Liverpool penalty record in cup finals: 70% win-rate bodes well for Reds

Liverpool’s last two trophy triumphs – the 2021/22 EFL Cup and FA Cup double – were both won from the penalty spot against Chelsea. The Reds have been involved in around one silverware-deciding shootout every two years since the turn of the millennium, and have recorded some famous victories from the spot.

Liverpool's 2022 Carabao Cup final is part of the impressive Liverpool penalty record in cup finals
Liverpool players celebrate winning the 2022 Carabao Cup Final on penalties. – Photo by Icon sport

Liverpool penalty record in cup finals – the numbers

Liverpool have taken part in ten shootouts to decide finals this century, and have won an impressive seven of them, giving them an impressive win percentage of 70%. 

The Reds have also only failed to score at least four of their spot-kicks once since 2000, in their 2016 EFL Cup final loss to Manchester City in Jurgen Klopp’s first season.

Liverpool penalty record in cup finals – latest odds

Liverpool to win the EFL Cup – 7/4

Liverpool are tipped as strong favourites to take the first serious bit of silverware in the English footballing calendar back to Anfield against Chelsea.

Despite a handful of bright moments, the Blues have generally had a pretty torrid 2023/24, and were bulldozed 4-1 at Anfield a few short weeks ago. Their young squad has neither the quality of experience of Liverpool.

History also tells us Liverpool are favourites, no side can match the Reds’ haul of nine EFL Cups. For more on Liverpool’s dominance of the EFL Cup, check out our explainer on how the Reds became the competition’s kings.

Liverpool and Chelsea to draw after 90 minutes – 11/4

But if 2021/22 is anything to go by, Pochettino’s men may not be pushovers. Across over 240 minutes of action in the EFL and FA Cup finals, Chelsea kept Klopp’s team at bay. 

No mean feat, when facing Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane at the peaks of their powers, even if they also failed to find a way past Alisson or Caoimhin Kelleher themselves.

Today’s Chelsea side is one transformed from two seasons ago, however, there have been three managers since Thomas Tuchel’s 2022 departure, and it is unlikely any player from the 2021/22 finals will play on Sunday.

Mohamed Salah to score the winning penalty – 35/1*

Liverpool’s two cup final shootout Chelsea in 2022 were won by unlikely scorers: Kostas Tsimikas and Caoimhin Kelleher, as both entered sudden death.

But we back Mo Salah to net a winner if this game goes to penalties. The Egyptian has scored 80% of his Liverpool penalties, and often goes fifth in the taking order, as he did in the 2022 EFL Cup final and for Egypt AFCON 2021 (he was not on the pitch for the 2022 FA Cup final shootout), as the 31-year-old thrives on the pressure and responsibility.

Liverpool’s top five penalty shootout wins this century

Steven Gerrard played his part in the excellent Liverpool penalty record in cup finals
Steven Gerrard was always reliable from the spot – Photo by Icon Sport

5) Liverpool 3-1 West Ham FA Cup final 2006

This cup final saw one of Steven Gerrard’s most iconic performances in a Liverpool shirt. The Reds fell two goals behind early, but Gerrard scored two to end regular play at 3-3.

Gerrard dutifully converted his spot-kick, but a young Pepe Reina stole the show with three saves from West Ham’s four attempts.

4) Liverpool 14-13 Middlesbrough EFL Cup third round 2014

Most penalty shootouts are resolved within the first ten kicks. A few go to the sudden death phase. 

But shootouts almost never become as attritional as the Reds’ 2014 EFL Cup victory over Middlesbrough, which saw a remarkable eight players take two spot kicks. Albert Adomah was the unfortunate man to miss his second kick

Liverpool won the 2022 FA Cup final on penalties too – Photo by Icon Sport

3) Chelsea 5-6 Liverpool FA Cup final 2022

Speaking of rare occurrences, it is not common for the EFL and FA Cups to feature the same teams in the same season, and unheard of for both to go to spot-kicks. 

Liverpool sealed this rare achievement with a winning penalty from Kostas Tsimikas after Cesar Azpilicueta, Sadio Mane and Mason Mount missed their kicks.

2) Chelsea 10-11 Liverpool EFL Cup final 2022

As special as Liverpool’s second victory over Chelsea was, the Reds’ first shootout win of the year can’t be outdone on its own terms.

This game saw all 22 players on the pitch at the end of the 120 minutes take spot kicks, with Caoimhin Kelleher winning his battle of wits with Kepa Arrizabalaga, who had been substituted on specifically for the shootout.

Vladimir Smicer's finest hour came in the 2005 Champions League final – Photo by Icon Sport

1) AC Milan 5-6 Liverpool Champions League final 2005

Finishing as we started, let’s end with a Gerrard masterclass. The Liverpool legend saw his side three goals down at half-time against a side full of AC Milan greats, and took it upon himself to single-handedly drag his boyhood club to their first European title in over 40 years.

In the shootout, Jerzy Dudek came into his own, saving half of Milan’s on-target penalties. Vladimir Smicer scored the decisive penalty to complete the most iconic comeback in Champions League history, known simply as ‘Istanbul’ after the great city it took place in.

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William Evans

William Evans is a football and politics fanatic. A first-class graduate of UEA's Broadcast and Digital Journalism MA course, he also achieved a first class degree in politics and media studies during his time at UEA.