“He deserves it” – Jurgen Klopp lauds young Liverpool star for his display against Chelsea
Liverpool won the game 11-10 on penalties after the two sides played out a 0-0 draw in regulation time. Kelleher was preferred over Alisson on the night and was called upon multiple times to keep the Reds in the game. The Irishman pulled off some incredible saves during the game, including one particularly from Romelu Lukaku in the 95th minute to keep the scores level.
Speaking after the game, Klopp was full of praise for his backup goalkeeper, saying that he deserved to be chosen after his outstanding performance. He said:
“Even in professional football there should be space for some sentiment. Caoimhin Kelleher is a young boy, plays in all the competition, what do I do? I am two things, a professional manager and a human being and the human being won. It is so nice that it [his inclusion] paid off. He deserves it. At the training centre we have a wall that all goalkeepers are on who won something and Caoimhin can go on it – that’s how it should be – absolutely great.”
With Alisson being one of the best goalkeepers in the world, Kelleher has found games hard to come by during his time at Liverpool. The shot-stopper has, however, been Klopp’s first-choice in cup competitions.
The German manager’s decision to start the Irishman in a game of such magnitude paid off, given the 23-year old’s performance against Chelsea on the night. The Reds will take on Norwich City in the fifth round of the FA Cup in midweek, with Kelleher likely to start in goal.
“That could have been 5-5” – Klopp on Liverpool’s clash against Chelsea
Despite neither side finding the back of the net, Liverpool and Chelsea were both firing on all cylinders during the game. If not for Kelleher and Blues shot-stopper Edouard Mendy’s performances in net, both sides could have scored multiple goals on the night.
Klopp acknowledged that this could have been the case, but admitted that winning the game under such circumstances made Liverpool’s triumph even sweeter. He said:
“I am happy for the people to celebrate something like this. Chelsea are incredibly strong, we matched each other. That is the start, we are not silly. We need to have luck – we had luck, that could have been 5-5.”
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