Werner, Mahrez lead Khel Now’s FA Cup 2021/22 Team of the tournament
Three players each from Chelsea and Liverpool make their place in the team.
Liverpool won the FA Cup 2021/22 final by defeating Chelsea 0-0 (6-5) on penalties to clinch the title. It marks their fifteenth final eigth FA Cup win in history and first since the 2005/06 season. Liverpool are amongst the few clubs with most FA Cup Final appearances as well.
But not just the Liverpool players, but a number of other team’s stars impressed in the tournament. Manchester City had a solid campaign. Crystal Palace was the surprise package of this edition after making it all the way to the semi-finals. Some other surprise packages helped the 2021/22 edition be an exciting one and produce some thrilling encounters. So let’s look at our FA Cup Team of the Tournament.
Goalkeeper: Edouard Mendy (Chelsea)
Despite suffering heartbreak in the final, Edouard Mendy had a solid FA Cup campaign with Chelsea. He only started playing from the quarter-finals onwards, as Kepa Arrizabalaga was given chances before that. But Mendy maintained a brilliant record from the quarter-finals, keeping clean sheets in all the games he played.
He maintained clean sheets against Middlesbrough and Crystal Palce. Mendy also denied Liverpool any goal in the final’s normal and extra-time. He was able to make one save off Sadio Mane’s penalty in the shootout, but couldn’t win it for Chelsea. Despite that, Mendy had a very good FA Cup run and was pivotal to helping his side reach the finals.
Right-Back: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
Trent Alexander-Arnold just keeps getting better and better for Liverpool, as he’s now reaping the rewards of his great work. The right-back featured in three games in his side’s victorious FA Cup campaign. He produced some impressive performances when needed the most. He did a pretty good job defensively against City. Trent did not not let Phil Foden cause much trouble from down his wing.
Alexander-Arnold was rock-solid in the final too. He restricted a lot of Chelsea’s flow from down his wing. In the end, he ended the campaign with one assist in three games and also scored an important penalty in the shootout to help his side get the job done.
Centre-Back: Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace)
Marc Guehi has made Chelsea rue their decision to sell him to Crystal Palace last summer by enjoying a superb debut season. The Englishman was especially impressive in Palace’s brilliant FA Cup campaign. He led the Crystal Place defencewhich conceded four goals in five games.
Guehi played a big role over their defensive sturdiness. He put in some brilliant performances. The 21-year-old made the second-most interceptions (eight) among any defenders in the FA Cup campaign. He restricted a lot of opposition threat with his work. Guehi also scored twice (against Everton and Hartlepool) to round off an impressive FA Cup edition.
Centre-Back: Joe Worrall (Nottingham Forest)
Nottingham Forest had a surprisingly impressive FA Cup campaign.They defeated the likes of Arsenal and Leicester City en route to the quarter-final. One of the major reasons behind that was their defensive sturdiness. This was aided by the solid work from centre-back Joe Worrall.
The 25-year-old defender put in a string of superb performances. He bullied the likes of Eddie Nketiah, Gabriel Martinelli and Harvey Barnes in the FA Cup games. He recorded the most tackles won (nine) and joint-third most interceptions (eight) among any player in the FA Cup. Worall put in some commendable performances to fuel Forest’s memorable cup run.
Left-Back: Kostas Tsimikas
Kostas Tsimikas scored the winning penalty to help Liverpool win their first FA Cup after 16 years. Even apart from that, Tsimikas had a solid FA Cup campaign.
He featured in five of Liverpool’s FA Cup games. Tsimikas worked very hard to help them progress to the final. He attempted the second joint-most crosses among any player in the FA Cup and also had one assist. His spirited efforts inspired Liverpool to go all the way into winning their second title of the season.
Centre-Midfield: Mason Mount
Mason Mount is definitely in the running for Chelsea’s Player of the Season award after enjoying a prolific campaign for Thomas Tuchel’s side. He enjoyed a fine FA Cup campaign and played a major role in helping his side go to the final. Mount had 4 goal contributions in as many FA Cup appearances before the final, including two assists in the quarter-finals, win over Middlesbrough and a goal against Crystal Palace in the final.
He worked hard to create some good chances in the final, before his ‘Wembley Curse’ continued as Mount missed his penalty and lost his third successive FA Cup final with Chelsea after performing well all through the edition.
Centre-Midfield: Thiago Alcantara
Thiago Alcantara has proven his quality as one of the best midfielders in the world by consistently putting in exceptional performances for Liverpool this season. He also helped the Reds dominate through their FA Cup campaign, shining in the four games he featured in. Thiago’s best performances came when it mattered the most, in the semi-finals against Man City and against Chelsea in the final.
He produced a stunning assist against City and helped Liverpool scrape past the challenge. Thiago also created some chances and worked extremely hard all through the 120 minutes against Chelsea, before scoring an exquisite penalty in the shootout to top off a stellar FA Cup campaign.
Right-Wing: Michael Olise
Michael Olise has been a revelation for Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace side and been one of the finds of the season in the Premier League. The 20-year-old also excelled in the FA Cup this season to help his side go all the way to the semis. In 5 appearances, Olise scored 2 goals and provided 3 assists, having the joint-most goal contribution among any player in the edition.
Olise’s menacing playing style and clinical nature helped him torment many sides in the FA Cup before being eliminated by Chelsea, but he did well enough to ensure some major clubs will come asking for his services next season.
Attacking-Midfield: Kevin de Bruyne
Kevin de Bruyne has been at the forefront of Man City’s success this season. It’s no coincidence that they’ve been eliminated from the FA Cup in the game in which he didn’t even feature. The Belgian midfielder was one of City’s best performers in their FA Cup campaign, scoring 1 goal and registering 3 assists in just 3 games.
He created a plethora of chances in every game and tormented oppositions with his incredible energy and driving nature in midfield. Unfortunately, De Bruyne couldn’t feature in the semi-final and had to see his side get eliminated while sitting on the bench – ending a personally impressive FA Cup edition on a downer.
Left-Wing: Riyad Mahrez
Just like De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez also enjoyed a prolific FA Cup campaign with Man City en route to the semi-finals. He scored four goals in three starts for the Citizens, as well as managing an assist as well. Mahrez ended the competition as the joint-top scorer alongside Charlton Athletic striker Jayden Stockley, as well as the one with the most goal contributions.
Despite his heroics, Mahrez was surprisingly benched for the semi-finals against Man City. He only came on for the last 7 minutes and couldn’t make any impact that little time, seeing his side get knocked out after enjoying a superb FA Cup campaign himself.
Forward: Timo Werner
Timo Werner’s performances in the Premier League this season might not be up to the mark, but he’s proven to be a solid cup player for Chelsea. Even in the FA Cup this season, he impressed in the 5 appearances made for the Blues. In those games, Werner scored 2 goals and provided 3 assists, including two assists in the win over Luton Town in the Fifth Round.
Werner proved himself a clutch knockout player, helping Chelsea progress all the way to the final. But in the final game, Tuchel surprisingly chose to play Romelu Lukaku over him. The Belgian forward failed to impress and Chelsea weren’t able to score in normal time, with Werner being forced to watch them lose from the bench.
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