Chelsea vs Liverpool Player ratings as van Dijk leads Liverpool to Carabao Cup glory with winner against Chelsea

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Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk headed the winners deep into extra time as Jurgen Klopp’s massively depleted side beat Chelsea 1-0 to claim a record 10th Carabao Cup.

The Dutch defender, who controversially ruled out another header at the same end in the second half after VAR, rose above Mykhailo Mudryk to nod in Kostas Tsimikas’ corner in the 118th minute.

It was none more so than the Netherlands international, who lifted his first trophy as Liverpool captain, deserved a victory that had long seemed defiant after a monumental defensive performance.

Klopp became the third Liverpool manager to win the trophy more than once as his long farewell to his departure at the end of the season began with the first of a potential four pieces of silverware.

But for opposite number Mauricio Pochettino, his long wait for an English domestic trophy continues.

Chelsea player ratings

GK: Djordje Petrovic – 7/10 – Kept Liverpool at bay as much as he could and could only be undone by Van Dijk’s aerial dominance.

RB: Malo Gusto – 5/10 – Played his way out of tight spaces but his concentration levels alarmingly dipped too often.

CB: Axel Disasi – 4/10 – A shadow of the monstrous figure who kept Man City at arm’s length last week. Lost the run of Van Dijk for the winner.

CB: Levi Colwill – 6/10 – Like Disasi was a little nervy on occasion, but he defended with far more alertness and awareness than his centre-back partner.

LB: Ben Chilwell (c) – 6/10 – Defended well enough and fought for the badge as captain, even if that meant getting into afters with several teenage players.

CM: Moises Caicedo – 5/10 – Liverpool’s pantomime villain for rejecting them last summer and then injuring Gravenberch. Didn’t excell at either winning the ball back or making chances.

CM: Enzo Fernandez – 5/10 – For someone who was exceptional in a World Cup final, you’d have expected more from the Argentine midfielder. Shrank in the face of adversity.

RM: Cole Palmer – 7/10 – Didn’t come alive until the second half but everything went through him once Chelsea were at their free-flowing best.

AM: Conor Gallagher – 6/10 – Definitely should have scored at some point but covered every blade of grass and was useful at either end of the pitch.

LM: Raheem Sterling – 5/10 – A tad unfortunate to have seen his goal ruled out but didn’t contribute a lot apart from that. Should have buried another chance early on.

CF: Nicolas Jackson – 5/10 – Muzzled by a combination of Van Dijk and Konate, which isn’t something to be ashamed of but he didn’t cause enough threat himself in a cup final.

SUB: Christopher Nkunku (67′ for Sterling) – 5/10

SUB: Mykhailo Mudryk (90′ for Jackson) – 4/10

SUB: Noni Madueke (96′ for Gallagher) – 4/10

SUB: Trevoh Chalobah (112′ for Chalobah) – 5/10

Liverpool player ratings

GK: Caoimhin Kelleher – 8/10 – Saved Liverpool again and again in a repeat of his 2022 Carabao Cup final heorics.

RB: Conor Bradley – 6/10 – Played much of the game as winger following Gravenberch’s injury, with Gomez coming in at right-back. Performed admirably in the circumstances, stretching play and getting under Chilwell’s skin.

CB: Ibrahima Konate – 7/10 – A colossus at the back, wiping out the threat of the busy Jackson. Made several brilliant recovery challenges.

CB: Virgil van Dijk (c) – 8/10 – A real captain’s contribution in both boxes, defending staunchly and coming up with the winner.

LB: Andrew Robertson – 7/10 – Bombed up and down the left flank as per, though is still working his way back to full sharpness and was taken off before Palmer really kicked into gear. Fine delivery to pick out Gakpo who hit the post and Van Dijk for the disallowed goal.

CM: Wataru Endo – 7/10 – Battled well against a dogged Chelsea midfield. Put in the hard yards for 120 long minutes.

CM: Alexis Mac Allister – 6/10 – Couldn’t quite provide the creative spark, though his energy proved useful before his substitution late in the second half.

CM: Ryan Gravenberch – 5/10 – Offered little until being hauled off midway through the first half with an ankle injury.

RW: Harvey Elliott – 7/10 – Stifled for the most part but occasionally came up with magical moments.

CF: Cody Gakpo – 5/10 – Hit the bar with a header in the first half but besides that played on the periphery too much when Liverpool desperately needed one of their forwards to take the game by the scruff of the neck.

LW: Luis Diaz – 7/10 – Liverpool’s most threatening attacker, even if most of his influence came in wide areas instead of crucial central ones.

SUB: Joe Gomez (28′ for Gravenberch) – 5/10 – Liverpool lost their fluid shape when Gomez had to be introduced.

SUB: Bobby Clark (72′ for Bradley) – 6/10

SUB: Kostas Tsimikas (87′ for Robertson) – 7/10

SUB: James McConnell (87′ for Mac Allister) – 5/10

SUB: Jayden Danns (87′ for Gakpo) – 6/10

SUB: Jarell Quansah (106′ for Konate) – 6/10

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