Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga really was Liverpool’s hero in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday.
Introduced in extra-time as the game headed towards penalties, Kepa not only failed to save a single Liverpool penalty – he had 11 attempts – but he skied the decisive penalty over the bar to hand Jurgen Klopp’s side the trophy.
The debate over whether Thomas Tuchel was right to replace Edouard Mendy with Kepa in the 120th minute continues to rage on, but the simple fact of the matter is that it didn’t work.
Tuchel explained Kepa substitution
Tuchel explained his decision afterwards, insisting Kepa’s experience practicing penalty shootouts helped to convince him to bring on the Spaniard.
“He is so, so strong on it because he has more time in training than Edou.
“It is a kind of a boost when he comes on because everybody knows how good he is so then we tried to implement it with the substitution.”
Kepa taunted by Liverpool fan
The £71.6 million goalkeeper certainly carried himself with confidence throughout the shootout – even trying to psyche out Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk – which made his performance and wayward effort even more awkward.
He instantly became a laughing stock, and that wasn’t just on social media.
Footage has emerged of a Liverpool fan taunting the ‘keeper after he collected his runner-up medal at Wembley Stadium.
“Good job they brought you on there lad, good job they brought you on,” the fan can be heard saying to Kepa in an obvious Scouse accent.
Brilliant 👏 👏 👏 👏 👏 👏 👏 👏 👏 👏 👏 👏 👏 👏 👏 👏 👏 pic.twitter.com/xqzyEF1936— ian (@redian1973) February 28, 2022
Kepa, who has a penchant for Carabao Cup final drama, was subject to plenty of jokes after his horror-show.
A Liverpool fan even managed to capture the moment his penalty flew into the crowd behind the goal.
The video, recorded by freelance presenter Will Brazier, went viral, with more than 4,200 retweets and 40,000 ‘likes’ at the time of writing.
I was filming what I thought was just the Liverpool fans for the final pen and then I noticed Kepa’s pen fly into the fans. pic.twitter.com/6EhZam1Tmm— Will Brazier (@willbrazier) February 27, 2022
Did you spot it?
A day to forget for Kepa, then.
You’re not alone if you hope to see him in next year’s final, though.
There’s something about the EFL Cup final that brings out Kepa’s most entertaining side.