all I can speak in these languages.

"I feel lucky, he fits like a glove to our football and that's really, really special."

Liverpool have now lifted the FA Cup eight times – only Arsenal (14) and Manchester United (12) have won it more often.

Klopp was pleased with the latest victory as well as the performance, although he conceded Liverpool were fortunate to win on penalties, even if he did have an explanation for why his side are so good at them, having teamed up with a company called Neuro11, which specialises in improving sporting performance with brain tracking.

"My team know exactly what I feel about them. This is a trophy for the whole club," Klopp said.

"We saw all the faces [of the fans] when we came here on the bus and could see what it means to the people, that we could make it is massive. Game 60 or whatever in an intense season.

"All respect to Chelsea. What a team, what a performance.

"In the end we all know penalties is a lottery, but we did it again. We work together with a company, four guys, we got in touch with them... one is a neuroscientist who said you could train penalties."

Sadio Mane had the chance to win the final for Liverpool with their fifth penalty, having scored the decisive spot-kicks for Senegal in both the Africa Cup of Nations final and World Cup qualifying against Egypt earlier this year.

However, his international team-mate Mendy saved it, and the Reds boss conceded that it was partly his fault as he told Mane to go the other way to where he went in his Senegal successes to throw the Chelsea goalkeeper.

"Sadio's penalty was 50 per cent my responsibility," he said. "He knows the goalie so [I said he should] do it the other way around. How often in my life I thought it better to shut up."

Klopp also had to field questions about the quadruple, on which he dampened expectations slightly after seeing his team have to play 120 minutes, with Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Andrew Robertson all substituted through injury or cramp.

Liverpool have now won the EFL Cup and FA Cup, with a Champions League final still to come against Real Madrid on May 28. They still sit three points behind Manchester City in the Premier League with just two games remaining.

"I said before about the quadruple thing, its great we can talk about it," Klopp said. "We sit here now, it's already 20 past nine if my watch is right, and we play Tuesday night against Southampton.

"I think we will have to make a few changes. Last home game of the season for them, [it] will be incredibly tough. [The quadruple is] on if you like, but [possibly] off because of the [fitness] situation.

"This [second] part of the season, my boys drew against Chelsea, City and Tottenham and won all the rest. It's insane.

"If it isn't enough, we will congratulate City. We drew with them twice, we will have to see what we can do next season.

"We came from a season where no one in this room probably apart from me thought we could go again."

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