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22 penalties! Liverpool beat Chelsea to win English League Cup



22 penalties!  Liverpool beat Chelsea to win English League Cup

Jürgen Klopp beat Thomas Tuchel in the German coaching duel and won the English League Cup with Liverpool. In the final at London’s Wembley Stadium, the Reds beat club world champions FC Chelsea on penalties 11:10 (0:0, 0:0) – because goalkeeper Kepa, who had been substituted by Tuchel as the alleged penalty killer, failed in the decisive attempt.

With nine successes, Liverpool is now the sole record winner in this competition, for Klopp it is the fifth title with the traditional club – and the first in the League Cup. In a madcap shootout, the first 21 shots all found their way into goal, and Baske Kepa then smashed the ball over the Liverpool goal.

In the Blues, national player Kai Havertz put some pinpricks in the center of attack with his agility, Antonio Rüdiger was once again the first choice for Tuchel in the three-man defense. Timo Werner came on as a substitute in the 74th minute. At Liverpool, ex-Leipziger Naby Keita replaced former Bayern star Thiago at short notice. The Spaniard injured himself while warming up.

The 85,512 spectators in England’s football temple saw a highly entertaining final. Liverpool had more shares of the game, but the Blues had the better chances, at least in the first 45 minutes. Liverpool substitute keeper Caoimhin Kelleher made a strong save against former Dortmund player Christian Pulisic (6th), after the break Mason Mount failed completely free-standing on the post (49th).

At the other end, Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy made a spectacular save against his fellow Senegalese Sadio Mane (30′). Ex-Schalke player Joel Matip headed the goal for Liverpool after a rehearsed free-kick variant (67th), but the goal was disallowed after video evidence. Havertz (78th/110th) and substitute 115 million man Romelu Lukaku (97th) met the same fate on the other side. For the penalty shootout, Tuchel drew his last joker by bringing Kepa – the attempt backfired.

The game was also affected by the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. Chelsea’s Russian majority owner Roman Abramovich handed over responsibility for the club to the Chelsea Charitable Foundation on Saturday. However, it initially remained unclear whether Abramovich would withdraw from the operational business of the Champions League winner permanently or only temporarily.