Paul Merson hails Caoimhin Kelleher save.
Paul Merson sang the praises of Caoimhin Kelleher after the Corkman produced a wonderful save during Liverpool’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg meeting with Arsenal on Thursday night.
Back in the League Cup line-up after Alisson minded the Liverpool net in the first leg at Anfield last week, it took just five minutes for the Corkman to face his first major test.
Paul Merson analysis.
The home side were awarded a free kick just outside the box and Alexander Lacazette stepped up to take it, before firing a shot that appeared to bounce directly off the crossbar.
However, on closer inspection, it appeared that Kelleher just got enough of a fingertip on the ball to keep it out and knock it onto the woodwork.
“It’s difficult when it goes up over the wall and down again,” Merson said at half-time in the Sky Sports studio. “It’s great save to get across and put it on the bar and that’s a proper free kick.”
Kelleher has been Liverpool‘s regular goalkeeper in the League Cup in recent seasons but was left out last week as manager Jurgen Klopp wanted to give Alisson some time on the pitch after his bout of Covid.
Prior to Thursday’s game, the Republic of Ireland stopper stated that he fully understood the decision, when asked about it by Liverpool club media.
“We had a little chat with the manager and he just explained obviously, Alisson had a few weeks off with Covid. I think he needed the game just to get back into the rhythm of things after being out for a little while. I fully understood the reasons.”
Kelleher’s appearance at the Emirates Stadium is his 15th in all competitions for the Reds since making his debut in September 2019 against MK Dons, also in the League Cup.