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WATCH: "That's what I'm there for" | Kelleher revels in big performance

Off The Ball
Off The Ball

23:03 1 Dec 2020

On an unforgettable night for the Irish goalkeeper Caoimhín Kelleher, the Liverpool man has already enjoyed quite the reaction to his Champions League performance against Ajax. 

In place of the injured Alisson, the Republic of Ireland's Caoimhín Kelleher was selected to start by Jurgen Klopp in a Champions League tie against Ajax on Tuesday evening.

Without the usual buoyancy of the Anfield crowd on a European night, Kelleher proved instrumental in aiding Liverpool to a 1-0 win that secures their passage to the knockout rounds with a game to spare.

"Yeah, Jeez my phone's been hopping," the Cork native explained to BT Sport shortly after tonight's win. "I want to give a big thanks to everyone for all the support and message I've been getting."

A first night out for Kelleher in the Champions League, he appeared to inspire confidence in the players around him.

"It was an amazing moment for me to make my debut, especially in a Champions League game," he stressed. "It was massive for me but obviously the most important thing was to get the win and qualify. Yeah, a great night."

The first player manager Klopp made a move toward in the immediate aftermath of the win, Kelleher was by no means a passenger as Liverpool were forced into keeping Ajax at bay throughout.

"That's what I'm there for," he remarked of his crucial work in the goal. "I work every day in training on that to make sure when it comes to a game that I'm ready and prepared. Thankfully tonight, I was able to make a good few saves.

Late on in the game as Ajax searched desperately for an equaliser, Kelleher proved equal to the best that Klass-Jan Huntelaar could muster.

With Alisson absent through injury and Adrian a reliable liability in recent appearances, there is now every chance that the 22-year-old Kelleher may play his first Premier League game against Wolves this weekend.

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Ajax Caoimhin Kelleher Champions League Jurgen Klopp Liverpool Republic Of Ireland

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