Van Dijk gives a miraculous Liverpool an epic Carabao Cup in the 118th minute –
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Van Dijk gives a miraculous Liverpool an epic Carabao Cup in the 118th minute



Miraculous. This was this Carabao Cup for Liverpool . For the losses he had, for the saves of the ‘hero’ Kelleher… and for captain Van Dijk’s goal with a header in the 118th minute of extra time. Klopp’s Liverpool is champion against a Chelsea that falls again to the ‘Pool’ and falls again at Wembley, its ‘black’ stadium in recent history.

The match between the two ended 0-0 in the 90′, as happened in the 2022 FA Cup final (won by Pool on penalties); and how it happened in the Carabao 2022 final (also won by the ‘reds’ on penalties). In the seven finals between them in history, five have gone to extra time. Today was one more.

It was almost a ‘Liverpool B’, with the absences of Salah, Darwin Núñez, Szoboszlai, Alexander-Arnold, Curtis Jones, Diogo Jota, Alisson, Thiago Alcántara, Matip and Bajcetic. As if that were not enough, at half an hour, a serious tackle (without yellow) from Caicedo on Gravenberch left the Dutchman out of the game, with Joe Gómez entering as a right back and causing a domino effect in the positions of Bradley and Elliott. For his part, Mauricio Pochettino, who came into the match with a record of 13-1 against in his duels with Klopp, had the absences of Reece James, Badiashile, Cucurella and Ugochukwu.

The match was hectic in the first half, with two clear chances for Chelsea: the first was thwarted by Kelleher, who was already a hero in the Carabao won by Pool against this same Chelsea on penalties in 2022; The second, which ended in a goal by Sterling, was disallowed due to offside (just barely) by Jackson. Chelsea warned. For its part, almost at the end of the first half, the ‘Pool’ sent a ball to the post by Gakpo. This is how this first part ended.

The second half began with a greater ‘red’ rhythm, although the one who had it was Enzo , with a forced backheel. All before the controversial play of the match arrived: a goal disallowed to Van Dijk, who headed cleanly after a great foul by Robertson. Why was it canceled then? The Japanese Endo, who was on the offside, blocked Van Dijk’s natural marker, Colwill. And that is why, in the face of Klopp’s protests, the 0-1 score was annulled.


The next two clear ones were ‘blues’. A close-range shot from Disasi, who didn’t have his best day, and another from Gallagher’s post (75′). Nothing, the ball did not want to enter this final. But the game could be decided at any moment. But Kelleher was there again, the hero of the 0-0 draw two years ago, stopping another impossible ball from Gallagher. A Kelleher who repeated a miracle in the 92nd minute with a double chance for Chelsea. It seemed incredible that Liverpool did not fall in the 90’s.

The ‘Pool’ kept bringing in kids (they didn’t have any more), and they played overtime with them: Bobby Clark (19 years old); James McConnell (19); Jayden Danns (18); and Quansah (21), plus Elliott (20). Six very young players to face extra time, which was also eventful, with a ‘Pool’ determined to spring the ‘surprise’ and with an Elliott who was able to score 1-0 on several occasions, including a final in the 116th minute. The ‘Pool’ was better in extra time… and Van Dijk’s goal came in the 118th minute.

Anyway, Pochettino still hasn’t won in England, since he didn’t win titles with either Southampton or Tottenham . He did do it with PSG (Ligue 1, Coupe and Super Cup). And Chelsea continues with the ‘Wembley curse’. The ‘blue’ team has lost the last seven finals it has played at the London venue: FA Cup 2022 (against Liverpool); Carabao 2022 (Pool); FA Cup 2021 (Leicester); FA Cup 2020 (Arsenal); Carabao 2019 (Man. City); Community Shield 2018 (Man. City); and today’s.

Liverpool reaches 10 Carabaos (City is second with eight) , and Chelsea follows with five. The ‘Pool’ is the king of this League Cup.

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