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LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 14, 2022: Liverpool's Kostas Tsimikas (2nd from R) celebrates after scoring the decisive goal in the penalty shoot-out during the FA Cup Final between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Wembley Stadium. The game ended in a goal-less draw, Liverpool won 6-5 on penalties. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool fans hail “cult hero” Kostas Tsimikas as Lucas Leiva backs new No. 21

Kostas Tsimikas was the hero at Wembley as his spot-kick sealed FA Cup triumph over Chelsea on Saturday, with Liverpool fans smitten with their new cult hero.

With over two hours of football played in the scorching London heat, the FA Cup final went to a penalty shootout – the second one this season between Liverpool and Chelsea.

And just like in the League Cup in February, it was the Reds who emerged triumphant, this time in more conventional circumstances as they won 6-5 on spot-kicks.

Though Edouard Mendy denied Sadio Mane to cancel out an early Cesar Azpilicueta miss, Alisson dived the right way to keep out Mason Mount and hand Tsimikas the chance to become an icon.

The left-back did just that, coolly stroking home as Mendy dived the wrong way, before racing off to celebrate FA Cup glory.

After the win, Liverpool fans were full of praise for the Greek Scouser on social media – including a glowing endorsement for the player who last wore the No. 21 shirt.

 


The work is not done for Liverpool yet, and almost certainly not for Tsimikas after Andy Robertson suffered cramp in the closing stages on Saturday.

With a trip to Southampton to come in the Premier League on Tuesday night, the Greek can now be expected to start in a heavily rotated side as the Reds seek another vital three points.

In the past, the drop-off from first-choice left-back to deputy may have been a concern for supporters – but that is no longer the case, with Tsimikas trusted to perform to the high standards required.

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