Liverpool: Alisson’s clever FA Cup final tactic to ensure Mendy couldn’t repeat shoot-out antics

  • Rob Swan
Alisson’s clever tactic to ensure Mendy couldn’t repeat shoot-out antics in FA Cup final

Alisson emerged as one of Liverpool’s heroes as the Reds defeated Chelsea on penalties in Saturday’s FA Cup final.

The Brazilian goalkeeper saved Mason Mount’s spot-kick, leaving Kostas Tsimikas to seal Liverpool’s second trophy of the season.

Jurgen Klopp’s side, who also defeated Chelsea on penalties in the Carabao Cup final, subsequently remain on course to secure a historic quadruple.

While Alisson has already been praised for his role in the penalty shoot-out, and deservedly so, the South American shot-stopper made an even bigger contribution than many fans may have initially realised.

Per The Mirror, it was noted that Alisson hand-delivered the ball to each Liverpool penalty taker to prevent Edouard Mendy from playing mind games.

Alisson handed ball to Liverpool players in FA Cup final shoot-out

Goalkeepers often try to gain an advantage during penalty shoot-outs by using various tactics.

From eccentric goal-line antics to trash-talking, like we saw from Argentina’s Emiliano Martinez during the 2021 Copa America, the sight of ‘keepers trying to psyche out their opponents isn’t uncommon.

Back in February, the aforementioned Mendy was seen attempting to get into the heads of Egypt’s penalty takers during the Africa Cup of Nations final while playing for Senegal.

Senegal eventually lifted the trophy but Mendy’s antics hadn’t gone unnoticed by Alisson and Liverpool’s coaching staff.

Mendy penalty shoot-out mind games

What did Alisson do during FA Cup final penalty shoot-out?

So every time Alisson faced a penalty, his first action was to grab the ball, rather than take his position on the byline.

Alisson FA Cup final

Then, when each of Liverpool’s players made the dreaded walk to the penalty spot, they were greeted by Alisson rather than Mendy.

Trent FA Cup final

A small thing in the grand scheme of things, perhaps, but it’s the little details that win clubs trophies.

Alisson FA Cup final

Klopp pays tribute to neuroscience company

To further back up this point, Klopp paid tribute to a neuroscience company for Liverpool’s latest penalty shoot-out triumph.

Speaking in his post-match press conference, per ESPN, Klopp said a Germany-based firm called neuro11 have now helped Liverpool win both the League Cup and FA Cup finals.

“We work together with a company, four guys, their name is neuro11,” Klopp said of the company, who monitor brain activity to optimise player performance. “They got in contact with us two years ago, I think I was aware of it [then]. One of them is a neuroscientist and he said ‘we can train penalty shooting’ Really. And I said: ‘sounds interesting, come over.’

“German guy, we met. We worked together and this trophy is for them like the Carabao Cup was.”

Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool staff with the FA Cup
LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 14: Juergen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool celebrates with staff and The Emirates FA Cup trophy after their sides victory during The FA Cup Final match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Wembley Stadium on May 14, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
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