Chelsea stars sing the Blues after penalty pain
Chelsea's crestfallen stars took to social media after their FA Cup final heartbreak to thank the club's fans for sticking with them through thick and thin.
Despite winning the European Super Cup and Club World Cup, the Blues have endured a turbulent season with off-field issues often overshadowing events on the pitch.
Having lost the Carabao Cup final to Liverpool on penalties in February, Thomas Tuchel's men suffered the same fate against the Reds on Saturday after 120 minutes of action failed to separate the sides.
Midfielder Mason Mount, who missed in sudden death at Wembley, said: "Couldn't be more proud to be a part of this squad and reaching another final.
"Absolutely gutted with the way it ended but these moments will only make us stronger.
"Can't thank you Chels fans enough for the support and love, win or lose."
Wing-back Reece James netted from the spot as the Blues lost the dramatic shootout 6-5.
And the 22-year-old star echoed the comments of England colleague Mount by posting on Instagram: "It is very painful to lose another final.
"Penalties are never a true reflection of the game. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
"The marathon continues. Thank you for the support."
With skipper Cesar Azpilicueta missing Chelsea's second penalty, Edouard Mendy came to the rescue by saving from compatriot Sadio Mane.
The Senegal keeper's stop ensured the shootout went to sudden death with the sides tied at 4-4.
Hakim Ziyech and Diogo Jota both successfully found the net before Mount was denied by Allison — leaving Konstantinos Tsimikas to convert the match-winning spot-kick.
Chelsea centre-back Thiago Silva posted: "Despite the sadness for the result, I have to say how proud I am of our team.
"I know how much each of us gave our best. I'm very grateful to the support of the fans.
"We get out of here stronger. We learn and grow in adversity. Come on Chelsea!"
Keeper Mendy, 30, added: "We are sad about the result, we fought and gave everything to succeed.
"We have two games left at home, let's focus on them together to finish well."
Third-placed Chelsea host Leicester on Thursday before ending their Premier League campaign against relegated Watford at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Like Mendy, Trevoh Chalobah is keen to see the Blues finish on a high before what promises to be a summer of change under a new regime led by American businessman Todd Boehly.
The centre-back, 22, posted: "Sorry to the fans, you deserved this trophy.
"The team gave everything. [It] still hurts but we stick together and finish the season strong."