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26th Feb 2024

The gesture Jurgen Klopp made 15 mins before the end that helped Liverpool win the Carabao Cup

Charlie Herbert

The gesture Jurgen Klopp made 15 mins before the end that helped Liverpool win the Carabao Cup

Jurgen Klopp described Liverpool’s Carabao Cup triumph on Sunday as the “most special trophy I’ve ever won,” and it’s easy to see why.

After a nervy but enthralling 90 minutes in which both Liverpool and their opponents Chelsea had chances to win the game, the final went to extra time.

An injury-hit Liverpool had been without many of their star players for the game, and Klopp had named a bench containing six academy graduates aged 21 and under.

When the Germany called on the youngsters in extra time, it looked like the perfect opportunity for Chelsea’s more experienced players to assert their authority – but the opposite happened.

As Gary Neville put it, with a quote that will no doubt become the stuff of legend, Klopp’s kids beat the blue billion pound bottlejobs.

And in hindsight, the writing may have been on the wall 15 minutes of go, when both Klopp and his counterpart Mauricio Pochettino gave their team talks at halftime of extra time.

Despite the youthful XI that Liverpool had on the pitch ahead of the final quarter of an hour, Klopp’s demeanour said it all.

As the Mirror reports, he was laughing, smiling and hugging his players, showing no signs of any pressure or worry that many others were no doubt feeling.

These gestures no doubt relaxed his players, giving them full confidence and faith in their manager and themselves.

And it showed. Chelsea wilted in extra time, and in the 118th minute Virgil van Dijk scored a header to seal a record 10th League Cup title for the Reds.

Speaking after the game, Klopp was full of praise for his side, in particular the academy players who came on.

He said: “What we see today is so exceptional.

“We might never see it again, these things don’t happen in football. Apparently, you don’t win trophies with kids, I didn’t know that.

“It is easily the most special trophy I’ve ever won. It’s absolutely exceptional. I wish I could feel pride more often, tonight that’s the overwhelming feeling – nothing to do with maybe my last game at Wembley. It was how everyone contributed.

“Seeing the faces of these kids. Nobody will ever forget this story – it’s so difficult. This tonight, if you find the same story with academy players coming on against a top side and still winning it, wow.”

These sentiments were echoed by Van Dijk, who said: “It means so much, all the young boys on the pitch in extra time, it’s incredible I’m so proud of the team, intense game for both sides, we had chances and… amazing.

“I didn’t want to get injured, I tired to get up a little bit quick. Listen it’s emotion, it’s everything and I’m so proud of the boys, all the young boys playing their part in what we achieved today and it’s incredible and yeah onto more.”

Meanwhile, Pochettino’s wait for a trophy in English football goes on, and Chelsea remain without any silverware since winning the Champions League in 2021.

Since then, they’ve been in three finals at Wembley, all against Liverpool, and all ending in defeats.

Related links:

Conor Bradley trolls Ben Chilwell after Carabao Cup final win

Mauricio Pochettino hits back at Gary Neville’s ‘blue billion pound bottlejobs’ dig