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Caoimhin Kelleher reacts to incredible Champions League debut for Liverpool

Caoimhin Kelleher

For the English commentators, the efforts to learn the correct pronunciation of Caoimhin Kelleher’s name proved worthwhile as the Irish goalkeeper earned many mentions on his Champions League debut for Liverpool.

With Alisson Becker struggling with a muscle injury, Caoimhin Kelleher was preferred to Adrian between the sticks for Liverpool’s Champions League clash with Ajax on Tuesday night and the youngster more than justified his selection.

It was by no means a quiet night for Kelleher, who only recently turned 22, and his contribution was noted by the commentary team as well as the pundits in the BT Sport studios.

With Kelleher’s series of saves, he became the first Liverpool goalkeeper to keep a Champions League clean sheet on his European debut since Chris Kirkland 18 years ago.

The Corkman was called into action on a number of occasions and his concentration proved crucial late on when a reaction save kept out Ajax forward Klaas Jan Huntelaar.

It came as no surprise that Klopp rushed straight for his young ‘keeper on the final whistle after a game when his prospects made the most of their opportunities, with Neco Williams setting up Curtis Jones for the match’s only goal.

“It was an amazing moment for me to make my debut, especially in a Champions League game,” Kelleher said in his post-match interview.

“It was massive for me! The most important thing was to get the win and qualify, which we did. It was a great night.

“I work every day in training to make sure that when it comes to a game that I’m ready and prepared and thankfully tonight, I was able to make a good few saves.

“It’s quite easy for me, to be honest, because the players in front of me will always make easy options when I get the ball back to me and it makes my decisions so much easier.

“We’re not here just to take part. We want to push every day and try to play as many games as we can. And you can see that now we’re actually making a difference and improving the team.

“My phone’s been hopping since I got in so just a big thanks to everyone for all the support and messages I’ve been getting.”

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