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golden moment Caoimhin Kelleher's reaction as his spot-kick save sends Liverpool into Carabao Cup semi-finals

Ireland keeper Kelleher saved two penalties in the shoot-out which Liverpool won 5-4 against Leicester to send them through to the last four.

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Ryan Bertrand of Leicester City takes and see his penalty saved against Goalkeeper, Caoimhin Kelleher of Liverpool during the Carabao Cup Quarter Final match between Liverpool and Leicester City at Anfield. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Ryan Bertrand of Leicester City takes and see his penalty saved against Goalkeeper, Caoimhin Kelleher of Liverpool during the Carabao Cup Quarter Final match between Liverpool and Leicester City at Anfield. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Ryan Bertrand of Leicester City takes and see his penalty saved against Goalkeeper, Caoimhin Kelleher of Liverpool during the Carabao Cup Quarter Final match between Liverpool and Leicester City at Anfield. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Caoimhin Kelleher revealed Jurgen Klopp's half-time team talk inspired Liverpool to a thrilling Carabao Cup quarter-final win against Leicester, as his penalty saved proved to be decisive after a thrilling 3-3 draw at Anfield.

Ireland keeper Kelleher saved two penalties in the shoot-out which Liverpool won 5-4 against Leicester to send them into the semi-finals against Arsenal.

Substitute Diogo Jota struck the winning spot-kick – having come off the bench to score in the second half – but the real hero was Takumi Minamino, who made it 3-3 with seconds remaining of six added minutes.

The visitors crumbled under the pressure exerted in the second half having twice cruised into a two-goal lead as Jamie Vardy scored his ninth and 10th goals in 14 appearances against the under-strength Reds.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain briefly made it 2-1 before a brilliant James Maddison strike restored the Foxes’ advantage.

However, the introduction of first-team reinforcements for the second half changed the dynamic as Jota and League Cup specialist Minamino, with his sixth in five appearances, forced a shoot-out.

There were joyous scenes on the Anfield pitch, with Kelleher toasting his latest golden moment for Liverpool in an interview with the club's website.

"We didn't get off to a great start and at half-time we're obviously 3-1 down, but we actually felt quite confident because the goals we gave away were kind of mostly our fault really, giving the ball away," said the Liverpool keeper.

"The manager just said at half-time, 'If you get the next goal this crowd will get up and anything can happen.' So we always believe right to the end and that showed.

"I was full of confidence that I could make a save at the end of the game and I had nothing to lose."

Liverpool manager Klopp was quick to praise Kelleher, as he booked a place in a semi-final clash against Arsenal next month.

"Caoimh is an outstanding goalkeeper," declared Klopp, who admitted he would rather play Arsenal over one leg in the semi-final rather than the two matches that beckon next month.

"With his feet, his understanding, all the skills. Not the first time he's been in a spectacular game. He saved our lives.

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"I am really happy with the performance, spirit and mentality. At half time, we told the boys I like the game apart from the mistakes around the goals.

"When we played the right football we were good. When we played exactly in their formation, then it was not that good and then they won their balls easily and then they had their counter-attacks and scored easy goals. We lost the ball before that as well in a not very comfortable moment and he could use his shooting skills.

"We needed to switch it more often, play in half spaces and accelerate it more often, Bringing on Jota helps and in the end, we find a way to win."

Klopp also suggested he would rather have a one-leg Carabao Cup semi-final rather than the two matches that will be played next month.

"I think it would be better with one game absolutely, but obviously what I say is not too important," he said after making 10 changes for the quarter-final with three academy players in his starting line-up and five on the bench.

"If there are two games, then we will play two games. But it would be helpful if there was only one, true. The draw has us at Arsenal, I’m fine with that, we play there and see who is better and go for it.

"I don’t just speak about player welfare this year, I have been speaking about it for six years or maybe longer. If the things I say would help more, I would say it much more often. But it doesn’t help.

"The only thing I do with these messages is I create headlines. They never arrive at the right places.

"Tomorrow we have a meeting at 4pm but it’s with the Premier League and not with the EFL, I’m not sure if they are involved or not.

"I said it before, I would prefer only one semi-final, but I can’t see any kind of changes actually."

Virgil van Dijk was absent once again for Liverpool after his positive Covid test last week and he was quick to salute the performance of Kelleher with this tweet:

Meanwhile, former Liverpool striker and Sunday World columnist John Aldridge was full of praise for the spirit shown by Klopp's side as he tweeted:

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