|Liverpool players celebrate with the trophy after an epic 11-10 penalty shootout win over Chelsea at Wembley on Sunday. (Photo credit: Sky Sports)
When they give you a ticket to a cup final, and you experience the type of classic Liverpool and Chelsea offered at Wembley, regardless of the side of the divide you’re on, you’ll feel fulfilled that you witnessed a game like that, it was a spectacle to say the least.
Liverpool beat Chelsea on penalties to lift the Carabao Cup
at Wembley after a goalless affair in 120 minutes, not for lack of efforts but
both goalkeepers wouldn’t let the outfield players shine, although a goalkeeper
would later decide it.
Jurgen Klopp took a risk and handed a starting shirt to
young goalkeeper Caoimin Kelleher and the kid grabbed the opportunities with
both hands with strings of impressive saves to deny Chelsea’s Christian
Pulisic, Kai Havertz and Mason Mount in regulation time before saving from Romelu
Lukaku late on.
Thomas Tuchel didn’t risk anything; he simply started his
best legs including in goal where Edouard Mendy came in for Kepa Arizabalaga.
The opening exchanges were pretty even with both sides drivinf forward at every
Thomas Tuchel brought on Kepa with just a minute left of the
thirty minutes extra time, the goal was to give Chelsea a better chance of
winning considering Kepa’s penalty heroics in the past, this reminds us of the
2019 final against Manchester City where Kepa refused to be replaced under
Tuchel’s penalty tinkering backfired, it was obvious that
Chelsea were playing for penalties in the extra time, although Lukaku had a
goal rightly disallowed for offside, this particular game would be remembered
for the amount of VAR interventions, prompting the commentator to title the
game “and the flag is up”.
Every single outfield player that stepped up to take
penalties scored, Kelleher stepped up with the eleventh and scored, Kepa blazed
over and Liverpool were crowned winners on the day but even the young keeper
didn’t know how to react.
"It's a mad
one. I got close to a few when it came down to me I didn't even think I had
scored the winning penalty. I'd forgotten I'd got the winning one. All the lads
were class, I was just happy to score," Kelleher said.
can be a brilliant game and it was a brilliant game, no worries and no
regrets," Tuchel said afterward."We gave everything and it was a
brilliant match of football. The disallowed goal for Romelu [Lukaku] is a very
close call -- there are bad feelings about this call.
need a bit of luck, we scored three times, had big chances, they had big
chances, It was a fair result all the way to have a draw."