Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was beaming from ear to ear at the final whistle as the Reds laid claim to the Carabao Cup.
The Reds lifted the trophy this evening, beating Chelsea in the silverware showdown in the capital on a penalty shoot-out after the tight contest finished 0-0, and Klopp was full of praise for both sides.
“There were two lions going for each other,” he said, reflecting on the victory. “It was absolutely crazy.
“It’s a big one for us because it’s the first time for this group but the ninth time for the club which is important. The fans were happy about the whole thing tonight. The game and the atmosphere was outstanding. We loved it.
“We don’t get nervous when things don’t go well. The start of the game was clear better from Chelsea then we were in the game then we let them run. The second half was something like 63% possession – against Chelsea that isn’t easy.”
Reflecting on the “wonderful story” that led the Reds to the Final, the German praised the role of those who weren’t present in today’s starting line-up and their role in helping the Merseysiders set a new record in the competition.
“Today I had to make a few tough decisions; I said, ‘this is my squad’,” he continued. “The whole journey was absolutely outstanding. Without Takumi [Minamino] and Divock [Origi] in this competition we wouldn’t be here. The penalty shoot-out was one of the most spectacular I ever saw. The whole journey was a squad journey and that’s what I love most about it.
And the head coach couldn’t hide his delight for stopper Caoimhin Kelleher after giving the goalkeeper the nod to start between the sticks in today’s Final at Wembley Stadium.
The Irishman kept a clean sheet and went on to net the decisive penalty kick that would win Liverpool the trophy.
“It’s quite a story from when I saw him first time as a boy and first time as the man he is today,” he gasped. “He is an incredible talent. He had an incredible game.
“Goalies are very often separate, but I see them in decisive moments. The game he played tonight was absolutely incredible. I can remember at least two incredible saves, probably more, so he proves that the decision to line him up was absolutely right and then in a very spectacular shootout. He showed the whole range of his skillset. He finished one off with his really skilled feet.
“Kelleher is the best number two in the world, as well especially with the way we play. The life of a number two is you just have to be ready when you are called.”