• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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Van Dijk scores as Liverpool down Chelsea to win Carabao Cup

Liverpool-Carabao Cup

Virgil van Dijk’s header late in extra-time sealed a 1-0 win against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley on Sunday.

Virgil van Dijk’s header deep into extra time gave an under-strength Liverpool a remarkable Carabao Cup final win over Chelsea at Wembley.

Van Dijk earlier had a goal controversially disallowed by VAR, but the Dutch defender pounced to nod home with just two minutes left.

It was Liverpool’s 10th Carabao Cup title and first trophy following Klopp’s announcement that he would be leaving Anfield at the end of the 2023/24 season.

The German will hope Liverpool’s first silverware since the 2022 FA Cup will be a send-forth party for Klopp.

Liverpool sit top of the Premier League, face Southampton in the FA Cup fifth round on Wednesday and take on Sparta Prague in the Europa League last 16.

“What happened here today is insane. These things are not possible besides a team, squad, academy full of character,” Klopp said.

“The craziest thing is we deserved it. I couldn’t be prouder of them. Wow! It was really cool.

“I’m sure we brought on all the kids! We needed fresh legs. They were very young, but they did the job.”

Klopp has now won seven major trophies in his nine-year Anfield reign.

The German will hope Liverpool’s first silverware since the 2022 FA Cup will be the springboard for an incredible farewell tour.

Quadruple-chasing Liverpool sit top of the Premier League, face Southampton in the FA Cup fifth round on Wednesday and take on Sparta Prague in the Europa League last 16.

It was another bitter Wembley experience for Chelsea, who lost the 2022 League Cup and FA Cup finals against Liverpool.

Blues boss Mauricio Pochettino has asked Chelsea fans not to judge him on “winning titles” amid a troubled first season in charge.

But Chelsea remain without domestic silverware since the 2018 FA Cup and had only themselves to blame after missing a host of chances in normal time.

“That was the key. We created four, five or six big chances and we didn’t score. In a game like this, whoever scores first will have a big advantage,” said Pochettino, who is yet to win a trophy in English football.

“We felt the disappointment of not winning in normal time. We didn’t have the energy in extra-time. They scored in the last minutes and it was difficult to react.”