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Liverpool youngsters put up gritty display in EFL Cup win vs Derby County

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By Shrishh Attavar

Liverpool FC beat Derby County on penalties to advance in the Carabao Cup

19-year-old Harvey Elliott showed nerves of steel by taking Liverpool FC’s final penalty against Derby County to send the Reds into the fourth round of the EFL Carabao Cup. One would have not expected the Derbyshire outfit to play as well as they did, but fair play to them for taking the game to the end as well.

The visitors’ keeper Joe Wildsmith was excellent at keeping the Reds’ attackers at bay, making six saves. Caoimhin Kelleher, Liverpool’s hero in last year’s campaign in the same competition was excellent in goal and saved three decisive penalties, failing which Liverpool would have had it extremely tough.

Melkamu Frauendorf, Ben Doak and Layton Stewart made their first-team debuts for the Reds. Stefan Bajcetic in midfield was extremely good to watch, and so was Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who recently returned from an injury layoff and it was refreshing to see the Englishman play the full 90.

Harvey Elliott's decisive penalty propelled the Reds into the next round of the EFL Carabao Cup.
Harvey Elliott’s decisive penalty against Derby County propelled the Reds into the next round of the EFL Carabao Cup. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Liverpool had 19 shots overall compared to Derby’s 6. At times, for a Liverpool fan, the watch could have been a tad bit frustrating, but with the end result, there is not much room for complaining given the young lineup the gaffer decided to field as well.

Nathaniel Phillips returned to the starting line-up against Paul Warne’s side. The central defender last started a game for the Reds in Liverpool’s 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace back in August.

Ice Cold Caoimhin in goal

The 90 minutes were balanced out between the sides and there were good chances on both ends, but the finishers failed to capitalise which led to the situation of penalties. Stefan Bajcetic and Roberto Firmino missed the target for the Reds, but Ox, Darwin Nunez and Elliott were clinical to finish their job.

Caoimhín Kelleher is Liverpool FC's Carabao Cup hero.
Caoimhín Kelleher is Liverpool’s Carabao Cup hero. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Caoimhin’s heroics in goal also means that he has now won more penalty shootouts than any Liverpool goalkeeper in the club’s entire history. The Irishman has proved to be an extremely trustworthy asset for manager Jurgen Klopp.

This fixture was the Reds’ penultimate one before the club campaign shall pause for the FIFA World Cup later this month. A league fixture against Southampton ensues.

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The draws for the next round of the competition will be held soon and until then, the fans can watch the penalty shoot-out highlights on replay to see the way Kelleher and Elliott won it for the Reds.