Premier League • England

Jurgen Klopp explains match-winning Liverpool team selection; credits ‘incredible’ Chelsea

Jurgen Klopp celebrates Liverpool's Carabao Cup victory

Jurgen Klopp explained his match-winning Liverpool team selection of goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher following their Carabao Cup victory over Chelsea.

Kelleher, who has been in net for the Reds for most of the competition, was preferred to first-choice Allison. And Klopp was massively vindicated for that decision as he scored what proved to be the decisive penalty in the shoot-out at Wembley.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the trophy celebrations, Liverpool’s boss said: “Look, I think even in professional football there should be space for some sentiment.

“So he’s a young boy, we ask him to do a lot, he gets the competition and starts playing and then in the final I tell him no, you don’t play.

“I am two things, a professional football manager and a human being. And a human being one.

“That’s why it’s so nice that it pays off. He deserves it.

“At the training centre we have a wall that all goalkeepers are on who won something and Caoimhin can go on it – that’s how it should be. Absolutely great.”

It was a nerve-wracking conclusion to the game as all outfield players and Kelleher scored before Kepa Arrizabalaga skied his effort to concede defeat.

“I’m fine now obviously but I would’ve been fine with ninety minutes, 1-0 Liverpool and we go home,” Klopp joked.

Liverpool celebrate their Carabao Cup victory

“But what a feeling. The excitement factor obviously was really good so I’m happy for the people in dark and difficult times to have something to celebrate like this. It’s nice, really nice.”

It was third time lucky for Klopp who had lost his previous two finals as a manager at Wembley.

He added: “How many losers said before a game I think I will win. I thought we had a chance, Chelsea has an incredible squad. We saw we match each other.

“They started better and then we were better in the end. Both teams were knackered we have to say. It’s a really long game.”

Kelleher forgot he was Liverpool match-winner

Give our social media channels a follow – we’re on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

While Klopp was well aware he’d got his selection of Kelleher right, the 23-year-old had forgot he was the one who won the game for his side.

“It’s a mad one,” he told Sky Sports. “I got close to a few when it came down to me I didn’t even think I had scored the winning penalty.

“I’d forgotten I’d got the winning one. All the lads were class, I was just happy to score.

“It was more hit and hope. I got close to a few but all the penalties were very high quality, thankfully we were able to win.

“I thought we had scored when we got the disallowed goal. But they had a few disallowed so I think a draw was a fair result overall.

“He [Klopp] just said ‘well done for scoring the winning penalty, there’s a wall with all the goalkeepers on who have won cups so now you can go on that.'”

READ MORELiverpool eye further attacking recruits with £55m goalscorer ‘keen’ on Anfield move