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Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville left in awe of ‘world class’ Liverpool ace vs Chelsea



Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville left in awe of ‘world class’ Liverpool ace vs Chelsea

The moment of inspiration from a Liverpool stand-in certainly left former Reds icon Jamie Carragher’s usual sidekick Gary Neville purring in the commentary box.

BySam SmithTom BeattieBreaking News Reporter
17:13, 25 FEB 2024

Caoimhin Kelleher of Liverpool makes a save from Cole Palmer of Chelsea during the Carabao Cup Final match between Chelsea and Liverpool

An incredible double-save from Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhín Kelleher left Reds legend Jamie Carragher and his commentary partner Gary Neville in awe as he denied two shots in the first half, before going on to make another series of game-saving stops in the second half. It had looked certain that his team would fall behind in each case, with Chelsea stars bearing down on goal but the Irishman stood tall.

It has been symptomatic of a unique Liverpool career for the 25-year-old that he has been limited to appearances in the cups for most of his Reds career. However, his reputation as one of the best backup stoppers in the Premier League was proven once again with two quickfire saves in the first period versus the Blues, before another set of stops in the second half.

After starring in the Reds’ last Carabao Cup success against Chelsea back in 2022, he rose to the occasion once more as he denied Cole Palmer and Nicholas Jackson in the 20th minute. Getting down to his left, he made a sprawling stop from the former, before steadying himself again to deny the former Villarreal forward.

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The commentators in the box during Sky Sports’ coverage of the clash were suitably impressed with the Irish international’s heroics in a key moment in the first half. Former Manchester United ace Neville gave his verdict, exclaiming: “What a save! What a save from Kelleher.”

“Chelsea out of nowhere. Robertson for some reason goes charging into midfield, Van Dijk can’t get across,” he continued, with his admiration clear. “Raheem Sterling you think has got to hit that first time, why has he not? But it falls to Cole Palmer, he just tries to sweep it into the near post.”

Going into more detail about what he had liked from the moment of magic from Kelleher as he asserted: “Kelleher, it’s wonderful. He’s got a world class goalkeeper in front of him but he’s delivered a world class moment there,” as his admiration was clear for the efforts of Alisson’s back-up.

Meanwhile, Reds fans also weighed in with some analysis of their own following the inspired save from the Reds academy product. One fan said on Twitter/X: “This is why Kelleher deserves more respect”, while another said: “What a brilliant stop!” A third said: “Wow. Out of this world.

Another added: “Save of the season by Kelleher. Absolutely incredible,” before one more added: “Huge save from Kelleher”. Following on from this, Chelsea found themselves with the ball in the back of the net via Raheem Sterling from a subsequent chance — only for Jackson to have been adjudged offside.

Then, denying Conor Gallagher a goal heading into injury time in the 85th minute, Carragher waxed lyrical about Kelleher’s efforts as he compared him to Alisson. He said of the Irishman after he kept the score at 0-0 in a moment of heroism again: “It has been like having Alisson in goal today.”

As the clock went beyond the 90th minute mark, Kelleher stood up tall once more to deny several shots from Chelsea as he denied the Blues a smash-and-grab win. Again, Neville and Carragher were effusive in their praise in this instance as he kept Liverpool in the final.

Speaking before the game, Kelleher spoke about his heroics in the last final, before looking forward to his next foray into the action in the Carabao Cup showpiece. He said to the official Liverpool matchday programme: “For me it was more about the clean sheet and the overall performance I was proud of because that was my focus going in – just perform well, try to get a clean sheet and do my best for the team.”

“It’s a long time ago now, but I started off as a striker and have ended up in goal, so I wasn’t great! Hopefully we do win in the 90 minutes this time, it will be a bit easier. But I’ll be practising the penalties just in case.

“It was a massive moment in my career, winning a trophy for a massive club like Liverpool was amazing. Hopefully we can have a similar day on Sunday.”


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