‘I have to be careful’ – Klopp keen to focus on rarely-seen Liverpool star who ‘saved us’ in Carabao Cup

Jurgen Klopp lifting Carabao Cup trophy with Liverpool, February 2022

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp made sure to mention the rarely-seen players who helped the Reds along the way to Carabao Cup glory.

Klopp’s men edged out Chelsea in a nervy penalty shootout at Wembley on Sunday to claim League Cup triumph. While both sides had the ball in the net – Chelsea more than Liverpool – none of those goals counted.

The Reds won 11-10 on spot-kicks in the end, with Blues substitute Kepa Arrizabalaga blazing over his decisive kick. Caoimhin Kelleher did not make a save for Liverpool either, but one pundit lauded the Irishman’s own penalty.

Liverpool’s journey to Wembley in the Carabao Cup saw them beat Norwich, Preston, Leicester and Arsenal before Chelsea.

The Reds also beat the Foxes in a penalty shoot-out at Anfield in the quarter-finals. Kelleher proved decisive in that match, too. Meanwhile, Diogo Jota was the hero in the semi-final second leg against Arsenal.

Speaking in his post-match press conference at Wembley, however, Klopp also harked back to the wins over Norwich and Preston. Like against Leicester, Divock Origi and Takumi Minamino led Liverpool to victory.

Against Preston, meanwhile, Adrian – who stood in for Kelleher – made some decisive saves. As a result, Klopp made sure to recognise the Spaniard and some of Liverpool’s youngsters for their contributions.

“Perfect would have been if we could have had more players on the teamsheet already,” Klopp said.

Klopp lauds Liverpool heroes

“Today I had to make a few really tough decisions and I said [to] the boys in the meeting when all the boys were in – even the boys who were not on the teamsheet – that, ‘This here is my squad.’

“Plus – and now I have to be careful that I don’t forget anybody – Tyler Morton, who was not with us in the hotel because he’s slightly injured, Conor [Bradley], Owen [Beck], Harvey [Blair] from the U18s, Elijah [Dixon-Bonner] played some minutes as well, Adrian saved us in Preston.

Real Madrid interested in Sadio Mane on cut price deal

Liverpool may be forced to sell Sadio Mane this summer with Real Madrid interested in signing Senegal international

“The whole journey was absolutely outstanding. We had Adrian at Preston and then we scored the two goals.”

Klopp added that without Origi and Minamino, Liverpool “would not be here”. Indeed, he lauded the “wonderful story” of their roles in the comeback against the Foxes.

Seven talented South American youngsters who could be coming to the Premier League

Klopp noted that “no one was really positive” about Liverpool travelling to Arsenal for the semi-final second leg after the 0-0 first-leg draw.

Still, he lauded the Reds’ “really nice manner” of victory.

Liverpool gunning for quadruple

Jurgen Klopp celebrates Liverpool's Carabao Cup victory

Liverpool have now picked up the first silverware of the season and are still in the other three competitions.

They must keep winning to keep Manchester City in check in the Premier League title race.

What’s more, their Champions League last-16 tie against Inter is not a foregone conclusion, despite Liverpool’s 2-0 away win in the first leg.

Up next, though, is a fourth clash of the season with Norwich. The two sides face off on Wednesday for a place in the FA Cup quarter-finals.