Chelsea vs Liverpool final score, result, highlights as Van Dijk wins Carabao Cup final 2024 in extra time

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk

 

One down, three to go. Jurgen Klopp’s farewell tour at Liverpool has got off to a memorable, record-breaking start.

The Reds went to Wembley Stadium missing several first-team stars, including Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Alisson. They lost Ryan Gravenberch in the first half of this Carabao Cup final, Moises Caicedo leaving his mark on the midfielder’s left foot. They started extra time with 18-year-old Jayden Danns leading the attack. And yet, as the vociferous thousands who had travelled from Merseyside and beyond showed in the dying minutes inside the stadium, you somehow knew they were going to do it.

 

Virgil van Dijk, who had earlier had a goal disallowed for an offside decision that would have caused far more consternation had Chelsea won this final, proved himself the hero, burying a header from Kostas Tsimikas’ corner with barely two minutes left. It was fitting that arguably Klopp’s finest signing delivered him the first of what could be four trophies to sign off his time at Liverpool. They can still win the Premier League, FA Cup, and UEFA Europa League before June.

Chelsea vs Liverpool final score

ET FT Goalscorers
Chelsea 0
Liverpool 1 Van Dijk (118′)

Chelsea (4-2-3-1, right to left): 28. Djordje Petrovic (GK) — 27. Malo Gusto, 2. Axel Disasi, 26. Levi Colwill, 21. Ben Chilwell (14. Trevoh Chalobah, 112′) — 8. Enzo Fernandez, 25. Moises Caicedo — 20. Cole Palmer, 23. Conor Gallagher (11. Noni Madueke, 97′), 7. Raheem Sterling (18. Christopher Nkunku, 67′) — 15. Nicolas Jackson (10. Mykhailo Mudryk, 90′)

Liverpool (4-3-3, right to left): 62. Caoimhin Kelleher (GK) — 84. Conor Bradley (42. Bobby Clark, 73′), 5. Ibrahima Konate (78. Jarell Quansah, 105′), 4. Virgil van Djik, 26. Andrew Robertson (21. Kostas Tsimikas, 87′) —  10. Alexis Mac Allister (53. James McConnell, 87′), 3. Wataru Endo, 38. Ryan Gravenberch (2. Joe Gomez, 28′) — 19. Harvey Elliot, 18. Cody Gakpo (76. Jayden Danns, 87′), 7. Luis Diaz

For Chelsea, this will feel like a significant missed opportunity. They remain a team that is hard to describe, without a clear identity or particular selling point to fans old and new: poorly planned, strangely assembled, and astonishingly expensive.

And yet, they could easily have won this game in normal time. Liverpool’s early superiority in a frenetic opening half-hour, before the Gravenberch injury, did not yield much by way of clear-cut chances. Chelsea, when they managed to string passes together, looked a real threat on the break. Conor Gallagher should have scored in the second half when one-on-one with Caoimhin Kelleher, and he hit the base of the post with a clever shot from Cole Palmer’s cross. Raheem Sterling did score before halftime, converting a low cross from Nicolas Jackson after Andrew Robertson was caught upfield, but the tiniest of offside margins denied him. Djordje Petrovic was kept busy, but the majority of his saves were more or less routine, although he too had the woodwork to thank when Cody Gakpo looked likely to score.

 

He could do nothing when Van Dijk thumped in a header from Andrew Robertson’s cross just past the hour, but there was a reprieve when referee Chris Kavanagh was called to the pitchside monitor and ruled that Wataru Endo was offside when he stopped Levi Colwill from running to where the cross ended up. It was not, in isolation, an unfair call, but it would take a brave person to predict that such infringements will be punished on a regular basis.

Chelsea ended the 90 minutes the stronger, Liverpool finally looking leggy, anxious. Gallagher’s face-off with Kelleher came in the 86th minute; moments later, a pinball in the Reds box could have gone anywhere. It went into Kelleher’s gloves.

As extra time began, Chelsea looked like they could kick on and take control of the game. Instead, they wilted. Therein lies one of the great qualities of Klopp’s Liverpool: an obstinate, die-hard refusal to let adversity overcome them. They pushed Chelsea back, quietened the blue half of the stadium, as ‘Allez, allez, allez’ boomed out from those fans in red. Pochettino and his players didn’t seem to have an answer.

Just as penalties beckoned, Liverpool struck the knockout blow. Van Dijk, already struggling with fatigue, dragged those long legs into one more run across the box to meet Tsimikas’ corner. Trevoh Chalobah, only just on as a substitute for Chelsea captain Chilwell, didn’t go with him. Van Dijk’s glancing header flew past Petrovic. He, like the disconsolate Axel Disasi, knew the game was done.

Chelsea were heavily criticised by Sky Sports pundits Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher for not doing more against such an inexperienced Liverpool team shorn of star players. This certainly felt like a great chance to win a first piece of silverware in the Todd Boehly era, and they will rue those few golden opportunities they had to score. It feels unfair that Gallagher missed the best of them: he ran himself into the ground for the Chelsea cause, not for the first time this season.

But it shouldn’t be forgotten that this remains the early stages of a project at Stamford Bridge, with a a manager in his first season in the post and a youthful team that, let’s remember, are 11th in the Premier League and 25 points behind Liverpool (and finished 12th last season). Indeed, Chelsea’s average age at the start of extra time was younger than that of their opponents (23.2 years of age compared to 25), despite the inexperienced players on whom Klopp had been forced to call. It was also inappropriate for Carragher to claim this was a result that shows “football is about more than money” given that Liverpool’s match-winner cost £75 million.

What this final did show, unquestionably, was how much Liverpool will miss Klopp. The way he has inspired this team to success since October 2015 was laid bare in the cold and rain of Wembley, as youngsters came off the bench and players filled in in makeshift roles with apparently not an ounce of fear.

One trophy down, three to go. If anyone can do it, Klopp can.

Chelsea vs Liverpool updates, highlights, and commentary

End of extra time: Chelsea 0-1 Liverpool

It’s all over, and Liverpool have won the Carabao Cup again!

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