'Excellent': Micah Richards says 'decisive' Chelsea player was really unlucky not to win the FA Cup

Gary Lineker and Micah Richards sent their sympathies to Edouard Mendy after he came so close to winning the FA Cup final.

Speaking on BBC after Chelsea’s loss on penalties to Liverpool, Lineker and Richards both had empathy for the disappointed goalkeeper.

Story of the FA Cup final

Mendy certainly played his part in the second entertaining final of the season between the two Premier League sides.

He made a massive save early on against Luis Diaz and also demonstrated Manuel Neuer-like reactions to rush off his line and stop Sadio Mane from running through.

Liverpool came very close to rippling the ‘keeper’s net, but it remained untouched until the shoot-out.

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Four successful shots went in from Liverpool, after Cesar Azpilicueta hit the post on Chelsea’s second attempt.

Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

However, the captain’s blushes were saved by his gloved guardian.

With one kick remaining, Mane had the chance to seal the silverware for the Reds.

But he was stopped by the palms of his international teammate.

Mendy pushed away the effort, sending the drama to sudden death.

In that moment, he justified Thomas Tuchel’s decision not to replace him for Kepa Arrizabalaga, as he had in the Carabao Cup final.

Kepa failed to keep any of Liverpool’s 11 penalties and then missed his, giving the trophy over to Liverpool.

His fellow shot-stopper didn’t have as bad luck, but the result was still the same.

Edouard Mendy nearly a FA Cup final hero

“Felt for Mendy as well. Obviously, he was kept on this time,” said Lineker.

Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

“He was taken off in the Carabao Cup final. He made one more save than they did in the Carabao Cup final.

“The sort of last couple he was indecisive in where he wanted to go. But for Mane’s save, he was excellent,” continued Richards.

“Decisive. Knew exactly what he wanted to do. Kept the tie alive. At that point, you think ‘is it going to be Chelsea’s turn to win this cup?’”

Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be for the Blues.

Mason Mount’s shot was saved by Alisson, allowing Kostas Tsimikas to stick away the winning penalty.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.