Carabao Cup final: Chelsea vs Liverpool 27/2/22 – Full Match Report

The Carabao Cup final ends in heartbreak for Chelsea, who depart Wembley without silverware following a long-winded penalty shoot-out.


Written by Ryan Bellenie (@BellenieSport).


Pre-game:

Another week, another final. At least that’s how it seems in the Chelsea calendar, who yesterday faced Liverpool in their third cup final of the season.


The Blues – who have reached every final possible under Thomas Tuchel’s reign – have won their previous two this season. As expected, this would have given them a great deal of confidence heading into Sunday’s Wembley showdown. The most recent was their Club World Cup victory in Abu Dhabi, which saw them edge past Brazilian side Palmeiras in extra-time.


The Reds on the other hand are looking for their first trophy of the season. Liverpool are still eligible to win every available competition, with the League Cup being their first on their list.


Before the game Thomas Tuchel made two adjustments to his starting eleven, which saw the return of Mason Mount. Cup goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga was also notably dropped to the bench with Édoaurd Mendy starting for the Blues.

Reds boss Jürgen Klopp also made two changes to his side, with Jordan Henderson and Coaimhin Kelleher replacing Curtis Jones and Allison.


The two teams have met on two previous occasions this season, with both games ending in a draw.


First Half:

In the opening 45 minutes there were key chances for both teams. The first arrived on the fifth minute, with Coaimhin Kelleher denying Christian Pulisic the opener on his 100th appearance for the Blues.

There were later a flurry of blocked shots at either end, with both teams showing their determination to win the game.


The next big chance popped up on the 30th minute, with Édoaurd Mendy brought to his best by making a double-save to deny the Reds the lead.

15 minutes later, Mason Mount had a glorious chance to give Chelsea the lead on the cusp of half-time. However, the midfielder put his effort first-time effort wide, keeping the game goalless going into the break.

Second Half:

Three minutes into the second half, there was another chance for Mount who hit the post with just Kelleher to beat. Another opportunity went begging for the Blues, who had the better of the chances between the two teams.

Mount later had a shot on target saved comfortably by Kelleher. It perhaps seemed as if it wasn’t to be the 23-year-old’s day at Wembley, as he struggled to find the opener in north London.


On the 63rd minute, Liverpool were inches away from finding the opener with Mohammed Salah out to haunt his former team once again. The Egyptian found himself one-on-one with Mendy, but saw his effort scooped off the goal-line from the ever-present Thiago Silva.


Three minutes later, the Reds had the ball in the net with Joël Matip the scorer. However, Virgil van Dijk was penalised for being offside in the build-up, keeping the game at 0-0.


On the 77th minute, Chelsea’s German’s thought they had combined to give their team an all-important lead at Wembley. However, Werner was this time criticised for being in an offside position – meaning Kai Havertz’ goal was all chalked off.


There was later a chance for Liverpool with the ball pinballing around inside the penalty area, but Klopp’s side failed to capitalise. Instead, the game finished 0-0 and rolled on into extra-time.

Extra-Time:

After 90 minutes of action and drama, extra-time continued with more of the same under the arch of Wembley.


Seven minutes into the added 30, Romelu Lukaku thought he had turned a corner in his Chelsea career as he beat Kelleher to find what he thought was the inevitable opener. However, the Belgian was controversially penalised for being offside – making yet another goal taken away.

Although both teams were desperate for victory, they had to go through the drama of a penalty shoot-out to determine a winner.

Penalty Shoot-Out:

After 20 perfect penalties, the penalty shoot-out resulted in either team’s goalkeepers stepping up to the spot with a chance to become either a hero or villain. Although Coaimhin Kelleher scored for Liverpool, Kepa Arrizabalaga skied his effort, making Liverpool the 2021/22 Carabao Cup winners.


- LIVERPOOL: Milner (0-1).

- CHELSEA: Alonso (1-1).

- LIVERPOOL: Fabinho (1-2).

- CHELSEA: Lukaku (2-2).

- LIVERPOOL: van Dijk (2-3).

- CHELSEA: Havertz (3-3).

- LIVERPOOL: Alexander-Arnold (3-4).

- CHELSEA: James (4-4).

- LIVERPOOL: Salah (4-5).

- CHELSEA: Jorginho (5-5).

- LIVERPOOL: Jota (5-6).

- CHELSEA: Rüdiger (6-6).

- LIVERPOOL: Origi (6-7).

- CHELSEA: Kanté (7-7).

- LIVERPOOL: Robertson (7-8).

- CHELSEA: Werner (8-8).

- LIVERPOOL: Elliot (8-9).

- CHELSEA: Silva (9-9).

- LIVERPOOL: Konaté (9-10).

- CHELSEA: Chalobah (10-10).

- LIVERPOOL: Kelleher (10-11).

- CHELSEA: Arrizabalaga (10-11).

After the Whistle:

Although the game was goalless, the match featured tons of action and drama – forming a classic between two evenly matched teams at Wembley.


Chelsea and Liverpool have now played 300 minutes of football against each other this season, with each game finishing with score lines of 1-1, 2-2 and 0-0. The Blues gave it their all in front of 85,000 at Wembley but left empty-handed in cruel circumstances.


The game could have quite frankly gone either way, making it no surprise that the winner was determined through penalties.


Thomas Tuchel’s side will hope to use Sunday’s heartache as fuel for the rest of the season, where they are next in action on Wednesday against Championship side Luton in the FA Cup.


Final Score:

Chelsea 0-0 Liverpool (10-11 pens).


BBC Sports Player of the Match:

Caoimhin Kelleher (Liverpool).


Line-ups:

Chelsea (3-4-2-1): Mendy (120’); Chalobah, Silva, Rüdiger; Azpilicueta © (57’), Kanté, Kovačić (105’), Alonso; Mount (74’), Pulisic (74’); Havertz.

- Subs: James (57’), Lukaku (74’), Werner (74’), Jorginho (105’), Arrizabalaga (120’).


Liverpool (4-3-3): Kelleher; Alexander-Arnold, Matip (90’), van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson (79’), Fabinho, Keïta (80’); Salah, Mané (80’), Díaz (97’).

- Subs: Elliot (79’), Milner (80’), Jota (80’), Origi (97’), Konaté (90’).


Referee:

Stuart Attwell.


Attendance:

85,512.


Possession:

Chelsea (45%) vs Liverpool (55%).


Shots:

Chelsea (11) vs Liverpool (20).


Shots on Target:

Chelsea (4) vs Liverpool (6).


Corners:

Chelsea (2) vs Liverpool (11).


Fouls:

Chelsea (14) vs Liverpool (10).

- (credit | BBC Sport).


Match Highlights:

- (credit | Sky Sports Football).

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