Liverpool celebrate winning the Carabao Cup. Picture: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty ImagesLiverpool celebrate winning the Carabao Cup. Picture: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images
Liverpool celebrate winning the Carabao Cup. Picture: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images | AFP via Getty Images

Liverpool player ratings as Caoimhin Kelleher etches himself into folklore in Carabao Cup triumph

Liverpool defeated Chelsea on penalties after a 0-0 draw following extra-time at Wembley.

WEMBLEY - Liverpool have been crowned Carabao Cup champions after defeating Chelsea on penalties in the final here at Wembley.

After a goalless draw following extra-time, Caoimhin Kelleher made himself the hero by slamming home the decisive penalty in a remarkable 11-10 win for the Reds.

Jurgen Klopp’s now claimed his first domestic cup competition as Anfield boss and Liverpool’s hopes of winning an unprecedented quadruple are very much alive.

Both teams were indebted to their goalkeepers in the first half.

Chelsea had a golden chance to open the scoring after just six minutes when Christian Pulisic was left in acres of space inside the box but was thwarted by Kelleher.

Then Edouard Mendy produced a magnificent double stop for Chelsea on the half-hour mark. He first parried out Naby Keita’s low drive before somehow tipping over Sadio Mane’s follow-up effort.

Liverpool dominated for the majority but it should have been the Blues ahead on the stroke of half-time.

A ball was cut back for Mason Mount and he beat Kelleher - but his effort went wide of the post.

And it was that man Mount who spurned another gilt-edged opportunity three minutes into the second half. The England international beat the Reds’ offside trap but this time found the post.

Mo Salah would then miss a big chance for Klopp’s side. He dinked over Mendy but Thiago Silva got back to make a crucial goalline clearance.

Liverpool would finally have the ball in the back of the net on 67 minutes - only for VAR to chalk off the goal.

Mane headed Trent Alexander-Arnold’s free-kick across goal and Matip nodded home from close range.

Yet following a review, Virgil van Dijk was adjudged to have interfered with play and was ruled offside.

The game went to extra-time and started to get tense. And neither side could still find a way through, with the game going to penalties.

The shootout proved just as tight as the game itself. Neither side missed until the two goalkeepers had to take their turn.

Kelleher, a striker in his youth, smashed his home and then the floor was Kepa Arrizzabalaga’s - who’d been brought on specifically for the shootout.

Yet the most expensive goalkeeper of all-time skied his effort over, which sparked wild celebrations among the Liverpool players and the fans behind the goal.

The heroes

- Caoimhin Kelleher: the Liverpool goalkeeper was magnificent in what was by far his biggest game of his career so far. Made a brilliant save from Pulisic early on and then thwarted Romelu Lukaku with his legs. The sky is the limit for the Irishman.

- Edouard Mendy: the Chelsea stopper was also excellent. His double save in the first half was as good as you’ll see all season. Also denied Virgil van Dijk in stoppage-time with a good stop to his left.

- Andy Robertson: the Liverpool left-back gave so much down the left-hand side. Also scored his penalty and rallied the crowd.

The villains

- Kepa Arrizabalaga: you have to feel sympathy for the keeper. But he didn’t make a single save from the spot and then blazed over the bar.

- Mason Mount: squandered two golden chances for Chelsea. He really needed to take them given his quality.

- VAR: after the farce at Goodison Park on Saturday, this time it was Liverpool who were left bewildered. It was clear that van Dijk did not go for the ball when Mane headed back across goal - yet he was punished. Luckily, it didn’t matter.

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