Four steps Liverpool took to win FA Cup final shoot-out that were missed by viewers

Jurgen Klopp has dedicated Liverpool’s FA Cup final win over Chelsea to a company he has been working closely with over the last two years that helps improve teams in penalty shoot-outs.

The Reds are still in the running for an unlikely quadruple, with both of the trophies they have in the bag already won at Wembley against Chelsea via dramatic penalty shoot-outs. The Carabao Cup final saw all 11 players step up and take a spot-kick before Blues ‘keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga missed the decisive penalty.

More recently, Saturday saw Cesar Azpilicueta and Mason Mount become the guilty parties for the Blues as Klopp’s men lifted more silverware under the iconic Wembley arch. Reds’ shot-stopper Alisson Becker saved Mount’s, while Sadio Mane was the only Liverpool player not to convert.

Once the final whistle was blown to mark the end of extra-time, Klopp quickly got to work with his players. Football psychology researcher, consultant, and speaker Geir Jordet broke down how the German approached each of Liverpool’s takers and appeared to give them words of encouragement followed by a hug, potentially easing any nerves some may have had.

The Reds boss appeared to issue his instructions quickly and emphatically, motivating his troops with a rallying cry before they made the long walk from the halfway line to the penalty spot. The mood among the Liverpool huddle was notably one of more confidence and assertiveness than their Chelsea counterparts.

Liverpool had actually long broken up their team huddle and the players made their way to the halfway line while Thomas Tuchel was still relaying the plan to a nervous-looking Chelsea side. While that was going on, Klopp was even spotted sharing a laugh with Virgil van Dijk who was withdrawn before the shoot-out.

Jurgen Klopp issues his instructions to his players before the penalty shoot-out

Jurgen Klopp issues his instructions to his players before the penalty shoot-out

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Given Klopp’s brief team talk finished long before Tuchel’s, the Liverpool players were able to choose which side of the pitch they formed a line-up on. They opted to stand closer to the dugout, meaning instructions were able to be relayed from the dugout far easier.

It would seem that the most important factor to Liverpool’s recent penalty shoot-out joy is Klopp’s ability to communicate with the same sort of affection and calm manner he is famed for in the most intense, pressurised environment.

With that win, attention almost immediately turns to the next time Liverpool could be placed in a similar situation – the Champions League final later this month. The Reds know they are in safe hands if they have to topple Real Madrid via yet another penalty shoot-out in Paris.

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