Chelsea Fc 0-0 Liverpool FC (10-11 pens): The Reds win the Carabao League Cup
The reds and the blues played out a tough, sensational League Cup final with a number of goals ruled out for offside, leading to a 11-10 shootout win for the Reds.
Chelsea 0-0 Liverpool (10-11 on pens)
After an interesting drama of their run to Wembley, it all came down to a clash With Chelsea as Liverpool look for their first trophy of the season, and they were dealt an early blow as Thiago pulled out during the warmup.
Wembley was lit with sets of supporters in fine voice, the game kicked off at a frantic tempo, and Caoimhin Kelleher was required to pull off a strong point-blank save to prevent Christian Pulisic from scoring.
Liverpool tried and gained real control as the half went on, with Luis Diaz a constant threat on the left as he troubled Trevoh Chalobah, the counter-pressing game wearing out their opposition.
And a big chance fell for Chelsea at the end of the half, but after Mane’s dithering offered them an opportunity to break, Mason Mount swept his volley wide of Kelleher’s post.
HT: Chelsea 0-0 Liverpool
The chances kept coming for Mount, and minutes after the restart, smart movement from the mulleted midfielder found him in space, only to sidefoot it against the post when one-on-one with Kelleher.
Before the half-hour mark, Chelsea were forced into a change as the returning Reece James replaced an injured Cesar Azpilicueta, throwing the Englishman into a big test against a lively Diaz.
An awful kick from Mendy led to a one-on-one for Salah rushing through, but the No. 11 put too little onto his chip and a retreating Thiago Silva made it there to clear.
The Red’s boss turned to the cavalry, with James Milner and Harvey Elliott – who wasn’t even on the teamsheet when it was initially printed – sent on to shake up the midfield and Diogo Jota took over from Mane.
The game grew more intense, and the addition of six minutes for stoppage time was followed by a stunning save from Mendy to deny Van Dijk’s header and one from Kelleher to thwart Romelu Lukaku in an unmissable climax.
On to extra time, then, and Jurgen Klopp again turned to his bench as Ibrahima Konate swapped in for Matip in a clear effort to counter the added pace of Timo Werner on the left.
The first 15 minutes was an attritional affair, though Lukaku had a goal ruled out for offside, with the tiring legs clearly showing for both sides.
However, with penalty shootout almost due, Mendy made way for Kepa, which saw the Spaniard blaze over the 22nd spot-kick to hand the League Cup to Liverpool.
TIA Man of the Match: Caoimhin Kelleher
Referee: Stuart Attwell
Chelsea: Mendy (Kepa 119′); Chalobah, Silva, Rudiger; Azpilicueta (James 57′), Kante, Kovacic (Jorginho 106′), Alonso; Pulisic (Lukaku 73′), Mount (Werner 73′), Havertz
Subs not used: Sarr, Loftus-Cheek, Saul, Hudson-Odoi
Liverpool: Kelleher; Alexander-Arnold, Matip (Konate 91′), Van Dijk, Robertson;Fabinho, Henderson (Elliott 79′), Keita (Milner 80′); Salah, Diaz (Origi 97′), Mane (Jota 80′)
Subs not used: Alisson, Tsimikas, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Minamino
Next match: Norwich (H) – FA Cup – Wednesday, March 2, 8.15 pm (GMT)
In other news, 4 talking points from Jurgen Klopp’s Leeds Press Conference