Caoimhín Kelleher helped Liverpool through to the fourth round of the EFL Cup on Tuesday night with a smart penalty save, as they ultimately beat Norwich 3-0 at Carrow Road.
Kelleher was handed a rare start in goal as Jurgen Klopp rotated his squad for the cup game - and he grasped the opportunity with both hands.
Caoimhín Kelleher penalty save helps Liverpool to EFL Cup win
22-year-old Kelleher has had to make do with rare starts for Liverpool, with Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson preferred between the sticks for Jurgen Klopp.
After similarly seldom seen Takumi Minamino had given Liverpool a 1-0 lead, Kelleher made the most of his first start of the season for Liverpool. Just before half-time, Norwich were awarded a penalty and Christos Tzolis stepped up to take it.
It wasn't exactly a stellar penalty from Tzolis, but Kelleher did very well to kick the ball clear and prevent Norwich from drawing level before half-time.
HALF-TIME | Norwich 0-1 Liverpool
Christos Tzolis's penalty was saved by Caoimhin Kelleher and Norwich failed to take advantage of the chance to get back in the game!
📺 Watch the second half live on Sky Sports Football pic.twitter.com/6BwsdZ5WRM
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) September 21, 2021
Divock Origi would score at the very start of the second half to give Liverpool some breathing space, and Minamino added a second with ten to go to seal a comfortable win.
Caoimhín Kelleher is currently locked in a battle with Gavin Bazunu for the Irish goalkeeper's jersey and, given how well Bazunu has played in recent outings for Ireland, Kelleher's penalty save will have done him no harm in that battle.
Kelleher will be even happier to know that Ireland manager Stephen Kenny was even in the stands at Carrow Road to witness the save. Fellow Irish internationals Andrew Omobamidele and Adam Idah lined up for the home side, but it was a disappointing defeat for them.
Ireland's next game comes in a World Cup qualifier in Azerbaijan on October 9th, and Caoimhín Kelleher will be hoping for more opportunities in goal for Liverpool between now and then to aid his efforts to thwart Gavin Bazunu.
If Kelleher continues to impress when given opportunities, Stephen Kenny will have a selection headache on his hands.