Cork's Caoimhin Kelleher plays his part for Liverpool with a penalty save in their win over Norwich

Cork's Caoimhin Kelleher plays his part for Liverpool with a penalty save in their win over Norwich

Liverpool's Irish goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher

Norwich 0

Liverpool 3

FORMER Ringmahon Rangers star Caoimhin Kelleher proved his worth once again to Liverpool and manager Jurgen Klopp with a super penalty save in the game at Norwich when this third round Carabao Cup tie was in the balance with Liverpool leading one nil, but under pressure from Norwich.

Kelleher came to his side's rescue with a superb penalty save to deny the home side a way back into the game when he saved a Christos Tzolis penalty just before half time.

As well as saving a penalty, Kelleher looked very assured all night and is more than ready to step in full time if Alisson gets injured.

Takumi Minamino hit a brace and Origi also scored as Liverpool won comfortably.

The all-Premier League clash had the caveat of both clubs making wholesale changes, 18 in total, and one of those Minamino fired the Reds ahead inside four minutes.

Jurgen Klopp's side almost conceded before the break when the Canaries forced a spot-kick, but Kelleher came to the rescue and Divock Origi's first goal in 12 months was followed by a second for Minamino to clinch the win.

A minute's applause took place before the game for the late Jimmy Greaves, who died on Sunday but remains the leading goalscorer in England's top flight with 366 goals.

Greaves made his professional debut as a teenager and Liverpool's Kaide Gordon, also an attacker, did the same in Norfolk but a year younger aged only 16.

On the right of a front three alongside Minamino and Origi, the former Derby trainee saw his fellow forwards combine inside four minutes for the opener.

Left-back Kostas Tsimikas drilled a corner towards the penalty spot and Origi headed down for Minamino to shoot home on the turn from six yards.

It was a nightmare start for Daniel Farke's men, who had ditched their usual 4-3-3 formation for three at the back in an attempt to arrest their poor form but saw the visitors dominate the early exchanges with Ibrahima Konate heading over a good chance with 13 on the clock.

Liverpool's Takumi Minamino celebrates scoring their side's third goal of the game with team-mates during the Carabao Cup third round match at Carrow Road, Norwich. P Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire.
Liverpool's Takumi Minamino celebrates scoring their side's third goal of the game with team-mates during the Carabao Cup third round match at Carrow Road, Norwich. P Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire.

Youngster Gordon provided a glimpse of his potential with a neat dribble to get away from Billy Gilmour before he rifled a low drive past the post.

Tzolis had been Norwich's most dangerous player and a clever flick created a chance for Adam Idah but he could only curl straight at Kelleher.

The Canaries pair were involved again on the stroke of half-time when the hosts won a penalty after Conor Bradley, another teenage debutant for Liverpool, brought down Dimitris Giannoulis.

Greek international Tzolis stepped up but Kelleher saved the spot-kick with his legs before Reds captain for the night Joe Gomez slid in to deflect Idah's follow-up effort over in the 42nd minute.

Norwich were initially in the ascendancy after the break and Pierre Lees-Melou inexplicably blazed over with only Kelleher to beat. It proved decisive and three minutes later Liverpool doubled their lead.

Andrew Robertson's deputy Tsimikas continued to make the most of his opportunity and again got to the byline where he chipped in for Origi to head into the far corner with 50 minutes played.

It was the Belgian's first goal in 12 months having last scored against Lincoln at the same stage of the competition last year.

Origi almost turned provider minutes later when he found Gordon inside the area but the debutant snatched at the chance and sliced over.

Liverpool's Ibrahima Konate (left) and Norwich City's Adam Idah battle for the ball during the Carabao Cup third round match at Carrow Road, Norwich.
Liverpool's Ibrahima Konate (left) and Norwich City's Adam Idah battle for the ball during the Carabao Cup third round match at Carrow Road, Norwich.

After a raft of changes, Minamino added gloss to the scoreline with 10 minutes left when he dribbled into the area and poked past Angus Gunn to make it 3-0.

It ensured Klopp's side cruised into the fourth round with various debuts handed out and key men rested ahead of the trip to Brentford while Norwich suffered a sixth defeat this season in another dent to their fragile confidence.

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