A calm and collected Liverpool kept his nerve win a epic 11-10 penalty shoot-out to sink Chelsea in the English League Cup final Sunday after the end of the agreed and overtime periods in a goalless draw.
Both sides could claim to have been deserving winners in a classic free-flowing encounter full of scoring chances, notable saves and four goals disallowed.
Even in the penalty shoot-outi two heavyweights were inseparable with 21 successful kicks ratchet up the tension.
Eventually it arrived down to an unlikely duel between two goalkeepers with of Liverpool young Irish shooter Caoimhin Kelleher girds his own penalty past Kepa Arrizabalaga, who he had replaced Edouard Mendy for the throw-out.
The Spaniard Arrizabalaga then gave vent to his effort over the bar in the massed ranks of Liverpool fans who celebrated the club’S first domestic cup silverware for a decade.
While Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp had won the Premier League and the Champions League since he arrived at Anfield, it has been rare cup success for German, who I had won only two of his previous eight finals with Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool.
For Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel meant his hopes of a quarter trophy in just over a year at Stamford Bridge fell just short. He won the Champions last season and the European Super Cup and the World Cup for club FIFA in this season.
by Klopp decision stay true to stay-in keeper Kelleher, who has featured across the run at the final rather than returning to Alisson, he was amply rewarded, although the Irishman could hardly have imagined scoring the decisive goal penalty in a shooting.
“He’s crazy one. When it arrived down for me I did not even think I had scored the victory penalty”he said.” It was more hit and hope.
“I came close (stopping) some but all the penalties were of the highest quality, luckily we managed win. “
Chelsea, making an offer win a sixth League Cup, he might feel pained after he probably had the best chance.
Kelleher had to prove a thorn in They side all afternoon, doing one superb reflex saves in advance on after that of Cesar Azpilicueta ball in era met by the anonymous Christian Pulisic.
Chelsea were sharper in the first few exchanges but he was lucky in in the 17th minute when Sadio Mane got all his corners wrong with a header from a cross by Trento Alexander-Arnold.
Liverpool gradually grew in game and Chelsea was in due to a stunning one double save from Mendy, first maintain out Low shot of Naby Keita from edge of the area and then leaping to deflect that of Mane follow-up over the bar.
A relentless first half concluded with Chelsea threatening again, with Mason Mount on the fly on a cross by Kai Havertz.
Three minutes after half-time Havertz gave Mount even better chance with a dinked-through pass but this time the English midfielder’s shot bounced off the interior of the postleaving Tuchel on the ground in frustration.
The possibilities kept flowing, with Mohamed Salah played fair but his chips over Mendy lacked weight and Thiago Silva canceled the ball off the line.
Joel Matip thought he had led Liverpool in advantage when he nodded in after Mane’s header bounced up but, like the fans allow off red rockets, the goal was disallowed by referee Stuart Attwell after checking a sideline monitor.
The cutting and pushing continued with Salah again denied by Mendy before Chelsea had a goal with chalk off for offside after the combination of substitutes Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner set up Havertz a force a header past Kelleher.
Even in the six minutes of recovery time, both sides were at a standstill throwing fists, with Bearing well out Virgil van Dijk header before Werner wasted a chance.
Two goals were disallowed at Chelsea in extra time, first when Lukaku cut in from the right and punched a blow past Kelleher, but was judged marginally in offside.
Then the impressive Havertz fired past Kelleher but again the celebrations of the German were interrupted.
Arrizabalaga was sent on by Tuchel at the end of extra time, in particular for his penalty-saving insight, but instead of being the hero, he delivered the trophy to Liverpool.