Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said his “nails are gone” after his side beat Chelsea on penalties in a final for the second time this season to win the FA Cup.
Nothing could split the two teams who finished 0-0 after 90 minutes and extra-time at Wembley on Saturday.
Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy prevented Sadio Mane striking the winner after Cesar Azpilicueta had hit the post, only for Brazil goalkeeper Alisson Becker to deny Mason Mount before Greek defender Kostas Tsimikas struck to seal a 6-5 win on spot-kicks.
Victory keeps Liverpool on track for a unique quadruple but the result is agonising for Chelsea, who also lost to Klopp’s team on penalties in the League Cup final in February.
“Outstanding, it was an incredible, intense game against Chelsea,” Klopp told the BBC.
“They would have deserved it exactly the same way, like in the Carabao (League) Cup — that’s how small the margins are.
“I couldn’t be more proud of my boys, the shift they put in, how hard they fought, early changes. I think Virgil (van Dijk, who was substituted) is fine but his muscle was hurt.
“All of these things, missing good chances, overcoming good moments from Chelsea, then having really good moments ourselves.
“Then in the penalty shootout, it was nerve-racking, my nails are gone but I really feel for Chelsea — for the second time, 120 minutes and you get nothing, that’s too hard. But for us I’m pretty happy.
“We are mentality monsters but there were mentality monsters in blue (the Chelsea team) as well — it was one penalty. Chelsea played outstanding but in the end there must be one winner and that was us today.”