Incredible Caoimhin Kelleher stat shows why he's 'world class' in words of Van Dijk

Liverpool fans might have been forgiven for fearing the worst when it was confirmed that first-choice goalkeeper Alisson Becker would be ruled out of action until after the upcoming international break. 

Alisson missed the Burnley game in the Premier League a couple of weekends ago through illness and then endured a hamstring injury prior to the match the following weekend against Brentford

With massive games coming up - including the Carabao Cup final against Chelsea plus a potential title decider against Manchester City - Alisson’s absence was one more significant injury blow for Jurgen Klopp that he could have dearly done without. 

Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Thiago Alcantara, Stefan Bajcetic, Dominik Szoboszlai, Curtis Jones, Diogo Jota, Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez are some of the other names on the absent list right now at Anfield as the scale of the injury crisis begins to bite. 

Caoimhin Kelleher has been Alisson’s deputy for a long time, first appearing in a Premier League squad list back in the 2018-19 season. 

He has been dependable when brought in, playing a key role in the Carabao Cup final victory over Chelsea back in 2022. 

Liverpool won that final 11-10 on penalty kicks with the Irishman scoring the decisive kick to hand the Reds a record ninth League Cup

And with Alisson’s injury, the 25-year-old had the chance to repeat the trick on Sunday and he showed why fans have little to worry about. 

Kelleher keeps another Wembley clean sheet

Liverpool would play Chelsea at Wembley again and Kelleher was in superlative form, making unbelievable saves from Cole Palmer and Conor Gallagher, among others, to preserve his clean sheet and give his side a platform for victory. 

Virgil van Dijk duly popped up with a header with only moments remaining of extra time, delivering the cup again for Liverpool and ensuring a second medal for Kelleher in the process. 

Kelleher has now played two League Cup finals for Liverpool, winning both, and keeping two clean sheets. Throughout those matches he has faced an incredible 13 shots on target and an expected goals (xG) total of 3.9. 

“I’m one of his biggest fans, I’ve always said he was world class,” was the assessment of Van Dijk afterwards in a post-match interview with Sky Sports. “Good boy, good goalkeeper and we need that at a club like Liverpool.”

Even with Alisson sidelined for the foreseeable future, there is no doubt Liverpool are in safe hands. 

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