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Liverpool's Fabinho: Luis Diaz didn't believe I would take a Panenka against Chelsea

1:55 PM GMT 07/03/2022
Fabinho, Kepa, Liverpool vs Chelsea 2021-22
The Brazilian showed nerves of steel from 12 yards as the Reds beat the Blues on penalties at Wembley, surprising his team-mate in the process

Fabinho has revealed how a conversation with Luis Diaz led to his ‘Panenka’ penalty during Liverpool’s Carabao Cup final win over Chelsea.

The Brazilian was the coolest man inside Wembley as the Reds’ held their nerve to win a marathon shootout last month.

Fabinho stepped up second, and clipped his spot-kick right down the middle, as Kepa Arrizabalaga, the Chelsea goalkeeper, dived to his right.

What did Fabinho say?

Speaking at a press conference ahead of Liverpool’s Champions League last-16 second-leg clash with Inter Milan, Fabinho was asked about his ‘Panenka’, and where the inspiration for it had come from.

He told reporters: “The day before, I tried to do a Panenka. It was just me and Luis Diaz, with no goalkeeper in the goal.

“I told him ‘tomorrow if it goes to pens, I will shoot it like this’. He didn’t believe me! But when I was walking to the box to take the penalty, it was in my mind to shoot a Panenka. It worked!”

He added: “When you shoot a penalty like this, you know that if you miss, when you come back to the dressing room everyone will kill you. 

“But it was in my mind that I would take it like this, and that I could do it.”

‘Diaz looks like he’s been here a long time’

Fabinho went on to discuss the impact made by Diaz since his January move from Porto.

He said: “Really impressive. He’s been here one month, and he’s playing at a really high level.

“In the final against Chelsea he was really important, for me he was one of the best players, and that was only his third game with us I think [it was his sixth, and his fourth start].

“It’s not always easy to play at such a high level when you change country, change league. He was not used to the intensity of England, but he looks like he was playing here a long time. He is playing really good, really impressive."

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