African All Stars

Edouard Mendy substitution gave Liverpool players a boost in Carabao Cup Final

08:47 WAT 01/03/2022
Edouard Mendy of Chelsea versus Sadio Mane of Liverpool.
The former Scottish player Ally McCoist believes removing the Lion of Teranga in the final of Carabao Cup final helped The Reds' players

Former Rangers striker Ally McCoist does not understand why Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel substituted goalkeeper Edouard Mendy for Kepa Arrizabalaga during the Carabao Cup final against Liverpool at Wembley on Sunday.

The 30-year-old Senegal custodian was withdrawn in the 119th minute for the Spanish keeper but the Blues went on to lose 11-10 in dramatic penalty shoot-out with Kepa missing the decisive kick after blasting his effort over the bar.

Prior to the decision to bring on Kepa, Mendy had made a number of vital saves to keep Chelsea in the game – first to deny his compatriot Sadio Mane on a one-on-one situation, stop Andy Robertson and Joe Matip in quick succession, before he pushed out a header from Virgil Van Dijk.

The 59-year-old McCoist, who managed 61 appearances for Scotland and scored 19 goals, believes Mendy, who had returned to Stamford Bridge after winning the 33rd edition Africa Cup of Nations title in Cameroon, rose to the challenge with a splendid display.

“Mendy, I don’t think will have another game like that in his life,” McCoist told talkSPORT as quoted by The Cheslea Chronicle.

“He was absolutely fantastic, he really was and I’m thinking to myself, about the decision to bring Kepa on, he’s [Tuchel] made that decision clearly because he feels he’s a better option at saving penalties than Mendy.

“I wouldn’t have made it just because of the fact Mendy was having one of those games and I said it at half-time, sometimes the writing is on the wall when you have a keeper playing like that.

“What if I’m a Liverpool player? I’m ecstatic about that decision. This is going to penalties; this guy effectively for 120 minutes has been unbeatable. There’s every chance, with the afternoon he’s having, he’s going to save a couple of penalty kicks.

“I think it gives the Liverpool players a boost.

“Not only did he [Kepa] not save any penalties, he missed the penalty that’s cost the cup. As decisions go, not only was it wrong, it was one of the poorest decisions that any coach will ever make.”

The two teams had tied 0-0 in normal and extra-time.