Liverpool shot-stopper Kelleher beams after EFL Cup win
Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher expressed his delight after netting the winning penalty in the Reds' dramatic EFL Cup final win.
Caoimhin Kelleher expressed his delight after netting the winning penalty in Liverpool's EFL Cup final triumph over Chelsea, acknowledging he did not realise that his spot-kick had proven decisive at the time.
The enthralling Wembley showpiece saw four goals disallowed across a goalless 120 minutes before 21 consecutive penalties were scored in an incredible penalty shoot-out.
Kelleher, who started the game ahead of Alisson as Jurgen Klopp kept faith with the man who had helped the Reds to Wembley, converted the 21st spot-kick.
Kepa Arrizabalaga was brought on to replace Edouard Mendy specifically for the shoot-out deep into extra-time but shot over to hand Liverpool their first domestic cup in 10 years.
Kelleher the match winner for Liverpool
Kelleher told Sky Sports in the aftermath that he was delighted with the success, but admitted he had not realised that he was the match-winner at the time.
"I thought I'd saved one, I got close to a few and then when it came down to me, I didn't even realise I'd scored the winning penalty!", he said.
"I forgot that I'd scored the winning one, all the penalties from the lads were class, and I was just happy to score."
Keeper hits and hopes
When asked if he had channelled his youth as an outfield player when taking his kick, the 23-year-old responded: "I think it was more hit and hope!
"I got a hand on a few, but all the penalties were very high quality, and I'm just thankful we were able to win.
"I thought we had scored when we got that goal [Joel Matip's second-half disallowed effort], and it was obviously disallowed. They had a few disallowed too, so I think over the game a draw was a fair result."
Kelleher also revealed his exchange with Klopp after the tense finale, with the Liverpool manager telling his young keeper that he had written his name into the club's history.
"He [Klopp] just said 'well done for scoring the winning penalty, there's a wall at Liverpool with all the goalkeepers who have managed to win cups, and he said 'now's your chance to join them!'," he added.
The 11-10 shoot-out win over Chelsea represented the highest-scoring penalty shoot-out in history between two English top-flight teams, with Liverpool's backup keeper eventually proving the unlikely hero in the Reds' record ninth EFL Cup win.