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Van Dijk’s late header helps Liverpool win the Carabao Cup final

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Carabao Cup final
Van Dijk's late header helps Liverpool win the Carabao Cup final. Photo/ Sky News.
  • Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk scored deep in extra time to give a ‘weak’ Liverpool side a remarkable victory in the Carabao Cup final
  • Chelsea’s run to the final had emerged as a silver lining for coach Mauricio Pochettino but it turned out to be a bitter blow

Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk scored deep in extra time to give a ‘weak’ Liverpool side a remarkable victory in the Carabao Cup final.

The final, which took place between Liverpool and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium, saw both sides denied goals and was scoreless after 90 minutes, before van Dijk’s header glancing header off a corner in the 118th minute sealed the win for the Reds.

Carabao Cup final

Virgil van Dijk scored the winner deep in extra time as Liverpool became the first side to win the Carabao Cup ten times. Photo/ Premier Bet Uganda.

Liverpool entered the final without a host of star names such as Mohamed Salah, Diogo Jota and Darwin Nunez, who are all injured. The already depleted squad took a further hit after Ryan Gravenberch left the pitch injured in the 28th minute following a hard challenge from Moises Caicedo. But in the end, they did what mattered the most, win.

The Reds have achieved the first part of a potential four-trophy haul in Jurgen Klopp’s last season at the club. Speaking after the match, Klopp said Sunday’s Carabao Cup was easily the most special trophy he has ever won in his career.

“I loved it. What we see today is so exceptional. We might never see it again, these things don’t happen in football. Apparently you don’t win trophies with kids, I didn’t know that. It is easily the most special trophy I’ve ever won. It’s absolutely exceptional. I wish I could feel pride more often, tonight that’s the overwhelming feeling. I couldn’t care less about my legacy, I’m not here to create one. I’m here to do the job.” Sky Sports quotes Klopp.

Chelsea’s run to the final had emerged as a silver lining for coach Mauricio Pochettino but it turned out to be a bitter blow. As Pochettino’s search for a silverware in England continues, the Blues are questioning themselves for failure to triumph in the Carabao Cup. Following yesterday’s defeat, they have now lost six consecutive Wembley finals.

How Liverpool Won The Carabao Cup Final

Despite Chelsea having squad advantage over Liverpool, they started shaky and almost conceded twice. The Blues goalkeeper Dorde Petrovic was called into action twice in quick successions to deny Alexis Mac Allister and Luis Diaz.

Chelsea then slowly got into the game and had their own opportunity in the 20th minute when Cole Palmer shot from close range but was denied by Caoimhin Kelleher. Nicolas Jackson almost pounced on the follow-up but was denied by Wataru Endo who quickly cleared the ball.

Jurgen Klopp’s already weak side suffered a blow before the end of the first period when Ryan Gravenberch was forced off injured after getting tackled by Caicedo.

Carabao Cup final

Liverpool beat Chelsea to win the Carabao Cup final. Photo/ The Guardian.

Chelsea thought they had taken the lead shortly afterwards through Raheem Sterling, but the assistant referee correctly recognized that Nicolas Jackson had strayed offside in the build-up to the goal.

Cody Gakpo then headed onto the post and Levi Colwill blocked Conor Bradley’s well-taken effort before the end of the first period. The Reds returned after the break with with momentum and Van Dijk thought he had given his side the lead when he headed home on the hour mark. The goal was ruled out for offside because of Endo blocking off Colwill after initially being in an offside position.

A winner remained out of reach for both sides in normal time and the Carabao Cup final had to be decided deep in extra time when Van Dijk rose from a corner, to nod in at the Liverpool end, sending the Reds into bedlam. Following the triumph, Liverpool became the first English team to win the Carabao Cup ten times.

Abraham Odhiambo is an avid sports fan who loves to write about football, boxing and wrestling. He's a big supporter of Manchester United. He's pursuing a bachelor's degree in Communication and Media at Egerton University.

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