Caoimhin Kelleher

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Klopp hails Liverpool kids in game to ‘remember forever’

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We’re sure there are players who wouldn’t enjoy playing under Jurgen Klopp, but don’t count us in that group.

Liverpool’s manager summed up his attitude after his Reds came back from a 4-2 deficit to beat Arsenal in penalty kicks following a 5-5 score line after regulation in the League Cup.

“If you don’t win nobody remembers it in three years, if it works out the boys will remember it forever,” he said.

[ MORE: Match recap | GK hero reacts ]

Klopp put his faith deep in his squad for Wednesday’s unreal thriller, and was brimming with pride after several youngsters lifted Liverpool into the next round.

Caoimhin Kelleher stood tall to make the decisive penalty despite allowing five goals in his first senior start at Anfield, while 18-year-olds Curtis Jones and Neco Williams played big roles in the comeback. Jones scored the final penalty in the shootout, and Williams assisted on Origi’s stoppage time equalizer.

More from Klopp, via the BBC:

“Kelleher is an outstanding talent,” Klopp said. “The crossing from Williams, he might not thought he would play tonight. Jones… it was not my decision in the end for him to take the last penalty. When I saw the list Origi was the taker of the last one and they changed it obviously.

“We can talk about tactics but who cares on a night like this? I hoped for the boys they would have a game to remember. What they did tonight, I lost it really.”

Look at the photo above: That’s pure joy from Klopp. You might not love his touch line antics, but he loves the game for what it is and what it delivers. Respect.

Liverpool is onto the quarterfinals, where it will meet one of Manchester City, Everton, Manchester United, Colchester United, Oxford United, Leicester City, or Aston Villa.

Kelleher reacts to decisive penalty save in Liverpool-Arsenal thriller

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Caoimhin Kelleher‘s first senior start for Liverpool didn’t give him much to do, but his second was a whopper.

Kelleher was under siege over 90 minutes in a 5-5 thriller with Arsenal in the League Cup before making the only save of the shootout, denying Dani Ceballos to put the Reds in the quarterfinals.

[ MORE: Liverpool 5-5 (5-4 pens) Arsenal ]

The character needed to stand tall after allowing five goals at home is immense, and the 20-year-old Kelleher found it in him to make the decisive play of the day.

“I’ve done a lot of work with the keeper coach on saving penalties,” Kelleher said. “It was a crazy game to be a keeper, I didn’t have time to blink. It’s what dreams are made of, winning a shootout in front of the Kop. The atmosphere was amazing, I’ve never experienced anything like it.”

What a moment for the youngster, and it will be interesting to see whether Jurgen KIopp makes him his goalkeeper for the tournament now that the Reds are just three wins from silverware. Either way, he’ll have this night in his pocket for the rest of his life.

WATCH: Willock wonder goal in Liverpool-Arsenal thriller

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It takes something truly special to stand out from a game chock full of goals, and Arsenal’s Joe Willock had it.

The 20-year-old scored his seventh Arsenal goal on Wednesday in the Gunners’ League Cup tilt against Liverpool at Anfield, and it sure was pretty.

[ MORE: PL Player Power Rankings ]

With the match tied at 4 between two young, defense-optional sides, Willock went adventuring with a long dribble and daring shot which sent Caoimhin Kelleher back into his goal for a fifth time in just over an hour.

 

Liverpool’s Klopp thrilled with ‘on fire’ Milner, ‘brilliant boy’ Elliott

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Like most of his Top Four peers, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp gave his youngsters the stage on Wednesday in the League Cup.

The kids seized the chance, but it was veteran James Milner who had a goal and an assist in the 2-0 defeat of MK Dons at the Stadium MK.

[ MORE: League Cup full of Wednesday ‘cupsets’ ]

Milner assisted youngster Ki-Jana Hoever‘s 69th minute goal that insured the result, making his 185th appearance for Liverpool a fine one.

Klopp had high praise for his veteran, who is 18 appearances away from matching the number he made for Man City.

The Starting XI included Hoever, Rhian Brewster, Curtis Jones, Caoimhin Kelleher and Harvey Elliott, the latter who holds status as the youngest player to make a Premier League appearance from his 2018/19 season at Fulham.

Klopp used his subs on youngsters Sepp van de Berg (17) and Herbie Kane (20) — we swear that’s his name — and little used Pedro Chirivella. And four other youngsters were unused subs.

Many online joked that Klopp would’ve been happy to lose the match and bow out of the competition. The manager is pretty pleased with the improvement, and hinted that his lineup would look similar in the next round versus Arsenal. From The Liverpool Echo:

“At 16 years old still and he is this kind of footballer. That is really good for us. He is a brilliant boy, he takes the situation really well and wants to learn. He will always be a special player for moments, but you see overall with his defending and movements, it is not easy so that is really good. …  He was a bit unlucky otherwise he would have scored. They are all good, they are all really skilled but that’s why it is important to give them games like this. We will try to continue like this, so we will see.”

Adrian an injury doubt after pitch invader-caused injury

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Dated reference here, but Liverpool goalkeepers have been watching a bit too much “Spinal Tap.”

To add to the comparison, Liverpool’s goalkeeping problems are turned up to 11 (on a very short-term basis).

[ MORE: Wolves thrash Pyunik ]

Adrian has joined Alisson Becker on the injury list following a freakish injury when a fan slipped after running onto the field to celebrate the UEFA Super Cup and clattered into the goalkeeper’s ankle.

The former West Ham goalkeeper is a question mark for Saturday’s trip to Liverpool, putting 35-year-old Andy Lonergan in line for a start and academy graduate Caoimhin Kelleher in the back-up role at age 20.

Here’s Jurgen Klopp, via the BBC:

“There’s no doubt about how much we love our fans, there’s no doubt about that at all, but if they all could stop doing that – that’s the worst example we have so far heard about. We played against Manchester City and someone ran on the pitch then. At Norwich, there was someone as well.”

Former Fulham and Bolton goalkeeper Lonergan has never played in a Premier League match.

Insane.

I’ve got more jokes, if you want ’em: Given the history, Saturday’s opponents should be happy the transfer window is closed or Angus Gunn could be swapping sidelines.

UPDATE: Everything is gonna be fine.