Liverpool vs Chelsea: If Manchester United’s wasteful display at Old Trafford earlier this week was a prelude to the upcoming madness of profligacy that was to follow, the Carabao Cup final was an uproarious crescendo, marking the end of a frenetic week where the number of miffed chances was downright scary, to say the least.
After a pulsating ninety minutes of glorious football from both ends that saw VAR establishing itself as the supremo, Liverpool exploded in a delirious frenzy, thanks to Kepa’s skied effort from the dreaded position in a thrilling shoot-out that felt like drifting downwards in a bottomless pit.
Both the sides were successful in carving big chances that forced the custodians to put in diving avenues where they were at their phenomenal best, showboating an insane bout of aquiline reflexes. Sadly, for the Blues, Kepa Arrizabalaga who has spearheaded two shoot-out victories earlier couldn’t stymie a single shot from Liverpool. Sadly, for the Spaniard, he couldn’t keep his effort low as the heavens were grateful to receive his haywire strike.
His counterpart, however, Kelleher was in phenomenal form and gave all the reasons to Juergen Klopp to pin his hopes on him in a post-Becker era under the woodwork. He pulled off two insane saves where the first denied a marauding Pulisic while the second came at the brink of stoppage time when he staved away a Romelu Lukaku-flick at the near post.
Much to Liverpool’s display, Joel Matip’s goal was disallowed, deeming the fact that Van Dijk was in an offside position while he tried to intervene in Reece James’ movement. However, he merely looked to be holding onto his ground.
Christian Pulisic and Kai Havertz displayed a special degree of wastefulness as the German striker failed to secure an early lead while the latter missed multiple chances on either side of the breather.
There was a resolute display of solidarity as the players took a stand against the war that would ring loud enough in the years to come. Thiago Alcantara had to be dropped after a late injury as Naby Keita was picked to replace the Spanish international.
Chelsea’s burst down the wings was particularly overwhelming while the Liverpool rearguard stood strong against a barrage of attacks that always kept them on their toes. Liverpool, on the contrary, were hard, showed a bloody-minded intent and kept on hammering at the doors only to be denied by an electrifying Edouard Mendy.
Mohammed Salah could have found himself twice on the scoresheet if not for his squandering away of a glorious opportunity where he was one-on-one with Mendy while his second effort was even more stinging but Mendy stood his ground. Before being axed ahead of the shootout, he pulled off a couple of finer saves that included a 90-minute header from Virgil Van Dijk.
Twitter couldn’t control their thrill as the Carabao Cup found its suitor and the match was probably one for the ages where the footballing brilliance was penned in its most flamboyant livery.
HOW DID PULISIC MISS?! 🤯
What an opportunity to give Chelsea an early 1-0 lead in the Carabao Cup final pic.twitter.com/hflgj14BaMAdvertisement
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) February 27, 2022
What a remarkable, remarkable game. Caoimhin Kelleher you are an #LFC legend. Incredible saves and then provides the winning kick in a marathon Carabao Cup final shootout. Cannot believe Tuchel took Mendy out for the shootout. Luis Diaz was excellent.Advertisement
— Tom Reed (@treed1919) February 27, 2022
Haven’t seen a Carabao Cup final get as much hype as this in ages.Advertisement
This really shows that no one cares about a certain oil club from Manchester👀
— Alfonso♨️ (@Primealfonsoo) February 27, 2022
Kepa loves a Carabao Cup final pic.twitter.com/UbXqm0ylRZ
— ¹⁰ (@SxrgioSZN) February 27, 2022
This Carabao cup final is like watching 20 Werners on the pitch playing football.
— Troll Football (@TrollFootball) February 27, 2022
Caoimhin Kelleher has won all three of his penalty shoot-outs for Liverpool in the League Cup.
◉ 1 save vs Arsenal
◉ 2 saves vs Leicester
◉ 1 winning goal vs Chelsea
The shootout hero. 🦸♂️ pic.twitter.com/LWhLgMrq40Advertisement
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 27, 2022
Liverpool vs Chelsea if the offside rule didn’t exist : pic.twitter.com/ltrIsoMel5Advertisement
— nour (@nourmcfc) February 27, 2022
Mendy, the world's best Goalkeeper. 🙌 ●Chelsea vs Liverpool pic.twitter.com/E51MTnYeLfAdvertisement
— Ahmed (@InnocentNyank) February 27, 2022
Chelsea would win the royal rumble vs Liverpool who does Trent think he is 😂😂Advertisement
— Raf (@CFC_Raf) February 27, 2022
Chelsea vs Liverpool match summary 😂 pic.twitter.com/kTqp9qnUb6Advertisement
— Omar chihabi 🇲🇦 (@chihabi_omar) February 27, 2022