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Liverpool Are The Carabao Cup Winners

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Liverpool Are The Carabao Cup Winners

Liverpool won the Carabao Cup on penalties, with Kepa Arrizabalaga missed a penalty, three years after refusing to come off as a substitute.

The Reds, along with Chelsea, played out an incredible final at Wembley, that saw four goals ruled out for offside and somehow went all the way to penalties.

Jurgen Klopp's side had the better of much of the game but the Blues arguably had the better chances and their own chances to win the game.

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The two sides were so tight that all 10 of the outfield players who were left on the pitch scored their penalties, and it went down to the keepers.

Kepa had famously refused to come off in the 2019 final, against Manchester City, but was brought on in extra time by Tuchel for the spot kicks, but only came close to saving the penultimate effort, and should have done.

Caoimhin Kelleher's effort was absolutely perfect and left the Spain keeper needing to score to take it back to the original takers, but the 27-year-old blasted his penalty over the bar.

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It was a strange start to the final, not least with Manchester City not in the final for the first time in five years, with Thiago removed from Liverpool's starting line up just before kick off, after getting injured in the warm up.

The Spanish midfielder was spotted on the television cameras in tears just ahead of kick off, as missing out on the occasion suddenly caught up with him.

Caoimhin Kelleher, chosen ahead of Alisson as Jurgen Klopp's cup goalkeeper, saved from Christian Pulisic after just seven minutes, when the American maybe should have scored.

There was some controversy when some felt Naby Keita had elbowed Mason Mount but the referee correctly saw it as a foul by the Chelsea midfielder.

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It was Edouard Mendy who stole the headlines in the first half as the Chelsea keeper, playing in his third final in four matches for club and country, made an outstanding double save just after the half hour mark.

The Reds had a dominant spell in the middle of the half but Mount should have put his side ahead on half time, somehow hitting his shot wide unmarked in the box after a great run and superb work from Pulisic and Kai Havertz.

It was Mount again who really should have opened the scoring after half time, breaking the opposition offside trap to find himself in the centre of the area with only Kelleher to beat, only to shoot against the foot of the post.

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More controversy surrounded Keita, as this time the midfielder, only starting due to Thiago's injury, seemed to catch Trevoh Chalobah high on the thigh with his studs, but the referee didn't seem to think it was too bad.

Thiago Silva then saved Mendy's blushes, as the keeper failed to come off his line and allowed Mohamed Salah to bear down on goal, and chip the Senegal number one, only for the Brazilian defender to race back and clear off the line.

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However just minutes later Klopp's side thought they had the lead, with Joel Matip heading home after Trent Alexander-Arnold's free kick was headed across goal.

VAR had other ideas though, as it noticed that Virgil van Dijk was in an offside position when the free kick was taken, and blocking off one of the Chelsea defenders who might have got to Mane.

Liverpool were again having all of the chances but soon it was Chelsea's turn to be thwarted, after thinking they'd taken the lead from Havertz header.

As soon as the ball dropped just over the line, the assistant referee's flag went up, as Timo Werner had been offside from Matteo Kovacic's ball, before crossing for Havertz.

With extra time looming, Mendy made a huge save once again, the time palming away a brilliant header, after Virgil van Dijk got on the end of a corner.

Romelu Lukaku, on as a substitute, thought he'd given Thomas Tuchel's side the lead when he slotted home in the eighth minute of extra time, only for the offside flag to go up on his run.

VAR checked whether or not he was and it looked for a moment like Van Dijk had just kept him on, but in the end the Belgian striker was on the wrong side of the line.

And a fourth goal was ruled out in the second half of the additional 30 minutes, as this time Havertz was in an offside position when he slotted home, not that Thomas Tuchel realised at first.

Then came the moment when Kepa, who refused to come off the pitch in the final three years ago, came on as a substitute deep in extra time.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Carabao Cup, Chelsea, Liverpool

Ryan Sidle
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