Home Sports Liverpool beat Chelsea in penalty shootout

Liverpool beat Chelsea in penalty shootout


Liverpool held their nerve to defeat Chelsea 11-10 in an astonishing penalty shootout to snare the English League Cup trophy, after an enthralling contest had somehow ended goalless after extra time at Wembley.

Both sides could claim to have been deserving winners in a classic free-flowing encounter full of goalscoring chances, remarkable saves and four disallowed goals.

Even in the penalty shootout the two heavyweights were inseparable with 21 successful kicks raising the tension.

In the end it came down to an unlikely duel between the back-up goalkeepers with Liverpool’s young Irish shot-stopper Caoimhin Kelleher belting his penalty past Kepa Arrizabalaga, who had replaced Edouard Mendy near the end of extra time for the shootout.

Spaniard Arrizabalaga then blazed his effort over the bar into the massed ranks of Liverpool supporters who celebrated the club’s first domestic Cup silverware for a decade.

While Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp had won the Premier League and Champions League since arriving at Anfield, it was a rare cup success for the German who had won only two of his previous eight finals with Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool.

“I am fine now, obviously but I would have been fine with 90 minutes and 1-0 to Liverpool and we go home. But it was exciting and I am happy for the people,” Klopp said.

“Chelsea are incredibly strong, we matched each other and both teams were knackered at the end.”

For Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel it meant his hopes of a fourth trophy in just over a year at Stamford Bridge fell just short.

He won the Champions League last season and the European SuperCup and FIFA Club World Cup this season.

Klopp’s decision to stay loyal to stand-in keeper Kelleher, who has featured throughout the run to the final, rather than revert to Alisson, was richly rewarded, although the Irishman could hardly have imagined scoring the decisive penalty in a shootout.

“In professional football there should be space for sentiment,” Klopp said.

“He is a young boy, we ask him to do a lot, he starts playing in the competition and then we get to the final and I tell him he cannot play?

“I am two things, a football manager and a human being and the human being won this time and it is so nice that it paid off. He deserves it.”

Chelsea, bidding to win a sixth League Cup, might well feel aggrieved after having arguably the better chances.

Kelleher was to prove a thorn in their side all afternoon, making one superb reflex save early on after Cesar Azpilicueta’s ball in was met by the unmarked Christian Pulisic.


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