Derby County goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith has revealed what shocked Liverpool’s players during their Carabao Cup clash last night.
Taking to his post-match interview with the DCFC official site, the shot-stopper shared the pride he had in his team and claimed the Reds were shocked with how resolute they were as a unit.
“I think that’s that was always going to happen,” he said.
“I think we shocked them a little bit in the first half, how resolute we were – not many chances at all.
“And then obviously a few of the bigger hitters come on off the bench and it livened the crowd up a little bit and yeah, I think it was just about game management and seeing that out.
“And listen, if we can take it to penalty shootout, then its luck of the draw and unfortunately tonight it wasn’t the case, but it’s no disgrace for us to go out on penalties at Anfield.”
Wildsmith says Derby surprised Liverpool
Although the Rams remained strong for the majority of the 90 minutes, Wildsmith was called into action on a number of occasions. His heroics illustrated Derby’s determination, which ultimately kept Paul Warne’s side firmly in the EFL Cup bout until the penalty shootout.
Throughout normal time, the two sides looked reasonably matched, with Liverpool’s youngsters putting on a decent performance to keep the League One side out.
However, as Wildsmith said, the resoluteness of Derby was highlighted in their strength and physicality when challenging for the ball. This was always something the Anfield youngsters were going to struggle with, as many of whom had limited experience playing first-team football.
However, in the end, it was Caoimhin Kelleher who was Liverpool’s hero. After Stefan Bajcetic’s opening penalty was saved by the Rams number one, the Reds stopper made three emphatic saves to send the Merseyside club through to the next round.
The Liverpool youngsters certainly showed signs of promise last night, with standout performances from Kelleher, Bajcetic and Calvin Ramsay all impressing the Anfield boss.
As well, credit should go to Derby County, who were also unlucky on the night.