Another grandstand night for Kelleher in a shoot-out
"He saved our life."
Cork's Caoimhin Kelleher saved two penalties in the shoot-out to help Liverpool past Leicester and through to the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup. In a rare start, the 23-year-old seized his chance by saving spot-kicks from Luke Thomas and Ryan Bertrand as the reds kept their brilliant recent run going.
It had looked for large parts as if a depleted Liverpool side were going to come unstuck, with Jamie Vardy scoring two early goals to give Leicester the advantage but as they so often do, Jurgen Klopp's side clawed their way back into it. Alex Oxlade Chamberlain started the comeback with a belter from the edge of the box only for James Madisson, with a screamer from 30 yards, putting daylight between the sides again.
But this Liverpool team are never beaten. Diogo Jota is the man of the moment and he finished well after being set up by Takumi Minamino, who then levelled things up with a beautiful volley late on.
There was no extra-time scheduled so the tie was settled with a penalty shoot-out. There were some brilliant spot-kicks taken before Kelleher, for a third time, delivered the goods for his team in a shoot-out.
The Ireland goalkeeper will be slightly disappointed with Jamie Vardy's first goal, which he got a hand to and couldn't keep out, but composed himself well from there on. He made some fine saves as Leicester piled on the pressure in the second half and having been the hero in the shoot-out, he was congratulated by his team-mates and was hailed by his manager.
"It is not the first time he was part of these spectacular games, against Arsenal in 2019 it was similar but this a step forward and he saved our life, he was really helpful tonight. He is an outstanding goalkeeper," said Klopp.
'Atta boy Caoimhin 👊pic.twitter.com/z1Fo1vN7cI
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) December 23, 2021
Say no more. Well done boys!! Semi Final next 👏 https://t.co/G7miZF94Ph
— Virgil van Dijk (@VirgilvDijk) December 22, 2021
Not a bad night's work at all.