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'Be the hero' - Liverpool penalty saviour Kelleher reflects on whirlwind Carabao Cup experience

6:11 PM GMT+8 31/10/2019
Caoimhin Kelleher Liverpool 2019-20
The young shot-stopper was told he had nothing to lose and was inspired to help his side to the next round of the cup by saving Dani Ceballos' penalty

Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher says he was told to “try to be the hero” before pulling off the penalty save that won his side a place in the Carabao Cup quarter finals.

The 20-year-old made his second start of the season as Jurgen Klopp rotated heavily in a pulsating 5-5 draw against Arsenal at Anfield, denying Dani Ceballos in what proved a decisive moment in the penalty shootout that was sealed by Curtis Jones.

And Kelleher says his team-mates and coaches told him he had nothing to lose as he faced the Gunners’ penalty takers.

“As soon as the final whistle went, all the focus was on trying to save in the shootout,” Kelleher told Liverpool’s official website.

“Some of the lads and the coaches said to me, ‘You’ve nothing to lose, just try to be the hero.’ And luckily I did it in the end.

“It was a bit of a whirlwind. I’m obviously happy but it’s just hard to sum it up at the moment. It has all gone by quite quickly. It’s just unreal, to be honest.”

Twice Liverpool found themselves two goals down, but they fought back to equalise deep into stoppage time, and Kelleher says the determination and spirit shown by Klopp’s senior stars is an attitude that is reflected throughout the squad.

“[The fighting spirit] goes right through the whole squad. We have a never-say-die attitude and we showed that once again, coming from behind on a few occasions.

“[Divock Origi] scored an unreal goal to keep us in it. It just goes right through the whole squad that we’ll never give up.”

The young goalkeeper also reserved special praise for the Anfield atmosphere on his home debut for the club.

“It was unbelievable tonight. Once you hear [the fans] singing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ and you’re actually playing, it’s quite surreal. It’s just an unreal feeling. It’s class.”

Liverpool have been drawn away to Aston Villa in their Carabao Cup quarter-final, but an alternative date will need to be arranged as it clashes with their Club World Cup commitments.