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Thursday, May 23, 2024

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Liverpool are the Carabao Cup champions!

Liverpool won the Carabao Cup final on penalties after 120 minutes of no goals against Chelsea.

Irish goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher was the hero as he remarkably scored the winning penalty as Liverpool won 11-10 on penalties.

Kelleher was also impeccable in the game as he made a couple of huge saves to deny Christian Pulisic in the first half and Romelu Lukaku at the end of the normal time.

Kepa Arrizabalaga came on just before the end of extra time specifically for the penalty shootout and did not save a single penalty then rather comically blazed his spot kick well over the bar to send the Liverpool end into absolute oblivion.

Edouard Mendy, who recently saved a penalty in the AFCON final was brought off which was a vital call from manager Tomas Tuchel.

A vital call which he got wrong.

Speaking after the game Jürgen Klopp said regarding starting Kelleher: “I think even in professional football there should be some space for sentiment, he is a young boy we ask him to do a lot he gets the competition and then we get to the final then I tell him no you don’t play, I am two things a professional football manager and a human being and the human being won.”

Jordan Henderson done his famous shuffle before lifting the trophy ten years on from when he won the same trophy in his first season at the club.

The game itself was one of the most entertaining goalless draws you are likely to watch with both goalkeepers needed on multiple occasions whilst there was also a total of four goals disallowed.

Chelsea had three disallowed with the most controversial being Romelu Lukaku’s strike in extra-time as it was a ludicrously tight call.

The other controversial call was disallowing Joel Matip’s goal in the second half due to Virgil Van Dijk infringing the play from an offside position as he slightly blocked off Reece James.

Van Dijk did not touch the ball in the build-up to the goal nor did he attempt to play it, he does make the slightest of contact with James though.

However in the end it did not matter as every single Liverpool play expertly dispatched their penalties past penalty shootout specialist Arrizabalaga.

The standout penalties came from Fabinho, Van Dijk and of course Kelleher.

Fabinho’s was an effortless Panenka, Van Dijk hammered his past Arrizabalaga as the Spaniard tried to be clever and stand on one side of the goal.

Van Dijk decided to fire his penalty at that side and still beat him whilst Kelleher’s penalty was confidently taken which should have been expected as he was a striker in his younger days.

Liverpool faced Norwich City, Preston North End, Leicester City and Arsenal on their way to Wembley with Takumi Minamino scoring four making him the top goal scorer for The Reds in the competition.

This triumph is Jurgen Klopp’s fifth trophy as Liverpool manager and it is the first one he has won at Wembley.

There is three more trophies up for grabs for his side this season and after the game he said: “This is only the start.”

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