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27th Feb 2022

Liverpool win Carabao Cup after dramatic penalty shootout victory over Chelsea

Daniel Brown

Liverpool won the final 11-10 on penalties

Liverpool won the 2022 Carabao Cup final after a dramatic penalty shootout win against Chelsea.

The game went to penalties after a goalless 120 minutes, with the Reds securing an 11-10 victory after all outfield players scored their spot-kicks.

It came down to the goalkeepers and Caoimhin Kelleher scored a stunning penalty, before Kepa saw his effort fly high over the crossbar.

The Reds were hit with an injury set-back prior to kick-off when Thiago, who was set to start in midfield alongside captain Jordan Henderson and Fabinho, got injured in the warm-up.

The Spaniard was replaced by Naby Keita in the starting line-up, with talented youngster Harvey Elliott being named on the bench in his place.

Romelu Lukaku had to settle for a place on the bench, while Reece James – who had been out injured since before the new year – was forced into action in the second period, with César Azpilicueta picking up an injury.

It was Chelsea who started the final on top and the Blues should’ve taken the lead in the opening stages when Christian Pulisic was denied by Kelleher from close range after some great play by Kai Havertz.

However, Liverpool began to assert themselves in the tie and dominated towards the end of the first-half.

Sadio Mane came close to putting Jurgen Klopp’s side in front, only for Chelsea shot-stopper Edouard Mendy to make a stunning double save to deny him from close range.

Despite the Reds enjoying the majority of possession towards the end of the first-half, Mason Mount missed a glorious chance to put the Blues in the lead. The England international couldn’t direct his volley on target and his effort flew narrowly wide of the post.

Chelsea started the second period in control and created the first opportunity of the half, however, Mount was again unable to convert as his shot bounced off the post.

The midfielder did well to beat the offside trap, but he slightly scuffed his shot – much to the delight of the stranded Kelleher.

Liverpool withstood the Blues’ pressure and had a great opportunity to open the scoring. Mohamed Salah was put through on goal by Mane, but the Egyptian’s attempted lob was comfortably cleared by the back-tracking Thiago Silva.

After putting Thomas Tuchel’s side under immense pressure, the Reds had the ball in the back the net thanks to Joël Matip’s close range header. However, the goal was disallowed after Virgil van Dijk, who was adjudged to have played a part in the goal, was seen to have been in an offside position.

Shortly after, it was Chelsea who had the ball in the back of the net, only for their goal to be ruled out for offside. Timo Werner – who entered the game as a substitute – delivered an inviting cross which was converted by Havertz, but Werner came from an offside position.

With the game goalless after 90 minutes, the tie went to extra-time. Substitute Lukaku became the third player to see his effort hit the back of the net, but the Belgian was adjudged to have been offside and the goal was ruled out.

In the second-half of extra-time, Chelsea once again had a goal ruled out for offside. Havertz finished smartly, but, unlike with some of the other disallowed, he was clearly offside.

The game went to penalties, and the drama certainly did not stop there. With all outfield players scoring their spot-kicks, it came down to the goalkeepers.

Kelleher converted his penalty with a lovely finish, before Kepa – who replaced Mendy towards the end of the match – saw his spot-kick fly high over the crossbar to hand Liverpool the 2022 Carabao Cup.