Gary Neville brands Chelsea ‘blue billion pound bottle jobs’ after late Carabao Cup heartbreak

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Gary Neville wrote the headlines when he made a decisive statement in the aftermath of Virgil van Dijk’s winning goal for Liverpool against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final.

The game looked like it might go to penalties without a goal, just like the 2022 final had done between the two sides, but Liverpool’s captain and most experienced player timed his run perfectly to head home a Kostas Tsimikas corner with just three minutes of extra time remaining.

When the final whistle blew, Neville, proclaimed as co-commentator on Sky Sports: “(Jurgen) Klopp’s kids against the blue billion-pound bottlejobs”.

The initial 90 minutes of football could not separate the two sides, Raheem Sterling’s first-half goal was chalked off for offside, as was Van Dijk’s earlier effort.

His first one was also a header from a set piece, but it was Andy Robertson’s free kick, and it was ruled out controversially for an offside by Wataru Endo as the ball came in.

Van Dijk made up for the earlier missed effort with the header in the final minutes of the game, as Liverpool’s injury hit side was populated with children.

Gary Neville had his say on Chelsea’s performance after the match (PA Archive)
Gary Neville had his say on Chelsea’s performance after the match (PA Archive)

Liverpool had already named a youthful side for the game, with 11 senior players unavailable to Jurgen Klopp ahead of the match.

The Reds’ injury woes were dealt a further blow in the 27th minute when Ryan Gravenberch went down under a poor challenge from Moises Caicedo and had to be carried off on a stretcher following the collision.

While Liverpool’s injuries led to Conor Bradley starting in the side, it was when the substitutes started to come on that the side took a turn for the inexperienced.

Bobby Clark, James McConnell and Jayden Danns all played for all of the half an hour of added time despite having just a handful of senior caps between them.

Van Dijk paid tribute to the youngsters after the match, saying to Sky Sports: “It’s emotion, it’s everything I am so proud of the boys.

“All of the young boys playing their part in what we achieved today it’s incredible and on to more.”

Neville had one last quip as a Manchester United former player and fan, saying: “Look at the energy, the passion, the spirit of Klopp. I can’t wait until he leaves!”