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Chelsea 0-0 Liverpool (10-11 pens): Reds win the League Cup!

Liverpool and Chelsea played out a tough, high-quality League Cup final with a number of goals ruled out for offside, leading to a 11-10 shootout win for the Reds.

Chelsea 0-0 Liverpool (10-11 on pens)

League Cup Final, Wembley
February 27, 2022

After the captivating drama of their run to Wembley, it all came down to a clash with Chelsea as Liverpool sought their first trophy of the season, and they were dealt an early blow as Thiago pulled out during the warmup.

With both sets of supporters in fine voice, the game kicked off at a frenetic tempo, and Caoimhin Kelleher was required to pull off a strong point-blank save to keep out Christian Pulisic.

Liverpool gained real control as the half went on, with Luis Diaz a constant threat on the left as he troubled Trevoh Chalobah, the counter-pressing game wearing out their opposition.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 27, 2022: Liverpool's Sadio Mané shoots over the bar during the Football League Cup Final match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Wembley Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A huge double save from Edouard Mendy kept the scores level on the half-hour mark, first from Naby Keita‘s long-range drive and then Sadio Mane‘s close-range effort – which, in truth, the No. 10 should have converted.

And a big chance fell for Chelsea at the end of the half, but after Mane’s dithering offered them an opportunity to break, Mason Mount swept his volley wide of Kelleher’s post.

HT: Chelsea 0-0 Liverpool

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 27, 2022: Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk (L) challenges for a header with Chelsea's Christian Pulisic during the Football League Cup Final match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Wembley Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The chances kept coming for Mount, and minutes after the restart, smart movement from the mulleted midfielder found him in space, only to sidefoot it against the post when one-on-one with Kelleher.

Before the hour, Chelsea were forced into a change as the returning Reece James replaced an injured Cesar Azpilicueta, throwing the Englishman into a big test against a lively Diaz.

An awful kick from Mendy led to a one-on-one for Salah rushing through, but the No. 11 put too little onto his chip and a retreating Thiago Silva made it there to clear.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 27, 2022: Liverpool's Joel Matip scores the first goal, but it is disallowed, during the Football League Cup Final match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Wembley Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool thought they had got themselves in front soon after, as Joel Matip crashed it into the roof of the net, only for the goal to be ruled out for a minor infringement from Virgil van Dijk.

Klopp turned to the cavalry, with James Milner and Harvey Elliott – who wasn’t even on the teamsheet when it was initially printed – sent on to shake up the midfield and Diogo Jota took over from Mane.

The game grew tense, and the addition of six minutes for stoppage time was followed by a stunning save from Mendy to deny Van Dijk’s header and one from Kelleher to thwart Romelu Lukaku in an unmissable climax.

FT: Chelsea 0-0 Liverpool

2HT8XKX London, UK. 27th Feb, 2022. Liverpool celebrate winning the Carabao Cup Final match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Wembley Stadium on February 27th 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Chesterton/ Credit: PHC Images/Alamy Live News

On to extra time, then, and Klopp again turned to his bench as Ibrahima Konate swapped in for Matip in a clear effort to counter the added pace of Timo Werner on the left.

The first 15 minutes was an attritional affair, though Lukaku had a goal ruled out for offside, with the tiring legs clearly showing for both sides.

A late substitution, with Mendy making way for Kepa, paved the way for a penalty shootout, which saw the Spaniard blaze over the 22th spot-kick to hand the League Cup to Liverpool.

TIA Man of the Match: Caoimhin Kelleher

Referee: Stuart Attwell

Chelsea: Mendy (Kepa 119′); Chalobah, Silva, Rudiger; Azpilicueta (James 57′), Kante, Kovacic (Jorginho 106′), Alonso; Pulisic (Lukaku 73′), Mount (Werner 73′), Havertz

Subs not used: Sarr, Loftus-Cheek, Saul, Hudson-Odoi

Liverpool: Kelleher; Alexander-Arnold, Matip (Konate 91′), Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson (Elliott 79′), Keita (Milner 80′); Salah, Diaz (Origi 97′), Mane (Jota 80′)

Subs not used: Alisson, Tsimikas, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Minamino

Next match: Norwich (H) – FA Cup – Wednesday, March 2, 8.15pm (GMT)

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