It seems as if Jürgen Klopp and assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders split duties for the Derby County match. Lijnders named addressed the media in the buildup to the match and named the starting XI, but Klopp was in the tactical area for the match and held his usual post-match presser. In that presser, the bass addressed Caoimhin Kelleher's amazing performance in goal, the overall play of the team and the next round of the Carabao Cup.
Even though Kelleher is typically the third-string keeper, he has a reputation for making heroic saves in penalty shootouts. After battling to a scoreless draw, Kellehermade a trio of saves as Liverpool advanced 3-2. He now holds the record for the most shootout wins (4) of any goalie in Liverpool history.
“Wow! Let's just talk about tonight, I can't remember the others [saves in shootouts], but of course they were good as well,” Klopp said. “Tonight they were three really good penalties, they all go in the corner, so it's not like it's a bad one and they mishit the ball or slip a little bit before they shoot. No, they were really good and he saved them anyway, so that's massive.”
Many supporters probably were not expecting a scoreless draw versus Darby County, but the team played well enough to make the boss happy.
“I liked it,” he said. “It is the most difficult thing in football if you are put in a team together and you face an opponent who is deep defending, [has] a lot of legs, counter-attacking, long ball, set-pieces, all these kind of things. We obviously didn't have a lot of time to prepare the game but we could at least train once… People don't like if you get knocked out in the early rounds. They say you don't take the competition seriously because you play such a young team. That's not true. You just want to bring the young boys on to give them a chance to play real man's football.”
Liverpool's next Carabao Cup match is scheduled to take place just before the Christmas holiday. It is difficult timing for top-tier clubs whose best players will still be on the International break for the World Cup.
“We will find the solutions,” Klopp said. “Obviously, we have players at the World Cup but we have a big group together for pre-season [training camp] and probably will use them then. It makes sense, I think.”
Anyone who watched the match knew Kelleher had an outstanding game between the pipes. They may not have known that he made history with his 4th shootout victory. It certainly seemed to take Klopp by surprise. It is also clear that even with a very young lineup, Liverpool was giving maximum effort to win the game. The young players were impressive during their time on the pitch, so the future is bright for the club. To top it off, Liverpool were able to advance, so in many ways, 0-0 was a perfect result for the Reds.
“Tonight they were three really good penalties, they all go in the corner, so it’s not like it’s a bad one and they mishit the ball or slip a little bit before they shoot. No, they were really good and he saved them anyway, so that’s massive.”
“People don’t like if you get knocked out in the early rounds. They say you don’t take the competition seriously because you play such a young team. That’s not true. You just want to bring the young boys on to give them a chance to play real man’s football.”