We all need to catch our breaths after that Carabao Cup final. After an absolutely amazing 120 minutes ended 0-0, Kepa Arrizabalaga blazed the 22nd penalty of an incredible shootout over the bar, to give Jurgen Klopp his first domestic cup as manager of Liverpool.
It was an even game throughout with both goalkeepers excelling in regulation time, and in extra time. It was scarcely believable that 120 minutes couldn’t produce a goal. What followed was also scarcely believable penalty precision form both sides, until Kepa gave the Reds their big Wembley moment, ten years on from their last.
Here’s how each players fared for the Reds.
Caoimhin Kelleher – 10/10
On the biggest night of his career, Kelleher came through with absolute flying colours to justify Klopp’s faith in him. Made a stunning point-blank save off Pulisic early in the game, and in injury time, stuck out a big left boot to deny Lukaku a certain winner. What a penalty as well! The boy has well and truly become a man.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 6/10
Did struggle defensively for most of the game, with Chelsea targeting his flank. Always a menace with his set-pieces, and provided a stunning cross for Mane in the first half.
Joel Matip – 6/10
Got caught out while trying to win the ball too high up the field, and then left space open behind him. Unlucky to have his goal ruled out for a very marginal offside call.
Virgil van Dijk – 8/10
Watch him defend, watch him absolutely blast the stuffing out of that net! That glorious penalty was a fitting way to cap off his night, which was marked with imperious defending throughout.
Andy Robertson – 6/10
Not too much quality on the ball from him in this game, with a lot of crosses being underhit. Put in the usual non-stop shift though.
Fabinho – 8/10
Fabinho did what Fabinho does. A watchful shield, a worthy protector for the back four. So many interceptions, so many tackles, priceless. Also, how on earth do you summon the cojones to take a penalty like that on a stage like that?
Naby Keita – 6/10
Started the game really slowly, but then grew into it. Drew a superb save from Mendy with a superb shot that was heading into the bottom corner.
Jordan Henderson – 6/10
Nothing spectacular from Henderson, but no glaring mistakes or systemic failures either.
Mohamed Salah – 6/10
Just wasn’t his night. Rudiger proved a tough nut to crack on his own, let alone when Salah was having two or three others by his side. Should’ve done better with the one-on-one that he chipped over Mendy with insufficient force.
Sadio Mane – 6/10
Worked hard, was strong up against Thiago Silva, but should’ve given the Reds the lead in the first half, when he saw himself denied from close range by Mendy.
Luis Diaz – 9/10
What a performance! He ran himself to the ground, absolutely terrorised Chalobah with his pace and trickery, and didn’t look out of place at all in the biggest game of his short Liverpool career so far. We’ve got a player on our hands!
Harvey Elliott – 6/10
Didn’t do much apart from being involved in a scrap with Havertz. But what a night for him, which started with him not even being slated to play, before Thiago’s injury.
James Milner – 6/10
Came on to midway through the second half and put himself about into a few tackles, and one wayward shot.
Diogo Jota – 5/10
First off, it’s great that he’s back from his injury. Penalty aside though, he would’ve hoped to have a bigger impact.
Ibrahima Konate – 6/10
What a battle he had with Lukaku, which he came out of reasonably well.
Divock Origi – 5/10
No heroics with a winner in a final this time.