Klopp: Caoimhín Kelleher deserves to start cup final for Liverpool

Pool boss considers the Cork keeper 'an outstanding goalie'
Klopp: Caoimhín Kelleher deserves to start cup final for Liverpool

Caoimhín Kelleher has impressed every time he's started for Liverpool. Picture: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

JURGEN Klopp has confirmed that Caoimhín Kelleher will start next month’s Carabao Cup final against Chelsea at Wembley Stadium.

This follows an impressive display by the goalkeeper against Arsenal in the second leg of the semi-finals at the Emirates Stadium.

The Liverpool manager also took the time to heap praise on the Corkonian, who signed a long-term deal at the club last summer.

“Caoimhín will play, if he is fit,” he told The Athletic. “As a football manager you have to consider a lot of things and one of the things is we consider Caoimhín an outstanding goalie. Not a good goalie, an outstanding goalie, and we want to keep him here.

“And to keep him you need to make sure of a few things. Before a season you need to think and talk about about the different games he will get.

“It is all about performing of course. If he didn’t perform on the level he performed then I would maybe think differently. But he has shown he deserves all the trust and faith that we have in him. I didn’t think about it properly, but my idea in this moment is to play him.

I don’t see any reason why we should not do that. Caoimhín deserves that. He brought the team there.” 

Kelleher will be going into the final after an impressive run in this season’s competition, which saw him play against Norwich City, Leicester City, and Arsenal.

Last Thursday, the goalkeeper played 90 minutes at the Emirates Stadium on a night which saw two goals from Diogo Jota give Liverpool a 2-0 win.

Kelleher was involved from the first whistle as he passed the ball out to Virgil van Dijk and Joël Matip to kick-start Liverpool’s attacks. He was called into action in the fourth minute when Arsenal won a free-kick in front of the penalty area. 

Alexandre Lacazette hit this and the ball curled towards the top corner of the goal. Kelleher sprung off his line instantly and clawed it away from danger, saving Liverpool.

Picture: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images
Picture: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images

The Cork-man then played the pass which set up the opening goal at the Emirates Stadium. Kelleher passed to Matip who played a quick pass to Roberto Firmino, who flicked the ball into the path of Trent Alexander Arnold. 

The full-back then set up Jota who finished the move by cutting inside and then hitting the ball into the far corner of the goal. It was an excellent team goal, which began with the touch of Kelleher inside his own box.

The Leesider had a quiet second half, with his biggest moment coming from a stern save to deny Gabriel Martinelli from a tight angle.

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