Virgil van Dijk scores in extra-time to give Liverpool victory over Chelsea in Carabao Cup final

Match reportVirgil van Dijk scores in extra-time to give Liverpool victory over Chelsea in Carabao Cup final

By Glenn Price at Wembley


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Virgil van Dijk headed Liverpool to a 1-0 victory over Chelsea in the 2024 Carabao Cup final at Wembley on Sunday.

The Reds captain scored deep into extra-time of the showpiece to secure the club its record-extending 10th title in the competition.

Van Dijk’s header in the 118th minute from Kostas Tsimikas’ corner came after both sides struck the woodwork and had efforts disallowed for offside, along with plenty of other chances, in the earlier action.

Team news

There were two changes to the line-up that defeated Luton Town at Anfield in midweek, with Ibrahima Konate and Andy Robertson coming in for Jarell Quansah and Joe Gomez.

Kelleher, Endo, Van Dijk, Konate (Quansah, 106), Diaz, Mac Allister (McConnell, 87), Gakpo (Danns, 87), Elliott, Robertson (Tsimikas, 87), Gravenberch (Gomez, 27), Bradley (Clark, 72).

Unused substitutes: Adrian, Koumas, Nyoni.

First half

It was a hugely impressive start from Liverpool, who applied long spells of pressure on the Chelsea backline.

After being tested with early long-range efforts, both goalkeepers then pulled off crucial interventions.

Djordje Petrovic kept out a low drive from Luis Diaz inside the area after Cody Gakpo capitalised on a slip at the back from Axel Disasi.

At the other end, Cole Palmer looked destined to score from close range after an attempted clearance of a Conor Gallagher cross fell kindly to him – but Caoimhin Kelleher flung himself brilliantly across goal to keep the powerful effort out.

The Reds were dealt a blow midway through the period as Ryan Gravenberch was stretchered off following a Moises Caicedo challenge. Gomez was the replacement.

Chelsea had the ball in the net in the 32nd minute but the flag was quickly raised for offside and the decision confirmed by VAR. Nicolas Jackson went in behind too early before squaring across goal for Raheem Sterling, who tapped in.

But just as Liverpool were up against it, they were a whisker away from taking a lead into the break. Robertson clipped a cross into the box and Gakpo’s header struck the post, with the rebound cleared.

The final chance of the half went the Reds’ way as well, a promising attack ending with Conor Bradley’s shot from inside the box getting blocked.

Second half

A counter-attack presented Chelsea with a good opportunity early on, though Enzo Fernandez was unable to adjust his feet in the area and convert from Gallagher’s pass.

Harvey Elliott volleyed a cross from Gakpo that needed pushing away from the Chelsea goal by Petrovic.

On the hour mark, Liverpool had a goal chalked off by VAR. Van Dijk headed in a whipped free-kick from the left by Robertson but a lengthy review deemed Wataru Endo to have been offside in the build-up.

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The spectacle grew more and more open. Disasi could have put the Blues in front but did not connect properly at the back post from a yard out when a corner was flicked on to him.

They went close again a few minutes later, Gallagher’s delicate flick off a Palmer cross striking the post and bouncing clear.

Gomez, meanwhile, tested Petrovic with a powerful hit from an angle at the end of a sweeping attack.

Liverpool needed the talents of Kelleher on three occasions late on.

First, he came out to smother Gallagher before he could get a shot away when in front of goal. And then, in the second minute of stoppage time, he used his feet to keep out an effort from Palmer and then pushed away Christopher Nkunku’s follow-up.


Petrovic tipped over a Jayden Danns close-range header after Van Dijk had managed to work the ball back across goal in the aftermath of a cleared corner, while Elliott then fired into the side-netting following Diaz’s switch.

In the second half of the additional 30 minutes, Kelleher got down low to keep out Noni Madueke’s curler from outside the box and Tsimikas tested Petrovic once more.

A golden chance fell to Elliott five minutes before the end but somehow his back-post header off Tsimikas’ delivery was kept out by the feet of Petrovic.

But just as another final with Chelsea appeared to be heading to a penalty shootout, up popped the Liverpool skipper with the trophy-winning moment.

Van Dijk got in front of Mykhailo Mudryk on a corner from Tsimikas and glanced a header into the far corner to spark wild scenes in the red half of Wembley.



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