Carabao Cup: Liverpool’s final hero believes beating Chelsea is just the start

Kelleher celebrates with match-winner Van Dijk after Liverpool's Carabao Cup win over Chelsea (Credit: Imago/PA Images)

Carabao Cup: Liverpool’s final hero believes beating Chelsea is just the start

Seye Omidiora 13:07 - 26.02.2024

Jurgen Klopp’s Reds got the better of Chelsea in Sunday’s Carabao Cup final, prompting the remarks from their player of the match.

Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher feels Sunday’s Carabao Cup triumph over Chelsea could motivate the Reds to chase success in their ambition to claim multiple trophies in Jurgen Klopp’s final season.

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Liverpool beat Chelsea in Carabao Cup final

The Merseyside club needed a Virgil van Dijk header late in extra time to seal a 1-0 success over Mauricio Pochettino’s young side when penalties seemed imminent.

Kelleher has often been Liverpool’s hero in the domestic cups, notably winning the 2022 final for Klopp’s side against Chelsea, and his heroics were pivotal on Sunday, as he made no less than nine saves in 120 minutes, notably denying Conor Gallagher in the final minutes of regulation time.

What Kelleher said after Carabao Cup success

The Liverpool stand-in goalkeeper was lauded as “world-class” by Van Dijk in the lead-up to the final, and Kelleher did not disappoint on Sunday. Speaking after the game, the Republic of Ireland man hopes the team build on the hard-fought victory over the Blues.

“It’s a great kickstart for the rest of the season,” said the goalkeeper to the club website. “We still have plenty of competitions we want to go and do well in and win some, so moments like this give you extra motivation to want to go and do it again.

“The reaction with the fans and the whole team, how buzzing everyone was, I think that kind of sums it up. It’s a great way to kickstart the rest of the season, and we are delighted.”

Carabao Cup
Caoimhin Kelleher denied Chelsea's Cole Palmer from point-blank range in Liverpool's Carabao Cup final triumph over the Blues (Credit: Imago/Xinhua)

Kelleher, 25, was voted Player of the Match by Liverpool supporters, and the goalkeeper was pleased with his contribution and revealed he was readying himself for another shootout against Chelsea.

“It wasn’t bad. Obviously I’m happy to help the team and that’s what you have to do, the shot-stopper remarked. In the big moments, you have to step up and make saves.

“As we got the corner I thought this was probably it, our last chance, as there wasn’t long left. I’m happy for my heart [that] we got it, unlike last time [in 2022]!”

Carabao Cup
Caoimhin Kelleher's Carabao Cup final contribution was recognised by supporters in an online poll on the Liverpool website (Credit: Imago/Propaganda Photo)

What comes next for Liverpool and Kelleher after Carabao Cup success?

Kelleher should remain in goal for Liverpool’s FA Cup clash with Southampton at Anfield on Wednesday. Klopp’s men return to Premier League action with a trip to Nottingham Forest on March 2 before facing Manchester City nine days later.

Liverpool's fixture against Pep Guardiola's men is crammed between their Europa League round of 16 double-header with Sparta Prague on March 7 and 14, with a trip to Everton following the continental clash before next month's international break.