Liverpool have won the League Cup after a thrilling final. The goalkeepers claimed a leading role with spectacular saves, but the VAR also had its say in the crazy script, including a disallowed goal by Romelu Lukaku. After a penalty spectacle, substitute Kepa missed the decisive eleven meter.
The neutral spectator has not been bored for a second with the League Cup final.
In a crazy and gritty cup final, Liverpool and Chelsea eagerly gave way in the back. That created a laundry list of opportunities.
Eduard Mendy was the first to unpack with a world save on the attempt by compatriot Sadio Mané. Chelsea’s offensive line wanted to thank its keeper with a goal, but Mount, Havertz and Pulisic spilled with huge chances.
VAR spoils party twice for Lukaku
After a free kick, Joel Matip seemed on his way to the winning goal. The VAR saw that Van Dijk set too strong a block and spoiled the party. The Dutch defender tried it himself not much later, but again Mendy stood firm.
The last word in regulation time was for the new substitute Romelu Lukaku. Our compatriot deviated a pass subtly, but the Liverpool goalkeeper was also unbeatable.
The extra time was a real war of attrition. Right up the alley of Lukaku, who fought his defender, turned and scored. He was Chelsea’s hero for a while, until the VAR threw a spanner in the works.
Not much later, the VAR was again the Belgian’s troublemaker. Lukaku delivered an assist to Havertz, but the German was also called back for offside.
Kepa antihero in penalty spectacle
After 120 minutes there was not a single goal on the scoreboard: a miracle. And even during the penalty kicks, both teams did not give each other an inch.
Substitute Kepa was supposed to be Chelsea’s hero, but failed to make a single attempt from The Reds. Worse, the Spaniard missed his penalty. The result: 10-11 after the eleven meters and euphoria at Liverpool.
The VAR helps determine the script:
Missed giant opportunities on both sides: