Liverpool lift League Cup trophy with late win over Chelsea | Football News

Liverpool clinched the League Cup trophy in a thrilling fashion as Virgil van Dijk‘s header deep into extra time secured a 1-0 triumph over Chelsea at Wembley on Sunday.
Despite Jurgen Klopp‘s team being plagued by injuries, they persevered through a grueling contest, fielding several young players. However, it was their seasoned leader who ultimately secured their 10th League Cup title.
Van Dijk had previously seen a goal controversially ruled out by VAR, but the Dutch defender capitalized on an opportunity, nodding in the decisive goal with just two minutes remaining.

This victory marked Liverpool’s first silverware since Klopp announced his impending departure at the end of the season.
“What happened here today is absolutely 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’s reign at Anfield has yielded seven major trophies over nine years.

The German manager is banking on Liverpool’s recent League Cup victory, their first since the 2022 FA Cup, to serve as a catalyst for a remarkable farewell campaign.
Currently pursuing a quadruple, Liverpool lead the Premier League, have a fifth-round FA Cup clash against Southampton on Wednesday, and are set to face Sparta Prague in the Europa League last 16.
Chelsea endured another disappointing outing at Wembley, reminiscent of their defeats in the 2022 League Cup and FA Cup finals against Liverpool.
Manager Mauricio Pochettino urged Chelsea supporters not to judge him solely on winning titles amid a challenging debut season.
Despite their talent, Chelsea have failed to secure domestic silverware since the 2018 FA Cup and squandered numerous opportunities during regular 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 still 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.”
Liverpool’s squad was decimated by injuries to 11 key players, including the likes of Mohamed Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Alisson Becker, Darwin Nunez, Diogo Jota and Dominik Szoboszlai.
As a result, young talents like Conor Bradley and Harvey Elliott were handed starting roles, while Bobby Clark (19), James McConnell (19), Jarell Quansah (21) and Jayden Danns (18) were called upon from the bench.

Despite fielding a youthful lineup, Liverpool quickly found their rhythm, led by Luis Diaz who spearheaded their attacking efforts.
Diaz seized an opportunity created by Chelsea’s defensive lapse, launching a powerful strike that forced a commendable save from Djordje Petrovic.
However, Chelsea nearly capitalized on their first significant foray forward, as Conor Gallagher’s deflected cross fell to Cole Palmer, whose close-range effort was brilliantly thwarted by Caoimhin Kelleher.
Liverpool suffered another blow as Ryan Gravenberch was stretchered off with a twisted leg following a challenge from Moises Caicedo.
The deadlock seemed broken when Van Dijk rose above Ben Chilwell to head in Andrew Robertson’s free-kick, but VAR intervened, ruling out the goal for offside against Wataru Endo.

Chelsea squandered chances, with Axel Disasi missing a glaring opportunity and Gallagher hitting the post before Kelleher denied him.
As the match headed into extra time, Kelleher made crucial saves from Palmer and Christopher Nkunku to keep Liverpool in the game.
In a thrilling finale, Van Dijk’s header from Kostas Tsimikas’s corner found the net just moments before penalties, sealing the win for Liverpool as Klopp celebrated with a mix of joy and astonishment.


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