Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable penalty during Sunday’s Carabao Cup final between Liverpool and Chelsea has deservedly received widespread praise, but let’s take a moment to appreciate the audacity of Fabinho’s spot-kick during the same shoot-out.
After James Milner and Marcos Alonso successfully converted, Fabinho stepped up to take the shoot-out’s third penalty.
The Brazilian midfielder, who’s made such a big impact at Anfield since joining the Reds from AS Monaco in 2018, took a deep breath while Chelsea’s substitute goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga moved from side to side and raised his arms.
It appeared that Kepa, who replaced the impressive Edouard Mendy specifically for the shoot-out, was trying to psych out Liverpool’s No. 3.
But Fabinho responded by producing one of the coolest Panenka penalties you’re ever likely to see in a cup final shoot-out.
You can watch Fabinho’s penalty here:
Fabinho’s panenka penalty is the level of confidence I’m striving for one day…..pic.twitter.com/5bRxbLAblR— Ben Webb (@BenWebbLFC) February 27, 2022
That is different class.
It was reminiscent of Andrea Pirlo’s famous Panenka penalty against England’s Joe Hart at Euro 2012.
Here’s some of the reaction to Fabinho’s magnificent spot-kick:
To have the ability to execute a penalty like that in a cup final, in front of 85,000 viewers and millions more watching around the globe, and against the world’s most expensive goalkeeper, takes serious bottle and self-confidence.
Fabinho isn’t a flashy footballer by any stretch of the imagination; however, he is a player with sublime technical qualities.
Liverpool went on to lift the Carabao Cup after scoring all 11 of their penalties. Kepa missed the decisive spot-kick for Chelsea, shooting high over Caoimhin Kelleher’s crossbar.
Van Dijk loved Fabinho’s penalty in Carabao Cup final
Van Dijk was in awe of Fabinho’s audacious penalty.
The talismanic Dutch defender said to camera: “No respect! The chip, though…”
Watch that clip here:
Van Dijk:— Watch LFC (@Watch_LFC) March 1, 2022
“No respect. We chip now.” 😂 pic.twitter.com/iKwcNrlWHc
But who’s penalty was better: Fabinho’s or Van Dijk’s?
It’s a tough one, so we’ll let you be the judge of that.