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Why Jurgen Klopp Deemed Liverpool’s Carabao Cup Win Over Chelsea “Absolutely Insane”

Credit: Andy Rain/EPA


Yesterday’s Carabao Cup Final between Chelsea and Liverpool saw the Reds captain Virgil van Dijk, secure Liverpool their record-extending tenth Carabao Cup Trophy with a 118th-minute header over the Blues at Wembley Stadium, awarding them a 1-0 victory. 


A frantic final, that saw both teams have goals disallowed by VAR, was scoreless after 90 minutes. Chelsea seemed to have the upper hand throughout the match, however, they failed to be clinical in finishing their chances, which allowed Liverpool to creep back into the game and push it to extra time. The first half of extra time saw much of the same, as well as the majority of the second half, leading fans to believe this would be a repeat of the 2022 Carabao Cup Final which saw the two teams go to penalties. However, in typical van Dijk fashion, he found a way to pull it out of the bag for Liverpool and secure them a special victory.


This win for Liverpool is special in a number of different ways. Not only does it extend their record from nine Carabao Cups to ten, but it also adds another piece of silverware to Jurgen Klopp’s award cabinet, a much-deserved trophy for a manager who has given his all to Liverpool for the past nine years. 


Klopp recently announced that he would be retiring from football at the end of this season, which came as a shock to many football fans. After winning multiple titles with the Reds, including the Premier League, UEFA Champions League, European Super Cup, Club World Cup, Carabao Cup and the FA Cup, Klopp will be walking away with at least one more piece of silverware, which Klopp deemed as “easily the most special trophy”. 


Not only is the trophy special for Klopp, it’s special for Liverpool as a club in general. Liverpool were without several key players through injury yesterday, including Mohamad Salah, Diogo Jota, Darwin Nunez, Dominik Szoboszlai, Trent Alexander-Arnold and starting goalkeeper Alisson Becker. With all these key injuries, it meant that five players aged 20 or under were featured, with the average age of the team that finished the game going below 22 years of age. With the majority of Liverpool’s star players out, the young squad had to step up under the brightest of lights.


Liverpool Young Stars

Credit: Liverpool FC/Getty Images


The five players aged 20 or under made a massive impact for the Liverpool squad On Sunday. The majority of the players were Liverpool academy players, many of whom have supported the club since birth. 


The most notable breakthrough player, who played a massive role in Liverpool lifting the trophy on Sunday, is Conor Bradley, a 20-year-old Reds academy graduate who is shaping up to be one of the stories of the season. Bradley, who returned from a successful loan spell with the Bolton Wanderers in the Sky Bet League, was handed his first full Premier League debut for Liverpool in January. Since then, the Northern Irishman has established himself in the squad and hasn’t looked back. After putting in a solid 75-minute shift in normal time and leaving an impact on the pitch, he was replaced by fellow academy graduate Bobby Clark.


Clark was another one of the youngsters who played a massive role in Sunday’s match. The 19-year-old joined Liverpool from Newcastle in 2021. He’s a versatile attacking player, who can play across the forward line and in the midfield - scoring 13 goals with the Liverpool Under-18s in his first season. Clark made a massive impact as a set of fresh legs for Liverpool in the latter stages of the game and extra time, showing no fear against a Chelsea midfield which had cost 220 million pounds to assemble. 


Another late sub who made an impact on the game was Jayden Danns, who replaced Cody Gakpo just before the end of normal time. Danns, who is Liverpool’s top scorer in the academy this season with an astounding 21 goals, was handed his professional debut against Luton Town at Anfield just four days earlier. As soon as he stepped foot on the field, Danns was narrowly denied a headed goal by Chelsea keeper Djordje Petrovic, showcasing his ability to make an instant impact when needed. Danns has an extremely bright future ahead of him with the Reds.


Perhaps no one, however, has as bright of a future as Harvey Elliott. Elliott, who is the most established out of all Liverpool prospects, has been a part of Liverpool’s first-team squad for years. However, as a right winger, the 20-year-old has had to be patient, playing under one of the greatest right wingers of all time in Mohamad Salah. With Salah injured for Sunday’s matchup, Elliott had a chance to show why he deserves a permanent spot on the squad, which he took full advantage of. He ran himself to a standstill on Sunday, playing the full 120 minutes and stating that he “wants to win everything for Klopp”. Elliott will surely have a permanent spot in this Liverpool squad for the foreseeable future. 


The final youngster who showed why he deserved to be in the big leagues with his performance on Sunday, is Jarell Quansah. Quansah is in the midst of a breakthrough season, playing a total of 19 matches for the Reds so far this season across all competitions. Quansah is an old-school defender in a no-nonsense, commanding way but has a calmness and confidence on the ball which defies his age. As he’s developing under van Dijk, one of the greatest centre-backs in the history of football and the man of the hour on Sunday, he surely will be making a massive impact for the Reds when given the opportunity.


Liverpool With Their Medals

Credit: Julian Finney/Getty Images


After such an impressive victory and performance from such a young squad, Klopp has to be happy with what he will be leaving behind at Liverpool. He has truly given everything he has to the squad in terms of coaching them to trophies, but most importantly, building a squad that he knows will perform even when he is gone. 


The young prospects on this team have shown so much potential and promise recently for the future of this Liverpool squad, which was especially cemented after such an impressive win over a stacked Chelsea squad on Sunday. 


Liverpool should be excited about their future. Even with Klopp leaving, the squad has so much to look forward to, especially with the club in the hands of these youngsters.



Edited By: Josh Reidelbach


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