Liverpool have earned a ticket to Wembley after overcoming Fulham over two legs of the League cup semi-final. On February 25th, they’ll take on Chelsea in their first final of the season, and their first since the 2021-22 season.
Liverpool drew 1-1 at Craven Cottage, but they still came away with a 3-2 aggregate win. After the match, Jürgen Klopp gave his verdict on the match.
“After half an hour, we had scored one goal and I think we could have scored a second one, the game opens up slightly,” he said.
“We go to half-time, wanted to play more football, wanted to control the game more again. Then they came out and they press for a while, but we understood the game slightly better. I liked the second half as well. We should’ve scored, there were two situations: I think the counter-attack... everything was perfect and then Lucho [Diaz] doesn’t find the right player, which was a little bit of a shame, and when Harvey [Elliott] could shoot with his slightly weaker right foot. We could’ve put the game to bed, but we didn’t.”
Luis Diaz continues his run of good form by scoring the clinching goal in the 11th minute.
“The speed, the power he can generate, the technique, the combination of all that… it is absolutely outstanding,” Klopp said of his No. 7.
Meanwhile, Caoimhin Kelleher has seen the Reds through the five games it took to make it to the final. His steady hand in goal in the League Cup as well as the Europa League has given the team more opportunities for trophies and more games to provide playing time for the players who don’t see much Premier League action.
Over the last few years, Klopp has shown trust in Kelleher as Alisson’s main back up. He’s certainly no stranger to League Cup finals against Chelsea. He was in the goal when Liverpool won in 2022. In fact, during that endless penalty shoot-out, Kelleher was the one who scored the winning goal to secure victory for the Reds.
“Caoimhin is a top, top, top goalie,” Klopp said, just in case you were under the mistaken impression that Kelleher deserved only one or two tops. “And when Ali is fit he doesn’t have a lot of games, so I want to give him desperately the opportunity to play. It’s important for development and he deserves it on top of that because he is always there. “
Though they’ve secured a place in the final, there’s still six games to get to before the big day, including welcoming their future opponents, Chelsea, to Anfield. Their next battle is against Norwich City to advance to the fifth round of the FA Cup.