The Brazilian took the second kick from the spot and dinked it masterfully past Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga. Fabinho has looked confident going forward and has been in good goalscoring form for the Reds this season, so his audacious kick did not come as a massive surprise.
Liverpool eventually won the marathon penalty shootout 11-10 to win the Carabao Cup after Arrizabalaga skied his own kick into the stands.
Speaking ahead of his side's clash against Inter Milan in the UEFA Champions League, Fabinho revealed his decision to take the Panenka penalty was premeditated.
The Brazilian said in a press conference:
“The day before, I tried to do a Panenka. It was just me and Luis Diaz, with no keeper. I told him, 'tomorrow, if it goes to penalties, 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!”
“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. I have more confidence in the box now.”
Fabinho’s penalty shows Liverpool have their swagger back
Liverpool rode their luck at times against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final with the Blues’ poor finishing letting them down. However, the victory has seen the Reds start playing with the level of authority needed to compete with Manchester City for the Premier League title.
Fabinho has also left his imprint on the team's improved displays this season. He has managed six goals across all competitions this term and hasn’t shied away from pushing forward when required.
It takes a player with supreme confidence to score a Panenka against a goalkeeper who is dubbed a penalty specialist. Fabinho's spot-kick against Chelsea perhaps reflects where the Merseyside outfit are right now. They are competing for an unprecedented quadruple and have renewed belief.
After going trophyless owing to several injuries last season, Liverpool have found their swagger again in the ongoing campaign. Jurgen Klopp’s side will look to make it a historic season in the coming months and Fabinho will be crucial to their hopes.