VIRGIL VAN DIJK wins Carabao Cup for Reds with dramatic extra time goal

Sunday, February 25, 2024
 – Dutch defender, Virgil van Dijk helped a young Liverpool team to Carabao Cup glory on Sunday night, February 25.

Van Dijk headed home an 118th-minute winner from a corner - after having an earlier effort controversially disallowed by VAR as the Reds condemned Chelsea to a sixth consecutive Wembley cup final defeat.

Klopp put in three teenage substitutes in the latter stages of the game but still saw his injury-ravaged side defeat Chelsea’s team, leaving Mauricio Pochettino, still without a trophy in English football

With Mo Salah, Darwin Nunez and Dominik Szoboszlai all injured, Chelsea should have made light work of Liverpool but that wasn't the case.

The Blues started poorly with Levi Colwill at the heart of the defence. Chelsea's keeper Djordje Petrovic was soon forced into a decent save from a powerful Luis Diaz shot.

Chelsea came close on 21 minutes - Sterling was blocked off by Conor Bradley, only for Conor Gallagher’s close-range effort to be brilliantly saved by Caoimhin Kelleher.

Moises Caicedo was guilty of a horrible late challenge on Ryan Gravenberch, which left him in agony on the touchline but referee Chris Kavanagh, consistently one of the Premier League’s worst officials, missed it and VAR didn't suggest the possibility of a straight red card.

Gravenberch was withdrawn, replaced by Joe Gomez, then Bradley moved into midfield, a tactical change from Klopp.

Raheem Sterling goal for the Blues, however, a skeptical offside call denied their celebration.

Later on Cole Palmer’s through-ball fed Jackson, who squared for Sterling to find the net.

But Jackson was flagged offside and despite the Chelsea striker looking to be onside, Brooks again refused to get involved.

Liverpool twice went close themselves, Cody Gakpo crashing a header against the post, then Brdaley having a shot blocked

Andy Robertson swung in a free-kick from the left and Van Dijk scored with a towering header only for the effort to be disallowed by the forensics department spotting a block by an offside Wataru Endo on Colwill.

In extra time, Klopp sent on three teenagers - Bobby Clark, Jayden Danns and James McConnell.

Liverpool caused a corner in Chelsea's post and Tsimikas delivered it to the near post. Van Dijk shook off Disasi and headed in front of Mykhailo Mudryk to score inside the far post.

With three more trophies up for grabs, Liverpool football club ended the night as the 2023/2024 Carabao cup champions.

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