Kelleher scores decisive penalty while late substitute Kepa skies his as Liverpool overcome Chelsea to win the Carabao Cup after a grueling 11-10 penalty shootout..2022-02-28 17:18
Jordan Henderson (pictured) lifts the Carabao Cup Trophy during the Carabao Cup Final match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Wembley Stadium on February 27, 2022 in London, England.
LONDON - Liverpool claimed a record ninth League Cup 11-10 on penalties after an entertaining EFL Cup final with Chelsea had ended in a Wembley stalemate.
The Blues brought Kepa Arrizabalaga on for Édouard Mendy as the game finished 0-0 after extra time but it was the reserve keeper who was first to blink when he blazed his kick over the bar to conclude an epic shoot-out.
The victory sees Jürgen Klopp win his first domestic cup as Reds manager and he becomes the first German coach to triumph in the competition. It was also the 9th time which Liverpool won this competition, making them the most successful side of the League Cup.
The Merseysiders grew as the half wore on and almost capped their dominance on the half hour mark, but the excellent Mendy justified Thomas Tuchel’s initial decision to pick him ahead of Kepa with a stunning double save to deny Naby Keita and Sadio Mané.
Chelsea were mostly a threat on the counter attack with Mason Mount going close either side of half time with his second chance hitting the post.
Mohamed Salah then wasted a clear-cut opening for the Reds before Joël Matip had a header chalked off for a foul and offside following a VAR intervention.
It started a run of disallowed goals with Kai Havertz, two in fact, and substitute Romelu Lukaku having moments of joy snatched away by the sight of the offside flag as an action-packed affair somehow ended all square after 120 minutes.
The penalty shoot-out was just as engrossing as all 10 outfield players on each side converted their kicks. Caoimhín Kelleher then fired home his before Kepa missed to ensure the trophy will be returning to Anfield.
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