Jurgen Klopp showered praise on Caoimhin Kelleher after Liverpool’s win in the Carabao Cup final against Chelsea, insisting he deserves the adulation.
Speaking after Liverpool’s big win in the Carabao Cup final against Chelsea, as quoted by Daily Mail, Jurgen Klopp was quick to hail Caoimhin Kelleher. The Liverpool boss said that the Irish goalkeeper deserves the admiration that will come his way while adding that the 23-year-old has earned his place on the goalkeeping wall of champions at the club’s training centre.
The Carabao Cup final on Sunday was one of the most exhilarating endings to a domestic tournament in a long time. Chelsea and Liverpool traded blows throughout regulation time, only for the game to end level just as it had started, with the scoreline reading 0-0.
The two goalkeepers, Edouard Mendy and Caoimhin Kelleher, were in inspired form, playing out of their skins to ensure they did not have to pick the ball out from their goal in agony at any point in the game. Extra time passed, and the score remained intact, meaning the fate of the 2021/22 Carabao Cup was to be decided through a penalty shootout.
During the shootout, all the outfield players converted their spot-kicks without much fuss, leaving the onus on the goalkeepers with the 11th individual penalties. And Kelleher slotted home his penalty emphatically to set up a nervy finale.
🗣 "I am two things a professional football manager and a human being and a human being won."
Jurgen Klopp on why he decided to stick with Caoimhin Kelleher in goal for the final pic.twitter.com/tlfWeUp9HH
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) February 27, 2022
Kepa Arrizabalaga, who Thomas Tuchel had introduced as a penalty shootout specialist and later defended, missed his, meaning Liverpool beat Chelsea by the barest of margins to take home the Carabao Cup. And following the win, Jurgen Klopp was quick to heap praise on Kelleher.
The Liverpool boss said, “Even in professional football there should be space for some sentiment. Caoimhin Kelleher is a young boy, plays in all the competition, what do I do? I am two things, a professional manager and a human being and the human being won. He deserves it.”
“At the training centre we have a wall that all goalkeepers are on who won something and Caoimhin can go on it – that’s how it should be – absolutely great. I am happy for the people to celebrate something like this. Chelsea are incredibly strong, we matched each other.”
Klopp took a brave decision to pick Kelleher ahead of Alisson Becker in such a big game. But the Liverpool boss was adamant that the Irishman had earned his place following his exploits in the previous round. The 23-year-old eventually justified Klopp’s faith in him by becoming Liverpool’s Carabao Cup hero and will now look forward to featuring in the FA Cup this week.