Extra-time goal condemns Chelsea to Wembley defeat

Van Dijk

Virgil van Dijk’s extra-time goal won the Carabao Cup for Liverpool at Wembley.

With a pulsating final somehow goalless and seemingly heading to penalties, Van Dijk’s near-post header from Konstantinos Tsimikas’ corner dramatically broke the deadlock.

For Chelsea, it was a case of what might have been after they missed several chances against a Liverpool side missing the injured Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez.

And it left Blues boss Mauricio Pochettino still waiting for his first trophy in English football.

Cole Palmer should have scored early on but was denied by a fine save from keeper Caoimhín Kelleher, and Raheem Sterling had a goal disallowed for offside.

At the other end, Cody Gakpo almost put Liverpool ahead when he headed against the post.

Liverpool also had a goal disallowed on the hour mark when Van Dijk headed in Andy Robertson’s free-kick only for VAR to establish that Wataru Endo was offside and affecting Chelsea’s ability to clear the danger.

Both teams then both missed great chances to go ahead. Axel Disasi failed to apply the finish at the far post after a corner had been flicked on by Levi Colwill, before Gakpo blasted over after being set up by Luis Diaz.

Chelsea continued to threaten and Conor Gallagher hit the post after being set up by the outstanding Palmer shortly before failing to find a way past Kelleher went left one-on-one – again after great work by Palmer.

With four minutes of normal time remaining, Gallagher missed another golden opportunity, this time after being teed up by Moises Caicedo.

And in stoppage time, Chelsea again somehow failed to score. After Christopgher Nkunku found himself through but fired straight at Kelleher, Malo Gusto’s follow-up hit Gallagher and Nkunku’s attempt to force home the loose ball was stopped by Kelleher.

Chelsea ran out of steam in extra time and Blues keeper Djordje Petrovic produced a fine save to deny former Fulham man Harvey Elliott before Van Dijk’s winner.

Chelsea: Petrovic, Gusto, Colwill, Disasi, Chilwell, Fernandez, Gallagher (Madueke 97), Caicedo, Palmer, Sterling (Nkunku 67), Jackson (Mudryk 89).
Subs: Sanchez, Bettinelli, Chalobah, Gee, Gilchrist, Tauriainen.