Home News Caoimhin Kelleher’s ridiculous stats as Virgil van Dijk secures oldest Wembley record

Caoimhin Kelleher’s ridiculous stats as Virgil van Dijk secures oldest Wembley record

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Liverpool were not short on inspiring performances in the League Cup final, the captain may have led the way, but those around him were just as exceptional on another memorable day for the club.

An injury-ravaged Reds side buoyed by academy talent made sure it was a famous night for Liverpool, with the League Cup hoisted in the air for the 10th time in the club’s history.

Virgil van Dijk‘s goal made it possible, with the captain leading the charge and proving the difference-maker once again for his side – a disallowed goal you say, he’ll just do it again!

And by finding the net, Van Dijk became the oldest player to score for the club in a Wembley final at the age of 32 years and 232 days.

He takes the record from national compatriot Dirk Kuyt, who was aged 31 years and 219 days when he scored in the final of the League Cup against Cardiff in 2012.

Perhaps not something he wants to be reminded of, but he is aging like a fine wine. Anyone who wrote him off after his injury is being reminded why he is one of the very best in his position.

As per FotMob, in 120 minutes the captain had 120 touches (no player had more) sent 11 passes into the final third (second-most of any player), made seven clearances and won seven of his 10 duels.

But, as we say, it was not only the captain who stood tall at Wembley…

 

The kid’s are alright

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 25, 2024: The Liverpool team celebrate winning the cup after the Football League Cup Final match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Wembley Stadium. (Photo by Peter Powell/Propaganda)

Teenagers and players who have yet to even start a Premier League game played a pivotal role for Klopp’s side, from Bobby Clark to James McConnell and Jayden Danns.

Klopp said: “I got told there is a saying in English football, ‘you don’t win trophies in football with kids’. I didn’t know that.”

And he still doesn’t as his kids were more than alright on the way to glory, and it’s only right we shine the spotlight on their efforts.

Nineteen-year-old McConnell impressed with his composure, accurately completing 34 of his 39 passes during his 33 minutes on the pitch, keeping Liverpool ticking over and in control in key moments.

For 48 minutes, Clark impressed with his strength and gumption, winning the two tackles he contested in addition to recovering the ball six times, he was certainly not overawed by the occasion.

And then there was Danns, who days ago had never made a senior appearance, and at Wembley twice came close to finding the net – he’s got the knack of being in the right place at the right time.

They all showed maturity beyond their years and there’s no telling just how significant their role at Wembley will prove to be as they move forward in their careers.

 

You shall not pass

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 25, 2024: Liverpool's goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher makes a save during the Football League Cup Final match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Wembley Stadium. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Caoimhin Kelleher was a giant between the sticks for the Reds, he was quick off his line and made himself big in all the moments that mattered.

He is a cool character and he endlessly frustrated Chelsea with one big save after another.

In fact, as per FotMob, he kept out a ridiculous 2.95 xGOT (expected goals on target) having made nine saves across his 120 minutes on the pitch.

The fact that Van Dijk ran straight to his goalkeeper at the final whistle spoke volumes of Kelleher’s role in the victory. This was his moment.

Klopp was right, not that didn’t know before, that we have the best number two goalkeeper in the world!


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