FA Cup: Jurgen Klopp surprised Kovacic started against Liverpool
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was "surprised" to see Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic in the starting XI for the FA Cup final on Saturday.
In the Blues' 3-0 triumph over Leeds United in midweek, Kovacic received a minor injury after a reckless tackle from Daniel James.
The challenge earned James a red card, while Kovacic was forced off with an injury, making the 28-year-old doubtful for the Wembley showpiece.
In his pre-match press conference on Friday, Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel was more optimistic about the Croatian's fitness.
Klopp told ITV before kick-off, "It's a bit of a surprise [Kovacic starting]."
“I heard in the press conference there might be a chance. I saw that tackle and the red card for Leeds and didn’t think he could make it.
“That was a surprise.”
Liverpool went ahead to defeat the Blues again on penalty shootouts, in a repeat of the Carabao Cup final in February. The victory means that the Reds have now won two domestic trophies – the Carabao Cup and FA Cup – after beating Chelsea in a penalty shootout.
Chelsea captain, Cesar Azpilicueta, and Mason Mount missed from the spot to give Jurgen Klopp’s side their second trophy of the season.
The Reds are still in the race to win the Premier League title but have to pray for any slip-up from Manchester City while they also have a date with Real Madrid for the final of the season’s Champions League.
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