Merson makes huge CL prediction after Liverpool, Chelsea cup final

Joe Williams
Liverpool striker Sadio Mane and Thaigo Silva

Paul Merson thinks either Liverpool or Chelsea will win the Champions League after watching the League Cup final between the two sides.

The Reds ran out winners on penalties with subsitute goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga blazing his crucial spot-kick over the bar after the sides couldn’t be separated in extra time.

Chelsea and Liverpool both produced good performances in an entertaining spectacle and former Arsenal midfielder Merson reckons one of them will be Champions League winners in May.

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Merson said in his Sky Sports column: “I watched the game on Sunday and those two are not going to be a million miles away from winning the Champions League. They have got the best two defences in Europe and if you want to win Champions League football over two legs, you need to keep clean sheets.

“I think those teams have the ammunition going forward. People will say, ‘well, it was a 0-0’, but it was not a 0-0 game was it? It was outstanding. Great goalkeeping, great defending, good centre-forward play. Not great finishing, but it just showed me that both teams are bang in there for the Champions League.

“One of them two [will win it]. They are so good at the back. I watch Man City and they will give you a chance.

“I think Liverpool have got more chance of winning the Champions League than the Premier League. They can lose three more matches in the Champions League and still win it, but if they lose three Premier League games they have got no chance. They have got no leeway in the Premier League.”

Kepa was the only player to miss a penalty out of 22 attempts on Sunday and Merson was amazed by the quality of spot-kicks.

Merson added: “The penalties, some of them were mind-blowing. You have got to remember, when seven, eight, nine, 10 and 11 are coming up, they have not in their wildest dreams thought they were taking a penalty.

“People have got to remember it’s like nothing else. You are walking from the halfway line, it’s different from taking a penalty in the Premier League. That walk is just so, so different. I’ve done it enough times.

“Particularly when you are Chelsea and you’re taking a penalty just to stay in it, that takes some doing. In front of the Liverpool fans, fair play to them.

“But I don’t like penalties and I don’t like goalkeepers taking penalties.”