‘Magnificent’: Nat Phillips loved what he saw from 23-year-old Liverpool gem last night against Derby
Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

‘Magnificent’: Nat Phillips loved what he saw from 23-year-old Liverpool gem last night against Derby

Liverpool defender Nat Phillips loved what he saw from goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher last night as the 23-year-old put on a heroic display in the penalty shootout.

That’s what the Reds centre-back told LFCTV following the Carabao Cup victory over Derby County, which saw the Republic of Ireland international produce three fine saves in the shootout to send Jurgen Klopp’s side through to the next round.

Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

“It was a real mix of younger lads and senior boys who need minutes, but I thought we did well and competed well, especially the young boys,” Phillips said.

“They matched Derby physically which is always difficult as a young lad, we did well to get the clean sheet.

“We had a few opportunities to get the goal and obviously Caoimhin was magnificent in the shoot-out as always.”

Phillips praises Kelleher’s heroics

After a goalless 90 minutes, Kelleher was once again thrown into the deep end to help save Liverpool in a domestic cup competition.

This is becoming all too familiar for the youngster, who was often the saviour last season as the Reds clinched Carabao Cup and FA Cup victory.

Having made just 18 senior appearances for the Merseyside outfit, the Irishman has already saved six penalties across four shootouts for Klopp’s side. This eclipses Pepe Reina’s club record, with the Spaniard having stopped five.

Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

For Kelleher, four of his eight appearances in the EFL Cup have gone to penalties and Liverpool have won every single shootout, including last season’s final against Chelsea, when the 23-year-old also scored his team’s final spot-kick.

Having established himself as a Liverpool hero in domestic competition, the issue for Kelleher is that he is behind the best goalkeeper in the world in the pecking order at Anfield. With Alisson Becker between the sticks, opportunities are limited for the Republic of Ireland gem.

Therefore, how the club manage this situation awaits to be seen, as they will certainly want to keep the youngster on Merseyside with the hope he will succeed Alisson in net for Liverpool.

Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know
or Comment Below