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Jurgen Klopp delivers an emotional assessment of Liverpool’s Carabao Cup victory, saying, “This was so special”



Jurgen Klopp delivers an emotional assessment of Liverpool’s Carabao Cup victory, saying, “This was so special”

Jurgen Klopp delivers an emotional assessment of Liverpool’s Carabao Cup victory, saying, “This was so special.”

Following an incredible League Cup final victory over an injury-ravaged Liverpool team, Jurgen Klopp celebrated “the most special trophy” of his career.

At Wembley on Sunday, Virgil van Dijk struck a thrilling goal two minutes into extra time to give his team a 1-0 victory over Chelsea.

In spite of missing out on 11 senior pros and losing Ryan Gravenberch to an ankle injury less than 30 minutes into the game, the Reds raised the trophy for a record 10 times.


Liverpool ended the game with teenage substitutes Bobby Clark, James McConnell and Jayden Danns on the pitch with 20-year-olds Conor Bradley and Harvey Elliott having started and 21-year-old Jarell Quansah also emerging from the bench.

And Klopp, who will depart Liverpool at the end of the season, could barely contain his pride having secured an eighth trophy of his tenure.

“Come on, what we see here today is so exceptional,” said the Reds boss. “We might never see it again. Not because I’m on the sidelines but because these things don’t happen in football. I got told there’s an English phrase you don’t win trophies with kids. I didn’t know that. Yeah…

“In more than 20 years it is easily the most special trophy I have ever won. It is absolutely exceptional. Sometimes people ask me if I’m proud of things and it’s really tricky, I wish I could feel pride more often. But tonight is an overwhelming feeling… Oh my god, what’s going on?

“I was proud of everyone involved in everything here, I was proud of our people for the way they pushed us, I was proud of the staff for creating this kind of atmosphere surrounding where these boys can just do what they are best at. I was proud of our Academy, I was proud of my coaches, I was proud of so many things. It was completely overwhelming.”

Klopp added: “It was nothing to do with it being maybe my last game at Wembley, I checked that and it was nothing to do with that. It was really because of how everybody contributed.

“Seeing the faces after the game of the kids, Jayden Danns… Can you create in football stories which definitely nobody will ever forget? It’s so difficult because this happened before, this happened before… this tonight, if you find the same story with Academy players coming on against a top, top side and still winning it, I’ve never heard of it.”

Liverpool – who had a second-half goal from Van Dijk controversially disallowed by VAR – were already without Alisson Becker, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Diogo Jota, Joel Matip, Curtis Jones, Thiago Alcantara, Ben Doak and Stefan Bajcetic when it emerged Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez and Dominik Szoboszlai had all failed in their attempts to regain fitness for the final.

Gravenberch’s injury was later added to by Wataru Endo, with the Japan international having departed Wembley with an ankle complaint.

And Klopp said: “From time to time you need something to really celebrate. Come on, this was so special. You saw the game, you saw the circumstances, we had problems before the game, they became bigger during the game.

“We had a ref who was not up to the level of the game, that didn’t help one team or the other, it was just ‘what did he see? What is that?’. There was no common sense again, for refs it’s something I’m not sure they teach or ask for it, it’s just not there.

“Then getting through all the things. You see tired players. I have no clue who can play on Wednesday (at home to Southampton in the FA Cup fifth round) because we have players on the pitch until the end of the game who had problems. We asked Harvey and Lucho to stay up front and not go back any more.

“I have no idea who can play on Wednesday but for tonight it is a night I will never forget. If nobody else sees it like that no problem apart from me. It’s a really nice memory forever.”

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