Liverpool manager Klopp hails 'outstanding' keeper Kelleher

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp hails ‘outstanding’ keeper Caoimhin Kelleher after he saved TWO penalty kicks in shootout win over Leicester to help the Reds set up Carabao Cup a semi-final with Arsenal

  • Coaoimhin Kelleher saved two penalties from Luke Thomas and Ryan Bertand
  • Liverpool won 5-4 in the shootout after a dramatic 3-3 draw in regular time
  • Takumi Minamino equalised for the Reds in the fifth minute of stoppage time
  • The Reds will now face Arsenal in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup in January
  • Boss Jurgen Klopp admits he would prefer the game to take place over one leg 

Jurgen Klopp hailed goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher as his heroics propelled Liverpool into the Carabao Cup semi-finals – and added to their mounting fixture list.

Liverpool will play Arsenal in the last four after reaching this stage of the competition for the first time since 2017 after they twice came from behind to draw 3-3 with Leicester before winning the ensuing penalty shootout 5-4 – Kelleher saved spot-kicks from Luke Thomas and Ryan Bertrand.

The semi-finals are set to be staged on January 5 and January 12, in the usual two-legged format. Last year, the competition had one-off semi-finals and Klopp would be delighted if that was repeated this time to free up some space in the calendar.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp punches the air in celebration after his side’s win over Leicester

Klopp congratulates keeper Caoimhin Kelleher after excellent penalty shootout display

Liverpool’s back-up goalkeeper saved two spot-kicks in a 5-4 shootout win at Anfield

There is Premier League managers meeting scheduled for Thursday afternoon, in which many issues will be discussed., but Klopp is not expecting any changes to be made to the schedule. He has promised Liverpool will attack the competition in the manner they approached this game.

Klopp said: ‘I think it would be better with one game absolutely, but obviously what I say is not too important. If there are two games, then we will play two games. But it would be helpful if there was only one, true.’

Liverpool looked to be dead and buried when an inexperienced team fell two goals behind in the opening 13 minutes but they mounted a huge comeback in the second half and Taki Minamino’s equaliser in the fifth minute of stoppage time paved the way for them to win the shootout.

Takumi Minamino’s goal in the fifth minute of added time set up a shootout after a 3-3 draw

Kelleher had pushed an effort from Luke Thomas onto the crossbar for Liverpool

He then denied Ryan Bertrand at the same corner to put the Reds on the brink of progression

‘Of course it is important, but he is an outstanding goalkeeper,’ said Klopp. ‘I don’t want to say any more he is a talent but he is an outstanding goalie, good with his feet, good game understanding.

‘It is nice. It is not the first time he was part of these spectacular games, against Arsenal it was similar but this a step forward and he saved our life, he was really helpful.

‘I’m really really happy, really happy with the performance, with the spirit, the mentality. In a lot of moments with the football it was difficult for us in the first half as we had to make a lot of changes.’

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