Liverpool win the League Cup for the first time under Jürgen Klopp. The Reds beat Chelsea and Thomas Tuchel only on penalties. There the Chelsea goalkeeper becomes a tragic figure.
02/27/2022 | Starting at 9:23 p.m.
Jürgen Klopp danced radiantly in front of the stands after the final whistle, Wembley Stadium flashed red. Liverpool won the English League Cup for the first time under the German manager.
The Reds beat Thomas Tuchel’s FC Chelsea on penalties 11:10 into extra time. In front of 85,512 spectators at London’s atmospheric Wembley Stadium, the two teams contested a fast-paced match and one of the most entertaining League Cup finals in years. “You also have to be lucky,” Klopp told Sky Sports. “We were lucky. The match could have ended 5-5.”
Kepa becomes a tragic figure
Ironically, Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa, who came on for the penalty shoot-out, missed the winning shot after all 21 shooters had previously scored from the spot. No goal was scored during regulation time and 30 minutes of extra time. Chelsea, with German international Kai Havertz up front and Klopp’s team featuring attacking stars Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané and Luis Díaz, had traded blows at times with top-tier chances on both sides.
An alleged goal by former Schalke player Joel Matip for the Reds was disallowed after video evidence because Virgil van Dijk was offside. Two goals from the strong Havertz and a goal from substitute Romelu Lukaku did not count for the Blues.
In England, the League Cup is considered quite insignificant compared to the FA Cup. However, both coaches played near their best level. Instead of the usual goalkeeper Alisson, Klopp let his representative Caoimhin Kelleher play in goal for the Reds.
“Caoimhin Kelleher is a young boy who has played the entire competition. What should I do?” Klopp explained about the move. “He deserves it.” At Chelsea, goalkeeper Edouard Mendy made spectacular saves to keep his team from falling behind before ushering the unlucky Kepa between the posts.
Solidarity with Ukraine
The game was overshadowed by the war in Ukraine. Before kick-off, the teams and spectators at Wembley expressed their solidarity with Ukraine. The screens in the stadium say “Football Stands Together” in blue and yellow. Thousands of fans joined in the song “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, which is also Liverpool’s anthem. Ukrainian flags could be seen in the stands.
On Saturday, Chelsea’s Russian owner Roman Abramovich, accused of being close to Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin, handed over control of the club from London. Due to the war in Ukraine, calls have been made in Britain to impose sanctions on the Russian billionaire. Chelsea FC is reportedly not for sale yet.
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