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.
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
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.
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
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