And The Flag Is Off.

By Olawalium | Olawalium | 28 Feb 2022


If you watched yesterday's Carabao Cup Final encounter between Chelsea and Liverpool then you would understand the caption I used above as the title. What a match it was. Wow. There was no breathing space to catch your breath because it was an evenly contested match as both teams had chances to win the game in normal time but it wasn't meant to be. I would say Chelsea had more chances and they would beat themselves up for losing despite coming agonizingly close to winning it.

I lost count on the number of offside goals they scored yesterday between the two sides. It was such a lovely game that was enjoyable for the neutrals. I certainly enjoyed it but it would be a pain for Chelsea fans and smiles at the end for Liverpool fans. This is a classic example of a game that lived up to its billing and Liverpool won a title with the Premier League and Champions League still in view. Chelsea won their last 6 games and Liverpool won their last 9 games which means both teams came into this game in high form, forgetting what a defeat means. It's not surprising why nothing could separate the two sides in 120 minutes of football.

Mendy showed why he was voted as the FIFA Best Goalkeeper with his impressive showing between the sticks. I know Kepa would feel disappointed not to have started the final when he had been involved in every game for the Cup games but you can't blame Tuchel for wanting his best goalkeeper for this final even though Jurgen Klopp stuck with Kelleher over Alisson for his side. Mendy produced amazing saves and Kelleher had his moments too before he scored the decisive spot-kick as the spot-kick went down to the goalkeepers.

Mason Mount would particularly feel disappointed after he struck the post and then flashed another effort wide when he should have scored on both occasions. It was just one of those days where nothing seemed to go right for Chelsea because they came close on numerous occasions. Lukaku didn't start the match yet again and he came off the bench thinking he had scored but he was ruled off for offside. Pulisic was another culprit who should have put Chelsea ahead in the 6th minute after Kelleher denied him from point-blank range.

One of the talking points of the game was when Mendy produced a double stunning save to deny Keita's long-range strike before denying Sadio Mane's follow up in the 30th minute.

Kai Havertz has been used to producing on the biggest stage and you can understand why he decided to start Havertz over Lukaku. Havertz delivered the European Championship to Chelsea as well as making them the World Champions with his goals giving Chelsea the titles but for the first time on the big stage, he faltered. He went one on one with the goalkeeper and couldn't score even though if he had, the goal would have been subjected to VAR review. Havertz scored twice for Chelsea on the night; one in the 78th minute and another one in the Extra Time, but he was flagged offside.

Liverpool also had their shocking miss and Salah was the culprit this time too. The occasion's pressure must have gotten to both teams as they kept wasting chances upon chances. Salah was played through on goal and rather than add more pace to his chip effort, his effort lacked pace which gave Thiago Silva the chance to clear the ball even before it got to crossing the line. Mendy was clearly beaten but not Thiago Silva.

Matip also scored for Liverpool and that looked to have settled the tie in the 68th minute but after VAR review, it was gathered that Van Dijk obstructed Reece James in the build-up to the goal as he was unable to gather enough ground to disrupt's Mane's headed pass across the face of the goal before Matip scored with his head.

Liverpool had a series of late chances to win the game too but Mendy was equal to the task as a notable one was denying Luis Diaz. It was a game that lived up to the billing as the second half up to the extra time was full of suspense. The game was finally decided by spot-kicks and it was one of those longest spot-kicks too as no one was missing his chances and the goalkeeper couldn't save any. Kepa was introduced before the spot-kicks were taken as he has created a name for himself for being a penalty expert but on this occasion, he couldn't stop any. He has saved Chelsea on numerous occasions but this time around, it was his spot-kick miss that gave the Cup to Liverpool. Experts have it that they are still in search of Kepa's shot as the ball flew far, high and not handsome.

Congratulations to Liverpool and their young goalkeeper; Kelleher came through for them even though he was unable to save any but at least, he converted his chance.

Thank you for your time.

My pen doesn't bleed, it speaks, with speed and ease.

Still me,

My tongue is like the pen of a ready writer.

Olawalium; (Love's chemical content, in human form). Take a dose today: doctor's order.

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Writer. Motivational speaker. Farmer. Relationship coach. God lover.


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