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Jurgen Klopp’s kids secure one of his greatest achievements – and true Liverpool legacy

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp celebrates after winning the Carabao Cup
Jurgen Klopp is overcome with emotion after defeating Chelsea at Wembley with his young team - Getty Images/Marc Atkins

This was a victory forged in Kirkby. A victory that is up there with Jurgen Klopp’s greatest achievements. Maybe, in a one-off match, in a final, his greatest ever.

In terms of courage, in terms of determination, in terms of that belligerent refusal to accept circumstances have conspired against you, in terms of digging in, digging deeper and doubling down, it possibly even rivals that night in Istanbul in 2005 for Liverpool.

Maybe that is over the top given it was the Carabao Cup that was at stake, and not the Champions League and given Liverpool were facing a Chelsea side struck with an insipid lack of a killer instinct, rather than an AC Milan team that raced into a 3-0 half-time lead. But consider this…

Liverpool had 11 first-team players out. They had two, maybe three, from their strongest XI at the end. It was like an under-21 side laced with a few senior pros in Virgil van Dijk, Wataru Endo and Luis Diaz. Except Diaz, like Harvey Elliott, could barely run.

And consider this. Klopp turned to his bench. He turned to three hugely inexperienced teenagers, youngsters schooled so well at Liverpool’s academy in Kirkby, and he showed how much he believed in them.

They returned that faith. There was 18-year-old Jayden Danns, and Bobby Clark and James McConnell, both just 19. There was 21-year-old Jarell Quansah and, in goal, there was Caoimhin Kelleher, another academy product, albeit at 25, who made two outstanding saves. The first, to deny former Liverpool attacker Raheem Sterling, was world-class.

And so this is Klopp’s legacy in what will be, of course, his final season. Not a 10th League Cup, as welcome as that is, not even keeping alive the dream of a quadruple. No, it is what he has done in bringing back the belief, the spirit, the defiance, the identity. This is Liverpool. This is what it means.

Virgil van Dijk and Caoimhin Kelleher hug
Match-winners Virgil van Dijk and Caoimhin Kelleher celebrate at the final whistle - Getty Images/Charlotte Wilson
Jurgen Klopp and his bench celebrate Van Dijk's winning goal
Klopp and his bench reach after Van Dijk's winning goal - Getty Images/Marc Atkins

It will be some inheritance for Klopp’s successor, with the impressive Conor Bradley, at 20, starting and taking the game to Chelsea, and with Elliott also just 20 but with more than a century of games under his belt and already something of a senior player.

In a sense, given the injuries and the fatigue, Klopp had little choice but to turn to the youngsters. But other managers would have hesitated. They would have persevered with the senior players and tried to keep them out there. But Klopp has the belief and the belief saw them home as he won his eighth trophy as Liverpool manager.

And then there is Van Dijk. Captain, leader, legend as Chelsea fans refer to their own, their former centre-half John Terry. Van Dijk is that for Liverpool. As well as the kids did for them, as hard as they worked, as they were cajoled and encouraged by Klopp, and as much as they grew into this occasion, Liverpool would have been nowhere without Van Dijk.

They lost his centre-half partner, Ibrahima Konate. They took off Andrew Robertson and World Cup-winner Alexis Mac Allister also departed. And yet Van Dijk continued. He was the touchstone, the rallying point, the colossus. He was also the match-winner.

For the fourth time in four and a half years, a final between these two clubs went to extra-time. But unlike in the previous three – European Super Cup in 2019, League Cup final in 2022 and the FA Cup final in the same year – it did not go to a penalty shoot-out. But just like the previous three, Liverpool won.

The goal, with just two minutes of extra time left, said everything about the gulf between these two sides with Van Dijk running from the penalty spot, across the front of goal to angle his header from a corner into the net. He just wanted it and was relatively unchallenged with Axel Disasi arriving late, then dropping to the turf and rolling around in frustration. He pointed to substitutes Christopher Nkunku and Mykhailo Mudryk but no one took responsibility.

The difference in the transfer fees for the teams that finished? Chelsea’s XI cost £521 million. Liverpool’s £163 million with half of that on Van Dijk. But, then, he is priceless.

As Liverpool celebrated it showed how much it meant and it was there at the final whistle and it was there as they went to collect the trophy – as Klopp lifted it with Van Dijk – and then as Sir Kenny Dalglish waited to offer his congratulations in the tunnel.

Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool, celebrates with the Carabao Cup trophy and his players
Klopp savours the moment with his players - Getty Images/Julian Finney

And Chelsea? This could have been – this should have been, given the circumstances – lift off in the post-Roman Abramovich era and with Mauricio Pochettino winning his first trophy in England.

Instead, they left themselves open to being the “blue billion-pound bottlejobs” as pundit Gary Neville delighted in labelling them and, unfortunately for Chelsea, unfortunately for Pochettino, few could argue with that.

As fine a coach as he is, it is just one win in 14 for him when facing Klopp – including the 2019 Champions League when he was in charge of Tottenham Hotspur. Pochettino bent over the hoardings. He knew this was a missed opportunity.

And how his team missed opportunities. Conor Gallagher was their best performer but he could not finish – flicking one chance against a post and then being denied by Kelleher. He was not alone. Nkunku, Disasi, Cole Palmer. They were all wasteful.

Maybe Chelsea will argue they had the better of it – and yet Liverpool also struck the goal-frame. Twice, in fact, with a Cody Gakpo header hitting the post, as did another from Elliott in extra-time.

Both sides also had ‘goals’ disallowed after VAR checks – a finish by Sterling and another header by Van Dijk with Liverpool aggrieved as it was ruled out for Endo blocking off. It was an offence but the argument is a lack of consistency as it happens all the time.

Liverpool also felt anger after Moises Caicedo went unpunished for an ugly challenge on Ryan Gravenberch, who left on a stretcher. It added to Liverpool’s daunting injury list.

But it was also used as fuel to fire them; to show that defiance and that belief that was summed up by Klopp and the kids.


Liverpool beat Chelsea in extra time: As it happened...


07:43 PM GMT

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Congrats to Liverpool. Match report appears above.


07:20 PM GMT

Klopp in the press conference

“What we saw here today was so exceptional, we might never see it again. Not because it’s me on the sidelines, just because these moments don’t come along often. I was told there is an English phrase “you don’t win trophies with kids,” I didn’t know that. This is easily the most special trophy I’ve ever won, it’s absolutely exceptional.”

“I couldn’t care less about my legacy. I’m not here to create one, as a manger of a football club you are there to do the job.

“This was so special, you saw the game. We had problems before the game that got harder during the game. The ref was not up to the level of the game, he didn’t help one team or the other.

“Age is not in our thought process in that moment [sending on kids as subs]. It was clear yesterday in training that these were the boys we would take. We needed fresh legs, it was clear. Jayden Danns has only recently joined us in first team training, I’ve loved him since the first session. He could have scored two goals, it’s absolutely insane.


07:00 PM GMT

Karen Carney

“Obviously he [Poch] will give positive interviews because he knows people are listening but he will be devastated inside and it will be tough to pick that group back up.”


06:40 PM GMT

Mauricio Pochettino press conference

Missed chances?

“I think that was the key. We created five or six chances and didn’t score. In a final who scores first is a big advantage. We didn’t and it was a big problem. They scored in the last minute and it was difficult to react.”

How do you pick up players?

“They are professional and very competitive. And now we need to move forward. We played for a trophy we didn’t get and you can’t say anything to make it better. They need to feel the pain. Liverpool after three or four years, lost the Champions League, lost the Europa League, but they kept believing. That is a good example. We need to keep delivering, that is the most important thing.”

Did you expect more in extra time?

“Of course it was difficult. We were so close to winning the game in 90 minutes and we felt a little bit disappointed, we started to lose our energy, some players started to feel really tired. Maybe they started to feel penalties would be good for us. But I think the effort was massive, I was happy with the effort.”

Your emotions?

“I feel the same as the players. Disappointed. It is so painful. I have less time to win titles than the players, they are younger than me. When you don’t get what you want it is difficult to manage. But we are competitive and if we want to win we have to move on and get ready with training tomorrow and go for Wednesday”

On Neville “bottle job” comments?

“I have a good relationship with Gary. I don’t know how I can take his opinion, but I respect it. I think if you look at the average age of both teams they are not too different. I don’t know how you can describe this situation but for sure I feel proud.”


06:40 PM GMT

Sky reporter

“Enjoy this moment Jurgen, try not to focus on the game on Tuesday.”

Klopp: “TUESDAY??!! I thought it was Wednesday. Oh my God.”


06:34 PM GMT

Jurgen Klopp

“Insane, these things are not possible. Full of character. Unbelievable. I could not be prouder. We deserved it.”

“I’m sure when we brought on all the kids people thought ‘oh they have given up’ but we did it because we needed fresh legs.

“The young players have trained a lot of time with us. They are a pain, to be honest! They all want minutes.”


06:12 PM GMT

Thom Gibbs on the celebrations

“However overwrought and wearing you find the Liverpool FC self-mythologising industry (me? quite!) that was a beautiful moment of communion between fans, players, manager and staff. Those on the pitch forming a line with arms over shoulders and swaying in front of the Liverpool end as they sung You’ll Never Walk Alone. Klopp went a bit early with the “come onnnn!!!” big finish, before the final chorus, and had to sheepishly take his place back in the line. He is transparently eking every bit out of these moments now, knowing he has few of them left.”


06:07 PM GMT

A spine-tingling moment

as Liverpool’s players and staff line up in front of their fans and sing an acapella version of You’ll Never Walk Alone. Oh actually, there is music: it’s just being drowned out!

Jurgen, bless him, takes a moment just with his own thoughts.


06:02 PM GMT

Mark Chapman on Klopp

“I’ve been watching him for the last 20 minutes and he has gone round every player. The injured ones who missed out. I don’t think he’s left anyone out.”


05:56 PM GMT

Peter Drury

“The golden sky, the sweet silver song of the lark.”


05:55 PM GMT

Thom Gibbs writes

“Among the squad members and backroom staff who vaulted the advertising hoardings to celebrate, Ryan Gravenberch, on crutches and in a protective boot. Can’t imagine the physio will be happy with that, but he hasn’t got involved in any of the bundles. Might need a hand up the steps though.”


05:55 PM GMT

Gary Neville again

“The energy, the passion, the spirit of Klopp: I can’t wait til he leaves.”


05:54 PM GMT

Chelsea get up for their medals

They must be gutted, they really should have won. Here is Gary Neville: “Those Chelsea players will regret that for a long, long time. They had Liverpool by the scruff of the neck but Chelsea hit the wall and they didn’t turn up in extra time. I was really disappointed with Chelsea in extra time. He (manager) should have rallied them.”


05:48 PM GMT

Here is van Dijk to Sky

“Means so much. All the young boys on the pitch.... I am so proud of the team. They had chances, we had chances. My first trophy as Liverpool captain, lets enjoy it.”

On being mobbed/bundled by his teammates after scoring: “I just didn’t want to get injured! I wanted to get out of there.”

“We had problems before the game but we put them behind us.”


05:46 PM GMT

Mark Chapman on Sky with the stats

42 attempts and 20 on target before VVD’s winner.


05:43 PM GMT

Full time: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 1

Liverpool have done it. The celebrations begin.


05:40 PM GMT

119 mins: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 1

Van Dijk returning to his day job, a brave and skilled defensive header as Madueke connects with a sweet volley.


05:39 PM GMT

GOAL! Chelsea 0 Liverpool 1 (van Dijk 118)

He was denied before, but he is not denied this time! Virgil van Dijk gets up and across his markers and crashes home a mighty header.

Thom Gibbs: “Van Dijk scores from a more or less identical position to his first half goal and surely there’s no chance of Varring that one out? Pretty ropey marking from Mudryk and those Liverpool fans who literally kept their powder dry are rewarded with another chance to use their contraband pyrotechnic devices. Lots of Chelsea’s heading for the exits.”


05:36 PM GMT

116 mins: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0

Elliot gets free at the back post and has headed/chested the ball onto the post, not quite sure what bit of him that hit. Good stop by the Chelsea keeper and there is a scramble. Somehow it stays out!

Thom Gibbs: “Trevoh Chalobah, presumably amazing at penalties, is Chelsea’s fourth sub. Two left, and two keepers on the bench so still time to bring on your spot kick specialist if Poch doesn’t fancy Petrovic. Or just throw on third choice Marcus Bettinelli to take a pen to mess with Liverpool. Bet they don’t have any data about where he prefers to put his penalties.”


05:33 PM GMT

112 mins: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0

Noni Madueke, who replaced Gallagher on 97 mins, gets free and shoots at the keeper. Kelleher needed two bites at the cherry to grab it. Maybe Madueke could have crossed?


05:29 PM GMT

109 mins: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0

Thom Gibbs writes: “All getting very loose and messy on either side now. Jarell Quansah looking pretty composed since replacing Konate at centre back. Several players with their hands on their haunches at Chelsea prepare to take a corner. This all just feels so unnecessary. Bring back replays!”


05:28 PM GMT

107 mins: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0

Chelsea on the attack but a series of poor decisions sees them squander a couple of good moments. Murdyk one of the culprits.


05:25 PM GMT

Keith Hackett's view

Liverpool should feel aggrieved – two key Carabao Cup final decisions went against them


05:24 PM GMT

HT in ET: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0

Liverpool came back at Chelsea in that period, Chelsea seemed to take their foot off the gas. Klopp bringing the vibes at the changeover, bearhugging his players, notably Tsimikas.

Poch needs to lift his men because they had Liverpool on the ropes at the end of the 90 but have let them get out of trouble in the following quarter hour.

Thom Gibbs: “As ever at this point I would like to suggest a drastic re-imagining of extra time, which so rarely improves a football match. I like the idea of penalties before the game, so teams know who’s going to win if it’s not settled in 30 extra minutes. Yes you’d have a lot of bus parking, but at least it would provide some novelty, for a period.”


05:20 PM GMT

103 mins: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0

Thom Gibbs: “All Liverpool in the first half of extra time. Their fans have turned it up to 11, scarves twirling. Chelsea’s wave their complimentary flags in response and if you are thinking that doesn’t sound very intimidating you would be right.”


05:14 PM GMT

98 mins: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0

Harvey Elliott goes close, shooting into the side netting. Some Liverpool fans thought that had crept in on the narrow angle.


05:10 PM GMT

93 mins: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0

But Liverpool are the side on the attack early on, they’ve got Chelsea pinned back and they’ve put a header just over. Danns the man who nearly wrote his name into Liverpool lore. Here’s Thom Gibbs:

“How close we came to my snide remark about Neil Danns’ son saving the day looking (even more) stupid. His header so nearly creeps under the bar but Petrovic had it covered. Both keepers have played well. Going to be brutal if / when one misses the decisive penalty, Kepa-style”.


05:06 PM GMT

Extra time

coming up. Liverpool certainly have the fresh young legs, having made that late triple change but you have to say that Chelsea appear to have more options.


05:01 PM GMT

End of 90 minutes: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0

Chelsea should be celebrating by now, but they’ll have to go again. They had loads of chances to put Liverpool away in that second half, and the Reds are now have a very inexperienced XI on the pitch.

That said, Liverpool could equally point to a van Dijk goal that was disallowed on a tight call.


04:55 PM GMT

90+ mins: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0

A tremendous goalmouth scramble! Four Chelsea shots in a few seconds, Kelleher and Konate both on the line repelling all four of them by hook or by crook. Chelsea finishing much the stronger.


04:54 PM GMT

88 mins: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0

Thom Gibbs: “Huge save from Kelleher. Should Conor Gallagher have done better? There was a tiny half-touch just before his shot which seemed to delay proceedings. Then Jackson briefly looked to have a one-on-one chance but Konate held him up well. Klopp throwing on the kids is intriguing. Feels like the game just needs one high quality moment to settle it. Luis Diaz looks Liverpool’s best route for that outcome, Cole Palmer for Chelsea.”


04:53 PM GMT

87 mins: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0

Subs, various:

Jackson is off, Murdyk on.

Triple sub by Klopp: Tsimikas, Danns and McConnell on.


04:49 PM GMT

86 mins: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0

Kid you not, Gallagher has had another brilliant chance just a few seconds later, and he’s spurned that one as well.


04:48 PM GMT

85 mins: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0

Gallagher with an absolutely gilt-edged chance. Gallagher is through and just the keeper to beat.


04:45 PM GMT

82 mins: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0

A flurry of big tackles, Konate’s lunge being the wildest of the bunch and it earns him a yellow.


04:44 PM GMT

80 mins: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0

Thom Gibbs on the game’s momentum/energy shift:

“It has turned into an enjoyably tense game. Pure aghast horror from the Chelsea end when Gallagher hit the post. Liverpool look to be flagging a touch. Think that Gakpo blotter miles over the bar from a promising position may come back to haunt them. Feels like it is there to be nicked at either end. Equally think a drab extra time period and long penalty shoot-out is most likely outcome.”


04:38 PM GMT

75 mins: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0

Liverpool standing still, they are defending very deep for some reason. Cole Palmer down the right, plays it in, and Conor Gallagher hits the post with a cute flick!

Another important football figure is having his say.

Clark on for Bradley.


04:32 PM GMT

70 mins: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0

Diaz with a powerful driving run, he lays it off to Gakpo, who blazes wastefully over the bar.


04:29 PM GMT

65 mins: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0

Raheem Sterling is subbed off, the Liverpool supporters bid him a warm farewell.

Thom Gibbs: “Pretty irrelevant day for Raheem Sterling on the site of some of his finest moments, mainly during summer 2021 at Euro not-2020. Nkunku might be exactly what Chelsea leads? They’re certainly winning the singing at the moment, air has gone out of Liverpool after the Var fun. Pink mist still drifting across the pitch from their premature flares.”


04:24 PM GMT

60 mins: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0

Ben Chilwell is having a game to forget. A decent ball into the area, van Dijk has bullied and overpowered Chilwell, and the Liverpool defender guides the ball past the keeper with a calm header.

There is a VAR.

Endo has blocked off Colwill, and Endo was offside when he did it, to boot. The ref goes over to the monitor. Goal disallowed.

Thom Gibbs: “A two-part celebration to that non-goal, Van Dijk the scorer ran towards his fans and Robertson the provider turned back towards his bench. Both deserved their fun, firm header from Van Dijk despite Chilwell having a handful of his shirt. Fantastic delivery from Robertson, from what is a highly unpromising position. Of course none of that matters now. Hooray for videos!”


04:23 PM GMT

56 mins: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0

To that point, Enzo had a glorious position but got the ball stuck under his feet. Palmer, just behind him, was in a much better position but communication broke down.


04:21 PM GMT

55 mins: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0

Thom Gibbs: “Getting to the point now where I’m wondering if both these teams are a bit off-colour today. So many occasions where a promising position has been squandered with a poor pass, and you can see the game becoming a bit more entrenched now, both sides defending deeper, both wary of being undone by a transition, as is the modern parlance for a loss of possession.”


04:20 PM GMT

Close!

Liverpool fans react
Liverpool fans react - Offside via Getty Images

04:13 PM GMT

50 mins: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0

Thom Gibbs: “So here, I think, comes the great Liverpool assault. Am expecting a very full-on start to this half, because what are the other options? Keep it tight and wait for the son of Neil Danns to save the day? Endo’s shot looked a lot closer from my seat than on the replay, I was not alone in making a slightly embarrassing noise as it flew past the post.”


04:09 PM GMT

46 mins: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0

The second half begins and Liverpool are attacking straight away. Gakpo tees up Endo, who fires wide.


04:01 PM GMT

National anthem booed: report

Liverpool football fans boo national anthem at Carabao Cup final


03:57 PM GMT

Matt Law

“Following a nervy start, Chelsea more than matched Liverpool in that first-half. Moises Caicedo is lucky to have not been shown at least a yellow card, but the midfield are fighting well and Mauricio Pochettino’s team are dangerous on the break. Nicolas Jackson can only have been millimetres offside before teeing up Raheem Sterling. Chelsea have more on the substitutes’ bench than Liverpool, so the longer this goes without a goal, it might be Pochettino who has more options.”


03:56 PM GMT

Chris Bascombe

“Liverpool suffered a mid-half dip either side of Gravenberch’s injury. Klopp was irate that the Caicedo tackle was not reviewed by VAR. But his side started and ended the first half the better side. The problem - inevitably - is whether he has the finishing power in his line-up. And his options on the bench are non-existent. On the plus side, Alexis Mac Allister has been outstanding.”


03:54 PM GMT

Half time: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0

An engaging game, both sides having some attacking moments of pace and sharpness, and also some rather iffy defending from both sides. It seems very open: good luck predicting the outcome. Lets get the views of the experts at Wembley.

Here is Thom Gibbs.

in a video.


03:48 PM GMT

45+ mins: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0

Some argy-bargy between Chilwell and Bradley. A yellow card each, which seems both fair and just.


03:43 PM GMT

41 mins: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0

Post! Good Liverpool move down the left, a cross and Gakpo rises above everyone else. He directs the header into the far corner, the Chelsea keeper is totally beaten.... he watches, heart in mouth, as the header dribbles against the far post and stays out.

“Petrovic was wonderfully rooted for that post-hitting header from Gakpo, what a throwback! Feel like keepers now fling themselves at everything, even when doing so is hopeless, because it looks so embarrassing to be stock still as you concede. A reminder of Liverpool’s threat after a much more composed period for Chelsea at the back.”


03:41 PM GMT

Peter Drury says

“Jamie (Carragher) I enjoyed your piece in the paper about the Liverpool academy and all the talent coming through.”

Peter is referring to this.

No phones, no egos, no flash cars: Jamie Carragher interviews the brains behind Liverpool’s talent factory


03:33 PM GMT

32 mins: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0

Chelsea have the ball in the net after a sweeping, dynamic move. Jackson and Sterling with a two-man break and they get it in the net. But is Jackson offside? It’s really close. The onfield decision was offside. And offside it remains. Goal disallowed.

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03:33 PM GMT

31 mins: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0

Thom Gibbs: During the treatment for and removal of the injured Gravenberch we had a bit of the “always the victims, it’s never your fault” song from pockets of the Chelsea fans, which did not go down well when Luton sung it earlier this season. Liverpool’s responded with, to the tune of Papa’s Got a Brand New Pigbag “dur-dur-dur / f— the Tories,” which is certainly the most explicitly (in both senses) political song I’ve ever heard sung at a cup final. Chelsea’s comeback, predictably, “dur-dur-dur / f— the Scousers”


03:32 PM GMT

30 mins: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0

Gravenberch took a sore one on the ankle in that and has gone off. Gomez on.


03:28 PM GMT

27 mins: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0

Thom Gibbs writes:

“A good few minutes for the Liverpool deputies. Alissoneseque improbable save from the torso of Caoimhin Kelleher and Conor Bradley doing some honest-to-god Trenting at right-back, he’s slotting into that more central and advanced slot which Alexander-Arnold has done with such aplomb this season. But it’s certainly been Chelsea’s round, assuming we are splitting this game into 18 five minute rounds? What do you mean that’s a stupid idea? The telly lads loved it!”


03:27 PM GMT

23 mins: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0

Caicedo put in a big challenge earlier and he’s made another borderline tackle on Gravenberch. Liverpool want a red card, but get no help from VAR. Mike Dean explains to Sky Sports viewers that “it is not serious foul play” and there is some debate also about whether the ref allowed the correct amount of advantage.

Moises Caicedo, left, tackles Liverpool's Ryan Gravenberch
Moises Caicedo, left, tackles Liverpool's Ryan Gravenberch - AP

03:22 PM GMT

21 mins: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0

A big chance for Chelsea when they play a quick direct transition. Sterling has the ball in the box and should have shot first time. Sterling does eventually shoot and it’s a sensational stop from Kelleher. Palmer cannot do much with the follow-up.


03:18 PM GMT

17 mins: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0

Here is Thom Gibbs: “Crikey, not looking too clever at the back for Chelsea. Colwill having a nightmarish start to the game and Disasi slipping onto his bum gave Endo a chance he might have done better with. It’s a bit better going forward, some signs Chelsea can play through Liverpool’s lines neatly and should be able to break with speed if they can find a final ball. Sterling went a bit higher and more central during their last attack and seemed annoyed that Gallagher had not played it forward from midfield more quickly.”


03:17 PM GMT

14 mins: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0

Malo Gusto hit a first-time strike is straight at Caoimhin Kelleher just before that flurry of Liverpool activity.

Chelsea tried to play out from the back, made a mess of it and Luis Diaz cracked a good shot at goal. Djordje Petrovic was able to repel it on that occasion.


03:13 PM GMT

12 mins: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0

End-to-end stuff. Chelsea had a corner but Liverpool are now attacking. Gary Neville: “It is a very nervy Chelsea team.”

Here is Thom Gibbs: “This is the first time I’ve seen Chelsea in person this season and while clearly it is exciting to see Cole Palmer in the flesh for the first time the thing that has caught my attention most in the opening minutes is how distracting the shiny emblems on their shirts are. I am shocked, SHOCKED, that we have yet to have confected row this season with a player or manage complaining about them. There is still time. Little clear iridescence advantage so far, Chelsea looking quite cowed and mostly sitting back.”


03:09 PM GMT

6 mins: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0

Thom Gibbs writes:

“In case you were still fretting about my pre-match question about whether Sterling would be leading the line, based on the way the Chelsea team was announced online, please rest easy, it’s definitely Nicolas Jackson up top. Palmer, Gallagher and Sterling behind him from right to left.”

That second freekick was chipped into the area and missed everybody. A moment of alarm for Chelsea because Liverpool have a couple of men free but the referee’s whistle curtails the action. Ibrahima Konate, unmarked, had handled.


03:07 PM GMT

5 mins: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0

Mac Allister drives forward and is fouled by Colwill. Following that freekick, Liverpool soon have another freekick because Moises Caicedo hsa fouled Wataru Endo


03:03 PM GMT

Oliver Brown on the booing of the national anthem

“It is hardly without precedent at these occasions, given Liverpool’s anti-establishment credentials, but God Save the King was screechingly derided by the supporters in red before kick-off. The Chelsea half of the stadium responded by delivering it with even greater patriotic gusto than usual.”


03:02 PM GMT

1 mins: Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0

“Liverpool are weakened and depleted by injuries, will Chelsea ever get a better chance?” asks Sky’s Gary Neville.

Chelsea, in blue, have first use of the ball. They lose it and Liverpool hit a ball forward.


03:01 PM GMT

The Liverpool players gather in a huddle

Klopp sits smiling on the bench. Poch looks perhaps the more tense of the two managers.

“The rhapsody in blue in thrilling discord with the red Mersey beat,” says Peter Drury.


02:56 PM GMT

Some supporters are booing

the National Anthem.

Thom Gibbs writes:

“If you thought the boos from the Liverpool end were noisy for Sterling you reckoned without the national anthem. Interesting to observe that the majority of the noise seemed to be coming from a clear section of the red end, slightly off centre behind the goal, where most of the Kopesque flags are situated.”

“On less heated ground, think you’ve got to have grudging respect for the dude, presumably a Carabao bigwig, getting a selfie with Klopp during the team introductions. Klopp can be a very spiky presence but he knows which side his bread is buttered. All smiles. Free energy drinks forever!”


02:53 PM GMT

Atmosphere

Thom Gibbs on the pre-match hoopla.

“The guys and gals at Carabao x EFL really throwing their full promotional might at this. Florence and the Machine’s Spectrum (that one that goes “say my nayyyy-ayyyy-aim” to you or me) blares, there are 10 drum-toting revellers on the centre circle, the usual large emblems are being given a rigorous shake and each team has a bonus piece of tarpaulin stretched across the width of the pitch. I realise this is the opinion of a 100 year-old person but surely a cup final crowd can be relied upon to generate a good deal of its atmosphere themselves, without the need for all these banging tunes and window dressing?”

A Carabo executive/dignitary takes the opportunity for a selfie with Jurgen Klopp.


02:50 PM GMT

Poch

“Always important and nice to be here but now it is about winning. We are better after three weeks. Lots of positive things. We have momentum but we have to connect that to the pitch.”


02:50 PM GMT

Klopp

“We are here and we will give it a try.”


02:49 PM GMT

Kick off is ten minutes away

Would you like to have a wager on the outcome of the match?

Can Chelsea ruin the party as Liverpool look to notch up a piece of silverware in Klopp’s final season? Back your fancy with these best betting sites.


02:43 PM GMT

The Liverpool fans

sing You’ll Never Walk Alone.

Here is Thom Gibbs on the Liverpool fans singing You’ll Never Walk Alone.

“They’ve gone early with You’ll Never Walk Alone, a full 18 minutes before kick-off. Looking forward to a rousing Chelsea response with, what? Liquidator? That nice Suggs one from the Cup final? I Don’t Want To Go To Chelsea by Elvis Costello?

A big expert call here, but I’m willing to stake my reputation on it: It is cold. Scarf AND hat weather IMO. Am yet to call on my Faginesque fingerless typin’ gloves, but the night is young. Pitch is being watered, which feels unnecessary., given forecast for steady rain starting soon.”


02:43 PM GMT

Sturridge on Gallagher on Sky

“All the big clubs have his kind of player: someone who does the dirty work, the glue that binds it all together.”


02:42 PM GMT

A protestor

Woman wearing Palestinian flag with leaflets before the Carabao Cup Final
Woman wearing Palestinian flag with leaflets before the Carabao Cup Final - Getty Images Europe

02:39 PM GMT

Sterling booed

Thom Gibbs on the team announcements.

“Hearty boos from the Liverpool fans as Raheem Sterling’s name is announced in the Chelsea line-up, as you would expect. I am positioned closest to the Chelsea fans, so forgive me if my updates are overstating their noisiness. It’s Liverpool chants dominating so far, which I’m sure is inspiring their team to stretch their calves extra-proficiently in the warm-ups.”


02:33 PM GMT

Fathers and Sons

The Telegraph’s Head of News Mark Hughes points out the unusual scenario of there being no fewer than three sons of former footballers on the Liverpool bench: Jason Koumas, Lee Clark and Neil Danns the proud dads of Reds subs today.


02:29 PM GMT

Telegraph Sport's John Macleary

who is, I believe, there in his capacity as a Liverpool supporter, reports:

“Lots of confusion as digital ticket holders appeared to have time slots for entering ground. Understandably, few realised this and were not happy at being told they could not enter. Stewards were not allowing these fans in, adding to queues that, at 1.15pm were relatively short.”


02:26 PM GMT

Daniel Sturridge on Sky Sports

“You want to win for you and the club. And of course for the manager. I am sure that the players want to send him off, but inside, as a footballer, you want to win for yourself.”


02:25 PM GMT

Jamie Carragher on Klopp

“Last season was so poor by Liverpool standards that it’s almost like Jurgen felt he had to fix it before he went.”

The Telegraph Sport columnist suggests that Klopp might have called it a day last term had he been able to leave on a high.


02:20 PM GMT

Chelsea fans

Chelsea supporters
Chelsea supporters - Getty Images Europe

02:19 PM GMT

A couple of Chelsea faves of recent vintage


02:17 PM GMT

Liverpool's Young Team


02:14 PM GMT

Not going to feature

Mohamed Salah will not play this afternoon
Mohamed Salah will not play this afternoon - Liverpool FC via Getty Images

02:11 PM GMT

And here is Thom Gibbs on the team news

“Chelsea unchanged from their draw with Man City. Their social media post breaks with dreadful current convention of listing the team in squad numerical order, instead in the order you would expect them to line up in Poch’s usual 4-2-3-1. If it’s accurate it’s Sterling up top with Gallagher, Palmer and Jackson behind him, but I am almost certainly reading too much into this given it’s been either Jackson or Palmer up top in their past few games.

“It’s QUITE bad news for Liverpool, neither Salah nor Nunez fit enough for even the bench, which looks threadbare in their absence. Jason Koumas’ son Lewis among the subs, which is nice, although not the game-changing option you would hope for if you were Klopp. Wonder if they’ll start aggressively and try to settle game early as there is little obvious firepower beyond the starting XI.”


02:09 PM GMT

And here is Chris on the Liverpool team news

“Liverpool’s worst fears are realised with Salah, Nunez and Szoboszlai failing to prove their fitness for Wembley. Klopp can still field a strong starting XI, but his options from the bench are almost entirely from the club’s academy. Klopp’s hope is that the trio will be available for the Premier League trip to Nottingham Forest next weekend.”


02:07 PM GMT

Chris Bascombe on ticketing issues

“A few reports are emerging of queues outside Wembley turnstiles because of a barcode fault on the digital tickets. Liverpool fans are being asked to re-download on their mobile phones in order to gain entry. It is causing congestion. Hopefully it will be resolved before kick-off to enable swifter access for supporters.”


02:06 PM GMT

Mauricio talks to Sky Sports

“It is a big challenge we face. We can perform and win.”


02:04 PM GMT

Team news

Chelsea: Petrovic, Gusto, Disasi, Colwill, Chilwell, Caicedo, Fernandez, Palmer, Gallagher, Sterling, Jackson. Subs: Sanchez, Mudryk, Madueke, Bettinelli, Chalobah, Nkunku, Gilchrist, Gee, Tauriainen.

Liverpool: Kelleher, Bradley, Konate, van Dijk, Robertson, Mac Allister, Endo, Gravenberch, Elliott, Gakpo, Diaz. Subs: Gomez, Adrian, Tsimikas, Clark, McConnell, Koumas, Danns, Quansah, Nyoni.

Referee: Chris Kavanagh (Lancashire)


02:02 PM GMT

Mark Chapman is presenting

on Sky Sports. The words of Succession’s Logan Roy set the scene. “What will it be, the golden sky of a perfect ending?”


01:59 PM GMT

Thom Gibbs on Kepa's Finals

“The Kepa Aririzabalaga final, the shouting, the gesturing, the refusing to be substituted was five years ago yesterday. The second Kepa Aririzabalagan final, the coming on for the penalties, failing to save any then missing the decisive kick himself, will be two years ago on Tuesday. Neither Kepa nor the man he replaced two years ago Edouard Mendy will feature today, despite their combined cost of about £93m. Odd sport, isn’t it? Kepa is still a Chelsea player, although on loan at Real Madrid, Mendy is having a surely-lovely time in Saudi. Both glued, presumably, to Sky Sports Main Event this afternoon.”


01:58 PM GMT

Team news coming up

any minute


01:57 PM GMT

Chelsea men touring the facility

Chelsea's Ben Chilwell and Cole Palmer
Chelsea's Ben Chilwell and Cole Palmer - Action Images via Reuters

01:50 PM GMT

Fans arriving

Fans make their way to the stadium ahead of the EFL Carabao Cup final match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC
Fans make their way to the stadium ahead of the EFL Carabao Cup final match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC - EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

01:32 PM GMT

Thom Gibbs on the final

“Slightly odd vibe on the approach to the stadium from Wembley Park, and I suppose this is always a slightly odd final. It certainly was last time I was here for it in April 2021, a week on from the Super League shambles with an attendance of just under 8,000.

“It was one of the first major post-Covid games with a crowd and those in that reduced crowd seemed slightly punchdrunk with the excitement of being out of the house. Quite a few today seem actual drunk, which is pretty good going for midday, although many will have started as they mean to go on at Lime Street this morning. A restorative Thai energy drink will sort them out.

“Does not feel particularly tense as yet, sure it will get there. We could do with a turn from Jose Mourinho and Rafa Benitez to up the needle levels.”

One of the great zone four Met Line stations
One of the great zone four Met Line stations - PA

01:31 PM GMT

Ian McCullough profiles Levi Colwill

“Levi Colwill may only turn 21 on Monday, but he already has no shortage of experience of the mixed emotions a visit to Wembley can bring.

Colwill, who will line up at the heart of the Chelsea defence against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final, is seen by many at Stamford Bridge as a potential heir to John Terry - and not just because he wears the No 26 shirt that was donned by the club’s most decorated player.

Such is the high regard Colwill is held in by Mauricio Pochettino, the head coach handed him the captain’s armband for December’s trip to Manchester United, making him the youngest player to lead out a Chelsea side since an 18-year-old Ray Wilkins in 1975.

His progress so far, however, has inevitably not been without the occasional set-back. And while Wembley provided the backdrop for Colwill’s England debut against Australia last October, previous trips to the national stadium haven’t always been kind, adding to his motivation to ensure Sunday’s visit ends on a high.

In 2022 - his first season as a professional - Colwill was loaned out to Huddersfield Town and played a starring role in the Yorkshire club’s unexpected run to the Championship play-off final only for his unfortunate own-goal to help Nottingham Forest to a 1-0 win.

A second loan spell at Brighton the following season helped cement his reputation as one of the best young defenders in the Premier League only for Colwill to suffer the disappointment of be dropped by Roberto De Zerbi for last year’s FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester United.

“I think it was a build-up of a few games where I had a tough run going and I knew what the manager was like,” said Colwill, who watched from the sidelines as De Zerbi’s side lost on penalties. “Of course, I was disappointed but I understood everything. Obviously, it was annoying that the team didn’t win but hopefully this time I can go and play and hopefully win.”

Levi Colwill of Chelsea
Levi Colwill of Chelsea - Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC

Colwill acknowledged both spells away from Stamford Bridge were hugely beneficial to his development with Brighton so taken by his performances they made a £30 million bid to make the move permanent – an offer knocked back by Chelsea who immediately handed him a new six-year contract.

“I went there to develop but I always wanted to come back to Chelsea, that has always been my main goal,” Colwill said. “While there I was 100 per cent focused on Brighton but in the back of your head it’s about coming back to your home team and to play.”

Colwill insists his decision to wear No. 26 has nothing to do with Terry’s legacy and unlike Kalidou Koulibaly, who left the club in the summer, he did not seek the former skipper’s permission before claiming it as his own.

However, he is aware of the huge expectations that come with it from Chelsea fans and knows they will heighten if the club’s six-year domestic trophy drought continues.

“Chelsea’s culture is winning. That’s it, really. That’s all Chelsea knows: to win. To be a legend, you’ve got to win trophies, you’ve got to apply yourself with that one focus on winning,” he said.

“For Chelsea fans, for JT it’s a big number but I have confidence in myself that I can come in and play well, and be my own person. The big thing about stepping in to this number is that you can get carried away a lot by the presence of it. But I am coming in to play as myself and not be John Terry because you will never be able to replace the legend that he was.

“I know that it’s his old number but it is a big number for me personally, it was my first professional number at Huddersfield and it’s also my birthday.”

Terry is back working at Chelsea in an academy role and Colwill admits he has the same presence around the club that he held as a player.

“When he was walking around at Chelsea when I was growing up, you think ‘there’s the captain’ and he still has that aura,” he said. “A really big thing for everyone, the staff and the players is that we always see him up in the canteen and he is always really down to earth.

“I think I can learn so much from him just from a casual conversation. Hopefully in the future I can have many more conversations with him and learn as much as possible from him. This is a really young squad. If I pick up that leadership part of him and add it to my own qualities, I can help out a lot more.”

Colwill’s has fonder memories of his first trip to Wembley when he was an 11-year-old mascot for Sholing in the FA Vase final - a competition for clubs who compete in steps nine to 11 of the English football league pyramid.

Three of his uncles played in the team that won 1-0 that day but it will be a case of split family loyalties for his Liverpool-supporting parents in the stands.

“My dad, Levi and my mum, Deborah, they both just supported Liverpool growing up, I don’t know why as they’re from Southampton,” he said. “My dad is a real Liverpool fan, he tells me all the news, injuries, if they’re on a run, the knowledge that fans have that I wouldn’t really know myself.

“Of course, they want me to win. Supporting teams goes out of the window when your son plays for one of the teams involved. It’s going to be a big game. But if we beat them, I’ll give him a bit of stick”.”


01:01 PM GMT

Thom Gibbs on Olympic Way


12:57 PM GMT

Fancy a flutter?

Can Chelsea ruin the party as Liverpool look to notch up a piece of silverware in Klopp’s final season? Back your fancy with these best betting sites.


12:34 PM GMT

A high-class League Cup Final coming up

Good afternoon, Alan Tyers here, welcome to our live blog of the Carabao Cup Final between Chelsea and Liverpool. Kick off is at 3pm but we will have plenty of time and space for the build-up between now and then. We will be getting updates throughout the afternoon from our man Thom Gibbs at Wembley, and we will have all the gossip, scene-setting and team news that you need.

The managers will name their lineups sometime around 2pm, and it is certainly a huge day for both of these likeable gaffers. Mauricio Pochettino seeks his first trophy as Chelsea manager, and many of the experts are saying that he needs to put something on the Stamford Bridge mantelpiece sooner rather than later. The man in the opposite dugout, Jurgen Klopp, has of course delivered multiple trophies (I make it seven at Liverpool), including this competition in 2021-2022. That was one of Liverpool’s NINE successes in this event. Chelsea have won it five times themselves so there is plenty of pedigree.

Here is Poch: “When you plant a seed you don’t see results at the start but it begins to grow. That is the process of all new teams - to build this competitive spirit. Winning titles will be a good way to arrive at this capacity of competing well. Being second is the worst thing in the world. We are going to build the players’ careers and our careers by winning trophies.”

Whether the people who run the club and its supporters are up for this long-term nurturing remains to be seen. Clearly being the victors today would buy him plenty of time and good will.

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