Highlights on Off The Ball

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Highlights on Off The Ball


'Caoimhin Kelleher is a hero' - Jamie Carragher on Liverpool's Carabao Cup win

Jamie Carragher labelled Caoimhin Kelleher as Liverpools hero in the Carabao Cup final.

Liverpool beat Chelsea 11-10 on penalties after a thrilling game in the Carabao Cup Final.

Somehow, neither team scored during the game itself.

Liverpool saw Joel Matip knock the ball in at the far post from a Sadio Mane header early in the second half. But it was ruled out because Virgil Van Dijk was offside and impeding the back post defender. Chelsea put the ball in the back of the net on two occasions, once from Romelu Lukaku and once from Kai Havertz.

Both goals were ruled out for offside.

The game was full of goal mouth scrambles, breakaways and world class saves. For 120 minutes, it was constant drama and excitement. But no goals.

After extra time, it was all goals.

Every single outfield player on both sides of the field scored a penalty. It ultimately came down to the goalkeepers. Ireland's Caoimhin Kelleher scored Liverpool's 11th penalty, but Kepa Arrizabalaga skied his strike over the bar. Kepa was a controversial factor in the final minutes.

Thomas Tuchel replaced Edouard Mendy in the final minute of extra time. Kepa is noted for his quality against penalties. But Mendy was arguably the best player on the field. Ultimately, Kepa didn't save a single penalty but did miss the decisive one. He had opportunities too, most notably against Ibrahima Konate whose penalty hit his hand before going in.

Kelleher showed great composure and technique on his strike. He previously played as a striker for Ringmahon before moving into goals during his teenage years. That late transition put him in position to win the game for Liverpool.

Jamie Carragher delighted in Kelleher's winning strike after full time.

"Anyone could have won that," Carragher said.

"Some of the penalties were absolutely out of this world. And it fell to the goalkeeper. We questioned Jurgen Klopp slightly before the game about playing Kelleher. He's now the hero. Gary Neville was mentioning it in commentary. When you get late on in a game, who is going to be the hero.

"That man is the hero."

While Carragher focused on the winning side, Sky's Jamie Redknapp was fuming about Tuchel's decision at the end.

"It was one of the all-time great nil-nils as a spectacle...I hope it puts to bed these substitutions now of putting goalkeepers on. Edouard Mendy is one of the best goalkeepers in the world and you bring on Kepa instead of him. It's ridiculous. I didn't like him against the penalties being taken and then he took one of the worst penalties you've ever seen.

"No, I'm just being honest. I don't like it. I don't know why you do it."

Kelleher himself spoke to Sky Sports after the game.

"It's a mad one," Kelleher said.

"I thought I'd save one, I got close to a few and then when it came down to me I didn't even think about scoring the winning penalty. I forgot actually...all the penalties from the lads were class so I was just happy to score. It was more hit and hope."

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Caoimhin Kelleher Carabao Cup Chelsea Jurgen Klopp Liverpool Thomas Tuchel