Van Dijk's extra-time header wins English League Cup for Liverpool over Chelsea

LONDON (AP) — Virgil van Dijk headed Liverpool to a record-extending 10th English League Cup trophy by securing a 1-0 win against Chelsea at Wembley on Sunday.

The center back's goal in the 28th minute of extra time settled a tense clash that had ended 0-0 in regulation.

It clinched an eighth piece of major silverware for Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool and ensured he will not end his final year at the club empty-handed.

“You should always savor the good moments, this is definitely one of them," Van Dijk said. “I’m so proud, proud to be part of this club and especially proud of the boys.”

Klopp will step down at the end of the season, but victory in the League Cup has kept his team on course for an improbable quadruple of trophies.

Liverpool currently leads the Premier League table and is still in contention for the FA Cup and Europa League.

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino was hoping to win his first major trophy in England after previous spells with Southampton and Tottenham.

He will have to wait, while Klopp can look ahead to more glory before walking away.

Liverpool and Chelsea had met in both domestic finals in 2022 and on each occasion Liverpool came out on top to lift the League Cup and FA Cup on penalties after two goalless draws.

This was another close match that saw both teams have goals ruled out for offside and the woodwork hit on three occasions.

Chelsea could have gone ahead early on when Cole Palmer’s effort was saved by Caoimhin Kelleher from close range.

Later Raheem Sterling thought he had put Chelsea in front after sliding home Nicolas Jackson’s cross, but the goal was ruled out for offside in the buildup.

Cody Gakpo's header then left Chelsea goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic standing shortly before halftime, but his effort came back off the foot of the post.

Van Dijk sent Liverpool fans wild in the second half with a powerful header to beat Petrovic, but it was Chelsea’s supporters who were left cheering when after a lengthy review it was also disallowed for offside.

Conor Gallagher hit the post in the 76th after flicking Palmer’s cross beyond Kelleher and later denied when one-on-one with the keeper.

Liverpool had the better chances in extra time but when Harvey Elliott struck the post with a header it looked like it would go down to penalties again.

That was until Van Dijk came up with the decisive moment and perhaps the start of a trophy-laden end to Klopp’s reign.


James Robson is at


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James Robson, The Associated Press