Home News Liverpool 1-0 Chelsea: Van Dijk brings home the League Cup!

Liverpool 1-0 Chelsea: Van Dijk brings home the League Cup!

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Liverpool were forced to grit their teeth and fight through pain and adversity, but came up trumps at the end of extra time to beat Chelsea and win the League Cup!

Liverpool 1-0 Chelsea (AET)

Carabao Cup Final, Wembley
February 25, 2024

Goals

Van Dijk 119′ (assist – Tsimikas)


With all the nerves of a Wembley final, Liverpool began the afternoon in a similar vein to midweek against Luton – dominant, but without the finishing touch.

It was actually Chelsea, who started quietly, whose efforts almost bore fruit early on, but Caoimhin Kelleher pulled off a stunning save to deny Cole Palmer before a huge block from Wataru Endo.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 25, 2024: Liverpool's goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher makes a save during the Football League Cup Final match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Wembley Stadium. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A clear foul from Moises Caicedo – overlooked by referee Chris Kavanagh – forced Ryan Gravenberch off with an early injury and forced Jurgen Klopp into an early change.

Joe Gomez came on, with Harvey Elliott moving into midfield and Conor Bradley pushing ahead to the right wing.

Chelsea had the ball in the back of the net soon after, with Nicolas Jackson drifting between Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate and feeding Raheem Sterling for the finish, but the goal was ruled out for offside.

A brilliant flowing move saw Andy Robertson tee Cody Gakpo for a header that left Djordje Petrovic rooted but bounced off the post, while Luis Diaz passed when he could have shot soon after, with Liverpool ending the half level but in the ascendency.

HT: Liverpool 0-0 Chelsea

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 25, 2024:Conor Bradley of Liverpool and Nicolas Jackson of Chelsea in action during the Football League Cup Final match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Wembley Stadium. (Photo by Peter Powell/Propaganda)

There were, unsurprisingly given the lack of options, no changes for Liverpool at the break, with Chelsea starting arguably the stronger of the two sides.

Elliott was brighter after moving to his more natural role as a No. 8, and an arrowed, left-footed volley went close to breaking the deadlock, only for a smart save from Petrovic.

Van Dijk powered in a sumptuous header for what looked to be 1-0, but Kavanagh and the VAR team somehow ruled the goal out for an offside Endo, who had blocked Levi Colwill in the buildup.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 25, 2024: Virgil van Dijk captain of Liverpool scores but the goal is cancelled by VAR during the Football League Cup Final match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Wembley Stadium. (Photo by Peter Powell/Propaganda)

At either end there were big chances missed, first from Chelsea‘s Axel Disasi and then Gakpo for Liverpool, who powered over the bar after fine work from Diaz.

Klopp made an understandable tweak as the tiring Bradley came off, the manager showing his faith in 19-year-old Bobby Clark who went into midfield as Elliott returned to the attack.

Conor Gallagher was inches away from scoring with a flick following Palmer’s trickery, only for the ball to bounce back off the post, with the midfielder denied again later on by the outstanding Kelleher.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 25, 2024: Liverpool's Jayden Danns shoots during the Football League Cup Final match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Wembley Stadium. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There were three more changes for the Reds including Jayden Danns’ cup bow, with the striker coming on along with Kostas Tsimikas and James McConnell as Robertson, Gakpo and Alexis Mac Allister made way.

A flurry of shots from Chelsea – two saves from Kelleher and blocks from Gomez and Konate – paved the way for the end of 90 minutes and the start of extra time.

End of 90 mins: Liverpool 0-0 Chelsea

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 25, 2024: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp reacts during the Football League Cup Final match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Wembley Stadium. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Extra time began with a spell of possession from Liverpool and a chance for Danns after Van Dijk’s header across goal, with the teenager’s effort pushed over the bar.

The travelling Kop thought Elliott had finally opened the scoring, but the Man of the Match contender could only steer his left-footed volley into the side-netting.

A tense final 15 minutes ended with, fittingly, a brilliant headed goal from Van Dijk to bring the League Cup back to Anfield!


TIA Man of the Match: Virgil van Dijk

Referee: Chris Kavanagh

Liverpool: Kelleher; Bradley (Clark 72′), Konate (Quansah 105′), Van Dijk, Robertson (Tsimikas 87′); Endo, Mac Allister (McConnell 87′), Gravenberch (Gomez 28′); Elliott, Diaz, Gakpo (Danns 87′)

Subs not used: Adrian, Nyoni, Koumas

Chelsea: Petrovic; Gusto, Disasi, Colwill, Chilwell (Chalobah 113′); Caicedo, Fernandez; Palmer, Gallagher (Madueke 97′), Sterling (Nkunku 66′); Jackson (Mudryk 90′)

Subs not used: Sanchez, Bettinelli, Gee, Gilchrist, Tauriainen

Next match: Southampton (H) – FA Cup 5th Round – Wednesday, February 28, 8pm (GMT)