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Chelsea 0, Liverpool 0 (pen. 10-11) - Carabao Final Recap: LIVERPOOL WIN ON PENALTIES!

We react to Liverpool’s Carabao Cup final win against Chelsea and give you a chance to vote for Man of the Match.

Chelsea v Liverpool - Carabao Cup Final Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Chelsea 0 - 0 Liverpool

penalties: 10-11

Pre-Match

Amidst Russia’s imperialist invasion of Ukraine, the stage is set at Wembley stadium for Liverpool to pick up the first of four possible pieces of silverware this season - the League Cup. And our opponent is owned by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, as Zach reminds us, so, while they may play pretty football and have a competent coach, there’s much to dim the joy of the moment.

Onto footballing things. Bobby Firmino is still out with an injury, but Diogo Jota is fit and features on the bench. Thiago appears to have picked up an injury during the warm-up and is swapped for Naby Keita at the very last minute. Heartbreaking for Thiago. Alisson sits this one out as a substitute with young Irish goalkeeper Caoimhín Kelleher making a start, in a big show of faith by Jurgen Klopp.

First Half

Chelsea kicks off in a pacy manner, showing quick movements to get the ball in Kelleher’s box. Five minutes into the half, Kai Havertz dribbles the ball past Liverpool’s defence and passes to Christian Pulisic who hits it point blank at Kelleher, who is forced to make a save. Liverpool are not quite in control of the game and lose possession a lot, making the occasional desperate foul to stall Chelsea’s progression.

Luis Diaz is a bright spot, looking lively whenever he gets the ball and slipping past Chelsea defenders with speed. He gives Kante and Chalobah hell on a few occasions. Liverpool start to control the game about 20 minutes in and their first chance comes in at 17’ when Trent sends a cross in from midfield and Mane heads it towards goal. But his angle is off and it goes wide. At 30’ Naby Keita is quick to react to a chance hitting the ball towards the net, but Chelsea goalkeeper Mendy makes a lightning quick save, following it up with a second spectacular save from a Mane hit seconds later. The half ends 0-0, with the goalkeepers putting on confident performances. Liverpool are yet to turn on their ruthless edge and dominate the game as much as they need to, to fend off Chelsea’s speedy runs.

Second Half

Liverpool resume the game still looking vulnerable in wide areas, and the back line is bailed out by Kelleher a few times. At 64’, Salah makes one of his characteristic streaky runs on the counter, but he dinks the ball over Mendy and misses. At 67’, a free kick by Trent is headed towards goal by Mane, and Joel Matip heads it in to goal. But VAR cancels it on account of Virgil showing “interference” in play in an offside position, because his warm was across Reece James. Bizarre. A few more attempts by both sides are either saved or deemed offside, in a match of equals. Klopp makes a triple substitution of Harvey Elliott, James Milner, and Diogo Jota. But they are unable to make an impact and the game goes to extra time.

Extra Time

Luis Diaz looks like his legs are giving way, and he is subbed off for Miracle Maker Divock Origi. 7’ into extra time Romelu Lukaku receives a through-ball from midfield, and slots it into Kelleher’s net but it’s deemed offside by a hair. 19’ in Kai Havertz gets another offside call on a goal, Chelsea’s sixth of the game to Liverpool’s one so far. The game goes to penalties.

Penalties

LIVERPOOL

Milner - Scored

Fabinho - Scored

Virgil - Scored

Trent - Scored

Salah - Scored

Jota - Scored

Origi - Scored

Robertson - Scored

Elliott - Scored

Konate - Scored

Kelleher - Scored

CHELSEA

Alonso - Scored

Lukaku - Scored

Havertz - Scored

James - Scored

Jorginho - Scored

Rudiger - Scored

Kante - Scored

Werner - Scored

Silva - Scored

Chalobah - Scored

Kepa - Missed

Final Thoughts and Man of the Match

The game was delightful in parts, frustrating at other times. Chelsea seemed to have strong spells of possession and were quick to slip into the box, but were faced with a total of six offside calls to Liverpool’s one. Liverpool weren’t in their sharpest form, but given the packed fixtures this month, keeping a clean sheet and bagging a trophy is a worthy achievement. Young Kelleher shone as a fantastic understudy to Alisson, putting in game-saving saves, and stopping the final penalty from Kepa that won Liverpool the Carabao Cup! To be henceforth known as the Kelleher Cup! That’s one down, three more to potentially lift. Up the silverware-lifting Reds of 2022!

Poll

Who was Liverpool’s Man of the Match vs. Chelsea?

This poll is closed

  • 79%
    Caoimhín Kelleher
    (431 votes)
  • 16%
    Luis Diaz
    (89 votes)
  • 1%
    Joel Matip
    (8 votes)
  • 2%
    Trent Alexander-Arnold
    (11 votes)
539 votes total Vote Now