Kostas Tsimikas was the hero at Wembley as his kick sealed the FA Cup triumph over Chelsea on Saturday, with Liverpool fans loving their new cult hero.
With more than two hours of football played in the scorching heat of London, the FA Cup final ended in a penalty shootout – the second this season between Liverpool and Chelsea.
And just like in the League Cup in February, it was the Reds who emerged victorious, this time in more conventional circumstances as they won 6-5 from kicks.
Although Edouard Mendy refused Sadio Mane to undo an early failure by Cesar Azpilicueta, Alisson dove in the right direction to prevent Mason Mount and give Tsimikas the chance to become an icon.
The left-back did just that, coolly heading home as Mendy dove the wrong way, before heading off to celebrate FA Cup glory.
Following the victory, Liverpool fans showered the Greek Scouser with praise on social media – including a glowing endorsement for the player who last wore the No.21 shirt.
Make number 21 proud laaaaaaaaa pic.twitter.com/OzKB9wRZqZ
—Lucas Leiva (@LucasLeiva87) May 14, 2022
— Sam Quek (@SamanthaQuek) May 14, 2022
Tsimikas is now a cult hero at the club, what a man. What a signature!!
— St. Midge ?????? ? ?? (@ste_midge79) May 14, 2022
Don’t think there is a scorer more deserving of the winning penalty than Tsimikas. Such a friendly guy.
— Barry LFC O Sullivan (@NotoriousLFC) May 14, 2022
KOSTAS TSIMIKAS THE GREEK SCOUSER. LIVERPOOL LEGEND. NO BEST PLAYER TO WIN US THE TROPHY. ???
— Samuel (@SamueILFC) May 14, 2022
I love Kostas so much
— Matt (@LegendEskimoBoy) May 14, 2022
So happy it’s Tsimikas. The team brought us here. Not the first eleven. The squad. Go to Greek Scouse.
— Mari Lewis (@MariCLewis) May 14, 2022
Delighted for Kostas, you already know he loves the club so much! Has been a fantastic addition to the team!????? #GreekScouser
—Louise Begley (@louisebegley) May 14, 2022
Happy for Tsimikas. Was a fantastic addition to the team with a game attitude, who kept Robertson on his toes and was unlucky not to have had more playing time. Starts at 90% other PL sides. ? ?
— Iver Hanrahan (@IverHanrahanGP) May 14, 2022
Fixed for Kostas. It’s not easy to have this role in the team, but every time he arrives, he proves himself worthy.
Glad he still has that moment in the club’s history.
— Justin (@juza_23) May 14, 2022
Clean delighted for Kostas as well.
This boy came to fight for a place with one of the best left-backs in world football and always gives his all when asked. Bought everything the football club is, and it even looks like he’s been sleeping a little more these days.
— Rob Hogan (@ChildishRobbino) May 14, 2022
I am absolutely composed for both Tsimikas and Kelleher. Two important players in the team, who haven’t played many minutes this season, but both contributed significantly to the FA Cup and Carabao Cup victory. Special moments for both? pic.twitter.com/vcJbcPN01V
— TheKop.com (@TheKop_com) May 14, 2022
Alisson Becker has further enhanced his demigod status, but he’s so happy for Kostas. Now he has his own special place in #lfc folklore like Alan Kennedy
—Dan Kennett (@DanKennett) May 14, 2022
Left-backs score the decisive goal
penalty in the big shootouts of the Cup final!
— LFC Mumble (@lfcmumble) May 15, 2022
REMINDER THAT KOSTAS TSIMIKAS’ FIRST GOAL FOR LIVERPOOL WON US A CUP FINAL?? pic.twitter.com/fL2fPX32GM
– fall?? (@lfcatumn) May 14, 2022
Chelsea fans thought waving their plastic flags would distract the Tsimikas.
He then celebrated like that in front of them. pic.twitter.com/Mv6vTmVcYG
– – (@AnfieldRd96) May 14, 2022
Heatmap of Kostas Tsimikas after scoring THIS penalty. pic.twitter.com/3fcub8t8JS
— Ian (@ianlfc05) May 14, 2022
The job is not yet done for Liverpool, and certainly not for Tsimikas after Andy Robertson suffered cramp in the final stages on Saturday.
With a trip to Southampton coming up in the Premier League on Tuesday night, the Greek can now be expected to start in a heavily rotated squad as the Reds seek another three vital points.
In the past, the move from first-choice left-back to assistant may have been a concern for supporters – but that is no longer the case, with Tsimikas expected to meet the high standards required.