League Cup Final: Virgil van Dijk’s extra-time header seals Liverpool 1-0 win over Chelsea

Liverpool won the League Cup in dramatic fashion as Virgil van Dijk’s header late in extra-time sealed a 1-0 win against Chelsea at Wembley on Sunday.
League Cup Final: Virgil van Dijk’s extra-time header seals Liverpool 1-0 win over Chelsea

Liverpool won the League Cup in dramatic fashion as Virgil van Dijk’s header late in extra-time sealed a 1-0 win against Chelsea at Wembley on Sunday.

Jurgen Klopp’s injury-hit side finished a gruelling clash with a host of raw youngsters on the pitch, but it was their experienced captain who clinched the club’s 10th League Cup triumph.

Van Dijk earlier had a goal controversially disallowed by VAR, but the Dutch defender pounced to nod home with just two minutes left.

It was Liverpool’s first trophy following Klopp’s bombshell announcement that he will step down at the end of this season.

The German will hope Liverpool’s first silverware since the 2022 FA Cup will be the springboard for an incredible farewell tour.

Quadruple-chasing Liverpool sit top of the Premier League, face Southampton in the FA Cup fifth round on Wednesday and take on Sparta Prague in the Europa League last 16.

It was another bitter Wembley experience for Chelsea, who lost the 2022 League Cup and FA Cup finals against Liverpool.

Ryan Gravenberch joined Liverpool’s ever-growing injury list when he was stretchered off after the midfielder’s leg twisted awkwardly in a challenge with Moises Caicedo.

Raheem Sterling thought he had given Chelsea the lead with a close-range finish from Nicolas Jackson’s cross, but the goal was disallowed for a tight offside against the Senegal striker before his assist.

Responding to Chelsea’s improvement, Liverpool were inches away from taking the lead through Cody Gakpo, whose glancing header from Andrew Robertson’s cross hit the far post.

Liverpool kept coming and Bradley’s goalbound shot was brilliantly blocked by Levi Colwill, who threw himself into the fray to repel the close-range effort.

Liverpool looked to have broken the deadlock on the hour when Van Dijk climbed above Ben Chilwell to head in Robertson’s free-kick.

But VAR intervened, prompting referee Chris Kavanagh to disallow the goal for offside against Wataru Endo, who blocked Colwill from marking the Dutch defender.

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