Liverpool won the English League Cup for a record ninth time as they edged out Chelsea 11-10 in an incredible penalty shootout after a 0-0 draw at Wembley on Sunday. After 21 successful penalties, the final was decided when Chelsea’s substitute keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga fired his effort over the crossbar.
Liverpool vs Chelsea was one of the best finals the competition has ever seen, where both the teams had an enthralling performance at the Wembley Stadium.
It was a final where the goalkeepers made the headlines, VAR had a significant role, and disallowed goals made the heated discussions.
Edouard Mendy was superb for the Blues, and Caoimhin Kelleher returned the trust in the possible way that Jurgen Klopp had on him.
Kelleher scored the last and final penalty for Liverpool, which became decisive after Kepa missed the last penalty for Chelsea. “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.
“Even in professional football there should be space for some sentiment. Caoimhin Kelleher is a young boy, plays in all the competition, what do I do? I am two things, a professional manager and a human being and the human being won. He deserves it,” Klopp said.
Kepa Arrizabalaga, brought on in the closing moments of extra time as a penalty specialist, missed the decisive spot-kick. On Kepa’s heartbreaking performance, Tuchel said: “It is unusual all 11 players need to shoot, he took it a bit too quick. Sometimes these things can turn against you but you make them when they need to be made, not after when people can judge you.”
After winning the Carabao Cup, Liverpool can dream of getting a quadruple this season as they are still in the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League. Also, they are in a tight fight with Manchester City for the English Premier League. The League Cup victory was Liverpool’s first one in ten years.
Chelsea will regret not winning the title after missing many great chances. Mason Mount had two golden opportunities to change the fate of the game. But he missed those. Along with it, three goals were disallowed for Chelsea.
Liverpool created a host of chances and had a Joel Matip goal ruled out for a foul and offside in the high-pressure game.
“It was amazing, very special to win trophies at this football club. Always difficult when it goes to penalties,” Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson told Sky Sports. “We have used all the squad, academy, first team, all chipped in, which makes it really special.
“It is mad to think it was 10 years we won it. Today was really special, never take for granted playing for this club. The fans deserve it and hopefully it can give us a kick start for the rest of the season.”