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Liverpool win Carabao Cup thanks to Virgil van Dijk extra-time header



Liverpool win Carabao Cup thanks to Virgil van Dijk extra-time header

Liverpool win Carabao Cup thanks to Virgil van Dijk extra-time header

Van Dijk scored a 118th minute winner
Liverpool won 1-0 at Wembley
Liverpool and Chelsea played out a breathtaking final
By Jack Gallagher | 5:47 PM GMT

Winning goal
Winning goal / Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/GettyImages
Liverpool have won the 2023/24 Carabao Cup, beating Chelsea at Wembley Stadium thanks to a 118th minute header from Virgil van Dijk.

Following a swathe of missed chances, disallowed goals and goalmouth scrambles, the final looked destined to go to a penalty shootout, however Liverpool captain popped up late in the game to nod home a Kostas Tsimikas corner kick to win the game.

The trophy is the first of a potential quadruple for the Reds in Jurgen Klopp’s final season in charge.

It was Chelsea who largely dominated the opening exchanges of the game, with Liverpool having to rely on a truly stunning stop from Caoimhin Kelleher to deny Cole Palmer and the offside flag ruling out a Raheem Sterling effort to keep Mauricio Pochettino’s side at bay.

The tide surprisingly turned in the game after Ryan Gravenberch was carted off following a heavy challenge from Moises Caicedo. Jurgen Klopp’s decision to shift Conor Bradley into the middle of the park as an emergency number eight proved to be a shrewd one, as the Reds began to assert themselves in the game thereafter.

This good period prior to half-time for Liverpool culminated in Cody Gakpo – in for the injured Darwin Nunez – cannoning a header off the post.

Liverpool’s ascendancy continued into the second half, and Virgil van Dijk had thought he’d given his side a vital 1-0 lead on the hour mark after he’d rose highest in the heart of the penalty area to head him. However, following a lengthy VAR check, the goal was ruled out due to Wataru Endo blocking Van Dijk’s marker Levi Colwill from an offside position. A contentious decision, to say the very least.

Buoyed by surving that scare, Chelsea went up the other end and created a few chances of their own in the dying embers of the game. The best of which fell to midfielder Conor Gallagher, who redirected a low cross from Palmer past a routed Kelleher and, unfortunately for Blues fans, off the wrong side of the post.

Despite a total of 31 shots being taken throughout the 90 minutes of action – 12 of which were on target – the game went to extra time.

The chances continue to come in the extra 30 minutes, with youngster Jaylen Danns forcing Djordje Petrovic into a smart save with a headed effort and Harvey Elliott drilling an effort into the side-netting.

Liverpool eventually made their dominance of extra time count with two minutes to go when Van Dijk headed home the winning goal.


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‘Disgusting’ – Former Liverpool star reacts to Carabao Cup final horror tackle
Ryan Gravenberch was forced off through injury in the first half of the Carabao Cup final against Chelsea
By Charlie Bennett
Published 25th Feb 2024, 17:15 GMT
Liverpool midfielder Ryan Gravenberch was stretchered off following a tackle from Moises Caicedo
Liverpool midfielder Ryan Gravenberch was stretchered off following a tackle from Moises Caicedo
Jamie Redknapp was left stunned by referee Chris Kavanagh’s decision not to caution Moises Caicedo for a “disgusting” challenge on Ryan Gravenberch.

The Liverpool man was forced off on a stretcher after Caicedo’s first-half lunge. Jurgen Klopp has been dealt several injury woes in recent weeks and Gravenberch looks set to join them on the treatment table.


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Reds supporters raged online when Caicedo escaped treatment, with many believing the midfielder should have seen red. Klopp – as well as crocked forward Mohamed Salah – were visibly furious following the attempt to in the ball.

During the game, former referee Mike Dean agreed with the on-field decision, insisting the lunge did not showcase serious foul play. He said: “I think he’s caught his foot on his (Ryan Gravenberch’s) foot.

“I know the VAR can’t inform the referee but tackles like that, he’s seen a foul, tried to play on that’s when you say to the referee ‘It’s not serious foul play but it’s a yellow card’. It is a yellow card offence, no doubt whatsoever.”

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However, former Liverpool star Redknapp went further, slamming Caicedo for his “clumsy” challenge. He added in the studio: “It’s not a great challenge. It’s extremely clumsy. I think it always is worse when a player’s foot is planted. You can see here, that as Gravenberch makes the challenge, his foot is planted. It looks disgusting.

“You can see here, that Caicedo is not looking where the ball is going. You can see why he (Gravenberch) comes off. It’s definitely a yellow card. I can see why Jurgen Klopp was so upset and disappointed with it.”


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Liverpool fans furious after Virgil van Dijk’s goal ruled out by VAR12 minutes ago
Liverpool fans furious after Virgil van Dijk’s goal ruled out by VAR
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Van Dijk’s goal on the hour mark was ruled out.
Liverpool fans were left feeling hard done by after Virgil van Dijk’s goal in the second half was ruled out for offside.

Van Dijk headed home on the hour mark to give Jurgen Klopp’s side the lead after Chelsea had also had a goal chalked off in the first half.

But following a VAR check, the Dutchman’s header was classed as offside after Wataru Endo, who denied Levi Colwill the chance to get back and defend, stood in an offside position.

Fans felt though that Endo hadn’t interfered with play and were therefore baffled by the decision to disallow the goal.

Chelsea vs Liverpool: Follow the Carabao Cup final live in our hub
Chelsea vs Liverpool: Follow the Carabao Cup final live in our hub

“From a strictly neutral view, it feels at times as if VAR is using a fine toothcomb to find a reason to disallow goals. That Liverpool one would have stood in every single year pre-2020. Overthinking it all,” wrote one person on X (formerly.

“Absolutely shocking that is given as offside. The fact the rules are like this. Where we are saying that Colwell would have been there is a joke. Endo blocks. Doesn’t impede Chilwell at all. Blockers have been in the game since forever, for a reason,” added a second.

“Technical offside ? Deary me, what is happening to our game,” commented a third.

A fourth said: “VAR has ruined football fact…”

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Carabao Cup final: Why Virgil van Dijk goal was disallowed for offside in Chelsea vs Liverpool
The defender’s towering header was controversially ruled out – but why?

Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk saw his goal against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final controversially ruled out for offside.

The defender held off Ben Chilwell to thump home what he thought was the opening goal in a tense clash at Wembley Stadium.

But after a long wait for a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) check, the goal was ruled out for a “technical offside.”

Van Dijk was not offside, so why was it ruled out?

Replays showed that Wataru Endo was in an offside position when the free kick was sent in and as he blocked Levi Colwill from marking Van Dijk, the goal was disallowed.

Both Colwill and Chilwell were tasked with marking Van Dijk, who scored in his last Liverpool game and has three goals to his name this season.

It is up for debate if Colwill even would have been able to prevent Van Dijk from scoring but Endo was deemed to be interfering with play so the goal had to be chalked off.

Standard Sport’s chief football reporter Dan Kilpatrick reported on the incident from Wembley: “That feels like another big VAR decision which has set a precedent that will be impossible to uphold in future.

“Those kind of blocks happen at every set piece at this level. Are they all really going to be policed in the same way from now on?”

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Live coverage of Chelsea vs. Liverpool’s Carabao Cup final, with updates and a goal from Cody Gakpo after Raheem Sterling’s was disqualified

Goal ooooo Mohamed Salah


Chelsea vs Liverpool LIVE! Carabao Cup final match stream, latest team news, lineups, TV as Salah misses out
The Blues are eyeing a first trophy since Todd Boehly’s takeover but are underdogs against Liverpool at Wembley


The first major trophy of the English football season is the prize on offer this afternoon as Chelsea face Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley. It is a repeat of the 2022 final in this competition, when Liverpool won a remarkable penalty shootout 11-10 after a goalless 120 minutes.

Chelsea go in search of the first trophy of the Todd Boehly era, while Mauricio Pochettino is also yet to pick up silverware as a manager in England. The Blues go into the match as underdogs, but will have taken plenty of confidence from their performance last time out, when holding Manchester City to a draw.

As for Liverpool, they are still in the hunt for four trophies as they look to send Jurgen Klopp out on a high in his final season in charge. They beat Chelsea 4-1 just a few weeks ago, but they do now have a huge injury list to contend with. Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez and Dominik Szoboszlai all miss out on the squad, in a significant triple blow. Follow all the action with Standard Sport’s LIVE blog below, featuring expert analysis from Nizaar Kinsella nad Dan Kilpatrick at Wembley!

Chelsea vs Liverpool latest news

Kick-off: 3pm GMT, Wembley Stadium
How to watch: Sky Sports
Chelsea team news: Silva misses out
Liverpool team news: Salah and Nunez not in squad
Standard Sport prediction
Live updates

No surprises for Chelsea
It’s as we expected from the Blues this afternoon.

Thiago Silva misses out on the squad, with Axel Disasi and Levi Colwill continuing at centre-back.

Nicolas Jackson leads the line, with Christopher Nkunku once again having to settle for a place on the bench.

Liverpool trio miss out
An obvious place to start – Mohamed Salah, Dominik Szoboszlai and Darwin Nunez are not even named on the bench for Liverpool.

Huge blow for Jurgen Klopp to be without the trio this afternoon, adding to a lengthy injury list.

It means Harvey Elliott and Cody Gakpo get their chance in the front three, with Ryan Gravenberch continuing in midfield.

Chelsea team news
Starting XI: Petrovic, Gusto, Disasi, Colwill, Chilwell, Caicedo, Fernandez, Gallagher, Palmer, Jackson, Sterling

Subs: Sanchez, Bettinelli, Chalobah, Gee, Gilchrist, Tauriainen, Madueke, Mudryk, Nkunku

Liverpool team news
Starting XI: Kelleher, Bradley, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson, Endo, Mac Allister, Gravenberch, Elliott, Diaz, Gakpo

Subs: Adrian, Gomez, Tsimikas, Quansah, Clark, O’Connell, Koumas, Danns, Nyoni

Atmosphere building!
Going to be a special afternoon at Wembley.

Team news coming up very shortly – we’ll have that in the next five minutes or so.

Plenty of injury concerns for both managers to contend with…

Liverpool the favourites?
Mauricio Pochettino insists that Liverpool are favourites to win the Carabao Cup final.

The Argentine was commenting in response to Jurgen Klopp saying earlier this week that his depleted Reds side are “definitely not” the favourites.

Liverpool have between seven and 10 players out injured for the final, with Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez and Dominik Szoboszlai all facing late fitness tests.

“Of course, I think Liverpool are the favourites,” Pochettino said on Friday. “In the last few years, they have experience of competing as a team and being in finals.

“Our players are not only new to this competition, Premier League and Carabao Cup, but for some, this is their first final. In my opinion, I make them favourites.

“But he is clever enough to say, ‘no, it is 50/50’. Yes, for sure [they are favourites]. It is always like this.”

Beware of the press
Chelsea were dominated by Liverpool’s press in the 4-1 defeat at Anfield last month.

The intensity of Klopp’s famously dubbed ‘heavy metal football’ forced Chelsea into making mistakes, including giving away a penalty.

But Pochettino’s side showed since they could play through Pep Guardiola’s equally impressive press last weekend, creating several counter-attacks, including the opening for Raheem Sterling’s goal.

It could be another chess match this afternoon.

Silva set to miss out
Thiago Silva is not expected to be named in the Chelsea squad this afternoon.

The centre-back was a doubt for the Blues, having picked up a groin injury a couple of weeks ago.

He has stepped up his recovery in recent days, but Silva is likely to not even be named on the bench at Wembley.

Caicedo and Fernandez must deliver
Theoretically, the one area where Chelsea should outgun Liverpool is in midfield.

Chelsea beat Liverpool to sign Moises Caicedo from Brighton for £115million, having secured Enzo Fernandez from under their noses.

After missing out on two key targets, Jurgen Klopp signed Wataru Endo and Ryan Gravenberch instead.

Liverpool, however, have kept winning on the pitch, and it is up to Chelsea’s hugely expensive duo to change the conversation.

Can Chelsea outgun Liverpool?
No Premier League team has scored more than Liverpool this season.

The Reds’ five main attackers have 67 goals in all competitions — Mohamed Salah (19), Diogo Jota (14), Darwin Nunez (13), Cody Gakpo (11) and Luis Diaz (10).

By contrast, Chelsea’s top five forwards have scored 37 times. Amid such a huge disparity, the question is, who will be the match-winner?

The Blues’ task will be helped if Salah and Nunez are unavailable, with Jota already ruled out…


Watch Liverpool vs Chelsea Caraboa Cup final 1-0

Paisley Gates

Ruben Amorim
Analysis Articles Feature News Sporting CP Transfer Story
Liverpool now ready to move to sign £17million manager to replace Klopp – Report
February 25, 2024 Sahil 0 Comments newsnow
If reports in the media are anything to go by then Alonso is set to reject Liverpool, who are now ready to intensify move to sign Ruben Amorim from Sporting CP to replace Klopp.

According to an exclusive story covered by TEAMtalk, the Bayer Leverkusen manager has multiple reasons to reject a return to Anfield.

News – 4-3-3: Liverpool strongest possible XI vs Chelsea with Salah and Nunez

In such a scenario, Liverpool are ready to step up plans to hire the services of Amorim, who has done wonders at Sporting CP.

Alonso and his family are happy in Germany and the Spaniard would not mind staying at Leverkusen, who are favorites to win their first ever Bundesliga title this season.

On the other hand, the 42-year-old views the Liverpool opportunity as ‘right job, wrong time’ and has concerns about replacing a legendary figure like Jurgen Klopp.

Amorim has already won the Liga Nos title with Sporting CP, who will collide against Rio Ave tonight knowing that a point will put them back on top of the table.

Last month, Correio da Manha revealed that English clubs will have to activate the release clause of £17million to sign the Portuguese boss.

For now, the manager is focused on helping the Lions win the title and in the latest press conference, he stated:

“I’m not going to dwell on the future. What I had to say I have already said and when I talk about it the topic comes up again. I just want to beat Rio Ave and the rest will soon be seen.”

Have your say – Should Liverpool sign Ruben Amorim if Alonso decides to turn down a move to Anfield?

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Predicted Liverpool lineup against Chelsea: Gakpo to start; Salah, Nunez doubts
by Saikat Chatterjee February 25, 2024 12:00 pm Reading Time: 3 mins read
Home » news » Predicted Liverpool lineup against Chelsea: Gakpo to start; Salah, Nunez doubts

Cody Gakpo will start for Liverpool against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley on Sunday afternoon.
Liverpool are in impressive form right now, and they are well-positioned to do well across multiple competitions. They are currently on top of the league table and they have made it to the knockout runs of the UEFA Europa League as well.

The Reds are still very much in the race to win the FA Cup and they will want to win the League Cup as well when they lock horns with Chelsea in Sunday’s final at Wembley. However, they have a number of injury problems, which could be a major issue.

Liverpool are without star keeper Alisson Becker. Caoimhin Kelleher will deputise in his absence. In the back four, Trent Alexander-Arnold misses out with an injury. Conor Bradley will start instead of him. Ibrahima Konate and Virgil van Dijk will form the central defensive unit, with Andrew Robertson as the left-back. Bradley and Robertson will look to help out in the attack and protect the defensive unit.

In the midfield, Wataru Endo will start as the defensive midfielder, with Alexis Mac Allister and Ryan Gravenberch alongside him. The two players will add creativity and control. Endo will provide defensive cover to the side. Dominik Szoboszlai, Thiago Alcantara and Curtis Jones will miss out.

Diogo Jota is ruled out in the attack. Meanwhile, Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez are doubtful. So, Cody Gakpo is set to lead the line for Liverpool here with Harvey Elliott and Luis Diaz alongside him.

Speaking about the fitness situation of players ahead of the game, Lijnders said, “We come in a crazy schedule again, so we play every three days. It’s important for us to use each minute, use each day to really look how the players are. This is for Mo, Dom and Darwin. Two training sessions to go, let’s see how they are and then we can make a decision in the last minute.”

“All the others, we know it’s longer. Ali has a muscle injury. Trent, LCL. Jota, medial ligament, MCL. Curtis [has] a high ankle sprain. They will be longer out. Curtis is probably the first one [to come back] around the international break. All the others will be after the international break.”


Predicted Liverpool XI: Kelleher; Bradley, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Mac Allister, Endo, Gravenberch; Elliott, Gakpo, Diaz

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Liverpool predicted Line-up head to head injury and Telecast against Chelsea tomorrow


A “world class” Liverpool star is wanted in a big-money move during the summer transfer window, according to an update from The Times’ Paul Hirst.

Liverpool transfer news
Jurgen Klopp may be leaving Anfield at the end of the season, but that hasn’t stopped FSG already eyeing up summer signings, ensuring whoever comes in to replace the German is greeted with a couple of welcome gifts.

A shock move for Everton centre-back Jarrad Branthwaite has been mooted, in a transfer that wouldn’t go down well at all at Goodison Park. Sporting CP ace Goncalo Inacio also continues to be backed to head to Liverpool, as has been the case for some time now, with the Portuguese seen as arguably one of Europe’s most exciting young defenders.

Another potential defensive reinforcement is Crystal Palace central defender Marc Guehi, with the England international likely to leave Selhurst Park in the summer transfer window. A move to a bigger club feels on the cards, given his quality as a player.

Brazilian youngster Luis Guilherme has also been linked with a switch to the Reds, and the same applies to Juventus and France midfielder Adrien Rabiot, should Liverpool feel the need to further bolster their midfield options. Almost as important as new signings is retaining the services of some of the most important players at Anfield, however, and a big update has dropped regarding one such figure.

Reds star linked with another big money move
According to The Times’ Hirst, Mohamed Salah is wanted by Saudi Pro League clubs for a big-money move again this summer, with the Liverpool star one of a number of elite players being looked at.

Losing Salah doesn’t bear thinking about for the Reds, and while some may be willing to see him leave for an astronomical fee – he turns 32 in the summer – he still has so much to offer at the very top level. The manner in which the Egyptian King looks after himself means he should be able to replicate the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo and play well into his 30s, and he is still comfortably Liverpool’s most consistent and productive attacking player.

In truth, it is no great surprise that Salah is wanted by Saudi clubs, considering they no doubt see him as a poster boy for the Saudi Pro League, but it would be bitterly disappointing to see him join what is a far inferior division to the Premier League.

Mohamed Salah’s Premier League stats this season










Shots per game


Key passes per game


Tackles per game


Salah’s current deal runs out in the summer of 2025, so it is clear that this year is when a big decision needs to made when it comes to his future, but a new contract should be handed to him, not only as a reward for so many years of brilliance – he has been called “world class” by Klopp – but also because he still has so much left in the tank for Liverpool.

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Henry Jackson • News Writer
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Henry is an experienced football writer with a huge passion and knowledge of the game.

With over a decade of writing under his belt, he has been part of Snack Media’s freelance team since 2020. He is also a main contributor for This Is Anfield, one of the world’s biggest Reds-related sites, where he writes features and news, and covers matchday content, from live blogs to the dreaded Player Ratings.

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I rejected ‘unattractive’ Liverpool transfer because of Chelsea promise
Former Chelsea defender Frank Leboeuf has revealed how he once rejected a transfer to Liverpool

ByTheo SquiresLiverpool FC Writer

Former French international footballer and former Chelsea defender Franck Leboeuf poses for a picture before an interview at the IMG Media Studios in Chiswick, London

Liverpool and Chelsea might have forged a bitter rivalry over the past two decades, but that hasn’t stopped a number of players from representing both clubs.

Thirteen players have lined up for both during the Premier League era, with six of them making direct transfers between Anfield and Stamford Bridge. Meanwhile, when the two clubs lock horns at Wembley in the League Cup final on Sunday, both Mohamed Salah and Raheem Sterling will be hoping to get one over on their former sides.

However, sometimes the allegiance to a former club is too strong for a player to later join a rival. This proved to be the case for one World Cup winner back in 2002.

Frank Leboeuf joined Chelsea in a £2.5m move from Strasbourg in 1996, and would go on to make 203 appearances during five years at Stamford Bridge. During his time with the club, he’d win two FA Cups, the League Cup, the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, the European Super Cup and the Community Shield.

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Also winning the 1998 World Cup, Euro 2000 and 2001 Confederations Cup with France, he returned to his homeland to sign for Marseille in the summer of 2001. Yet after just one year back in Ligue 1, he claims that Liverpool tried to bring him back to the Premier League.

“Liverpool tried to sign me when Gerard Houllier was in charge,” Lebouef recalled to BetVictor. “(It was) just after the 2002 World Cup.

“Houllier called me and we talked, but back then Liverpool wasn’t as attractive a club as it is right now. I loved Steve McManaman and Robbie Fowler and players like that and I admired them in the 1970s, but they were not my club.

“I made a promise when I was playing for Chelsea that I would never play for another English club, because Chelsea made me. I get the opportunity to speak in many countries across the world, not because I won the World Cup or anything like that, but because I played for Chelsea.

“Chelsea are my club. Sometimes the club upsets me, especially in the last two years with the way it is being run, but it is still my club and I will defend them until my last breath.

“It would’ve been nice to play at Anfield, but I have played there as the opponent and I wasn’t interested in trying to make a move happen. I am very pleased to be able to say that I only ever played for Chelsea in the Premier League.”

Lebouef was 34 when Liverpool reportedly tried to sign him, and had just finished second in the Premier League in the 2001/02 season. The year before they had won a cup treble. In contrast, Marseille would finish 15th in Ligue 1 prior to the Frenchman’s arrival in 2001, before finishing ninth in 2001/02.

Meanwhile, Sami Hyypia, Jamie Carragher and Stephane Henchoz were Houllier’s leading centre-back options heading into the 2002/03 season, with the likes of Markus Babbel, Abel Xavier, and Djimi Traore also able to play the position.

While the Reds would infamously sign El Hadji Diouf, Salif Diao and Bruno Cheyrou that summer, they did not strengthen their squad at centre-back.

Lebouef would spend one final year with Marseille in 2002/03, before moving to Qatari side Al-Sadd. He’d finish his career with stints at Al-Wakrah and Hollywood United before hanging up his boots in 2007.

A switch to Liverpool is not the only move that failed to come to fruition during the Frenchman’s career. He also missed out on the opportunity to play under one Reds legend elsewhere and sign for Real Madrid in 1999.

The Spanish giants would finish the following season as European Champions as McManaman helped them win the Champions League in his first year after leaving Anfield. Yet the defender has no regrets.

“I almost signed for Real Madrid as well, in 1999, but Chelsea were asking for too much money for me,” Lebouef recalled. “It was John Toshack who wanted me, but luckily I didn’t sign because he was sacked a month later!”


WMoment Jurgen Klopp decided to quit Liverpool as new theory comes to light
Liverpool assistant manager Pep Ljinders has lifted the lid on the conversations he had with Jurgen Klopp that made it clear their time at Anfield was drawing to a close

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp announced he was leaving Liverpool last month (Image: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC)
ByDan MarshSenior Sports Reporter
14:20, 24 Feb 2024
Pep Ljinders has outlined how Jurgen Klopp had informed him that his Liverpool tenure was coming to an end months before his exit plan was formally announced.

The German, 56, sent shockwaves through the Premier League last month when he revealed that he would be standing down in the summer. He has been in charge for over eight years since joining the club back in October 2015.

While Klopp’s decision took plenty of people aback, there were some within Anfield who were in the loop. That includes Klopp’s long-time assistant and confidante Ljinders, who admits they had conversations about leaving during the summer.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s Carabao Cup final, Ljinders opened up the discussions he’d had with Klopp. He said: “Nobody will replace Jurgen. I was clear, to be honest, when we had the talk a long time ago – for me it was clear and it made it easier for me.

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Liverpool’s likely XI to face Chelsea in Carabao Cup final as injuries mount up
“We knew in the summer, ‘OK we are going towards the end of this project’. It’s too much about me…we play in a final in 48 hours. I understand, so I think I have given answers in interviews.”

He then went on to outline that he has previously rejected offers to branch out on his own. But after returning from a brief stint in charge of NEC in 2018, it was always part of the plan for him to stick with Klopp until the end.

Ljinders continued: “I always got offers and my heart says yes, but my loyalty to Mike [Gordon] and Jurgen said no. So we agreed to finish this project together and it is the right way to do it. They will find a new coach with ideas and I am excited to manage to find the right club. But until the last final of the season I am focused on Liverpool and that is why we have agents, no?”

Join the debate! Who would you like to see replace Klopp? Let us know here.

Jurgen Klopp’s No.2 Pep Ljinders has been a hot topic amongst Liverpool fans in recent weeks
Klopp spoke with Pep Ljinders in the summer about leaving Liverpool ( Image: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC)
A report from The Telegraph earlier this month outlined that Klopp recognises his new-look Liverpool are team have made significant progress far sooner than expected. That played a part in his exit plan, with the report going on to theorise that had the Reds struggled this term then Klopp may have been enticed into delaying his exit beyond the summer.

With Klopp believing his players no longer need him like they once did, he will walk away at the end of the campaign. He could yet go out with another Premier League title with Liverpool currently clear of Manchester City and Arsenal at the summit.

Former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso has emerged as the overwhelming favourite to succeed Klopp. The Spaniard, 42, has excelled in his first senior management role at Bayer Leverkusen and would be a popular appointment with the fanbase due to his fine record in Germany and his previous exploits in a Liverpool shirt.

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Liverpool predicted Line-up against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final Tomorrow 👏


LIVERPOOLUpdate:Liverpool “leader” now set to miss the next seven gamesPublished 19 hours ago on February 23, 2024By soccerlivenews
Update:Liverpool “leader” now set to miss the next seven games


The games that Alexander-Arnold and Alisson will miss for Liverpoool

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson in action against Manchester City
Into the second half of the season with the return of the Europa League on the horizon, Liverpool’s injuries couldn’t have come at a worse time, especially with the Carabao Cup final coming up against Chelsea this weekend. Now, an update has emerged on when they can expect certain stars to make their return, and it’s not good news.

Liverpool injury news
Liverpool’s assistant manager Pep Lijnders was at least able to offer some positive news on the injury front ahead of the Reds’ trip to Wembley on Sunday, revealing that Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez, and Dominik Szoboszlai could all still be in contention to face Chelsea.

Lijnders said: “We come in a crazy schedule again, so we play every three days. It’s important for us to use each minute, use each day to really look how the players are. This is for Mo, Dom and Darwin. Two training sessions to go, let’s see how they are and then we can make a decision in the last minute. And all the others, we know it’s longer.”

The news that has stolen the headlines, however, regards the fitness of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Alisson Becker and Curtis Jones. Lijnders confirmed that Alexander-Arnold and Alisson will be out until after the March international break, which will, therefore, see them miss at least seven games.

“Very talented” manager is Liverpool’s top target if Alonso chooses Bayern
The assistant also confirmed the timeline of injuries to Curtis Jones and Diogo Jota, saying via BBC Sport: “Curtis has a sprain with a muscle on his ankle and will be [out] until around the international break. Trent [Alexander-Arnold] has a lateral ligament injury and will be out until after the international break. Diogo Jota has a medial ligament, will be after the international break, but after the international break for Jota means we are not sure [how long].”

The games that Alexander-Arnold and Alisson will miss
As Liverpool’s injury list continues to grow, the fixtures will continue to come thick and fast and their importance will only increase. Set to be without two key players for a stretch of at least seven games, which includes Manchester City in the Premier League at Anfield, Liverpool’s title credentials could seriously come into question.

Games that Alexander-Arnold and Alisson will miss (via


Whilst Conor Bradley will fill in for Alexander-Arnold and Caoimhin Kelleher for Alisson, Jurgen Klopp will be well aware of the quality that his side will be missing.

The German praised Alexander-Arnold after his goal helped Liverpool come from behind to beat Fulham earlier this season, saying via Anfield Watch: “Today he was a real leader on the pitch – that’s probably the biggest improvement, if you want. Because it was super-intense but it got kind of another push when you put him a bit more inside in that moment.

“He’s so often in these positions, there is no change really. He’s very often in half-spaces in the centre and stuff like this. So it was just really good. But he was a real leader on the pitch – that was most important.”

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Tom is a football writer who has written for a number of websites and newspapers, creating content on everything from non-league, the Premier League and the top five European leagues over the last four years.

Tom is also a Liverpool fan and a University of Brighton student who can often be found on Twitter talking about the Reds.



41-year-old has ruled himself out of being Liverpool’s next managerPhoto by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images
41-year-old has ruled himself out of being Liverpool’s next manager
Fri 23 February 2024 15:00
James Brooke
Liverpool head into this weekend’s Carabao Cup final knowing that it could be their last chance to win a trophy under Jurgen Klopp.

Hopefully that isn’t the case, the Reds still have three more to play for besides. But against Chelsea at Wembley on Sunday, Liverpool have the first direct chance to add another one to the cabinet.

Beyond that, we don’t yet know who will be leading the Reds into next season. However, we certainly know who it won’t be. It won’t be Klopp, of course, and neither will it be his assistant, Pep Lijnders. Lijnders was asked during the pre-final press conference today whether he had thought about ‘throwing his hat into the ring’ for the top job. From his answer, that won’t be happening.

“I was really clear to be honest,” answered the 41-year-old. “When we had the talk a long time ago, for me it was clear. It made it easier for me when he [Klopp] said this will be it. We knew in the summer already we are going towards the end of this project.

“We spoke, I got offers last year. My heart always said yes, my loyalty and my friendship and respect for Mike and Jurgen said no. But it’s clear that I will go and manage and we will end the project together. I feel that it’s a project of a lot of people and it’s the right way to do it like this.

“But I’m excited to manage, I’m excited to go and find the right club, a club who really wants me. But until the last final of the season I’m focused on Liverpool. I don’t even know what’s happening, that’s why we have agents.”

Lijnders rules himself out
In fairness to Lijnders, he had already made it pretty clear that he wouldn’t be in the running to succeed Klopp at Liverpool.

It had been announced on the same day as the manager last month that the assistant would be leaving, too. Still, it’s interesting to dig into his quotes here, as they do add a little bit more colour.

From what Pep says, it sounds as though he was in fact planning to leave the club regardless of Klopp’s decision.

Having received and turned down offers already , it seems that Lijnders was finally ready to go and make his own way in management. Jurgen’s surprise departure only reaffirmed that it was the right time for the Dutchman to exit, too.

It will be very, very interesting to see where Lijnders ends up next season, or whenever he lands himself a role. Some had wanted him to success Klopp, no doubt about that.

Pep Lijnders
Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images
As a coach, Pep is incredibly highly rated and his body of work with Liverpool should ensure he ends up at a decent level. As Mikel Arteta has shown since leaving Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, young, up can coming assistants can make the jump into management.

Of course, Lijnders has tried his hand at the top job already. However, that brief stint at NEC Nijmegen six years ago was probably not a true reflection of his capability.

Nevertheless, the difficulty he had at Nijmegen perhaps played a part in stopping Liverpool from offering him Klopp’s job. Had it been on the table, Lijnders would surely have taken it.

As it is, he’ll have to go off and earn his corn elsewhere. Not that he’ll mind, Pep seems utterly up for whatever challenge comes his way. And who knows, do well, and maybe our paths will cross again in the future.

£60m Liverpool player doesn’t appear to be at training today after claims he could miss Carabao Cup finalPhoto by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images
£60m Liverpool player doesn’t appear to be at training today after claims he could miss Carabao Cup final
Fri 23 February 2024 14:00
James Brooke
Liverpool have given some indication as to which players may be missing this weekend’s Carabao Cup final.

The Reds are set to take on Chelsea on Sunday and are set to be without a number of key players. One who has been widely expected to miss the game is Dominik Szoboszlai.

Having been injured since the end of January, it has been touch-and-go for Szoboszlai. And although Pep Lijnders appeared to suggest that the Hungarian may just about be fit to play against Chelsea, a video released by Liverpool on X this afternoon may show otherwise.

The clip showing the players arriving at the AXA Training Centre earlier today may have actually contained some good news for Reds fans.

Both Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah are seen kitted up and in good spirits. But the presence of both Nunez and Salah only highlights the fact that Szoboszlai is not seen.

Of course, none of this is a definitive indication on the fitness of any of these three players. We’ll have to wait for that. But it isn’t especially encouraging where Liverpool’s No.8 is concerned.

Szoboszlai not featured in training video
As the afternoon wears on, we’ll no doubt get some more glimpses of Liverpool in pre-cup final training.

From there, we’ll be able to see a little bit better who did and who did not appear in today’s session.

With two days until the game, that still won’t be conclusive as to who will feature. A lot can happen in 48 hours and things can still change.

Given that all of Nunez, Salah and Szoboszlai have muscle issues though, you’d have to assume that no training today very likely means no game on Sunday.

In that respect, fans will be desperate to see any combination of the trio. As he’s been out a little longer than the other two, the expectation will have been that Szoboszlai might miss out anyway. Having him back would purely be a really big bonus.

Liverpool Training Session
Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images
For Nunez and Salah though, Liverpool badly need them. Although they still scored four against Luton Town on Sunday, the Reds’ attack did not function all that well.

Cody Gakpo has been praised for ‘stepping up,’ but we’re not all that sure that he did. It would be preferable to have either the Uruguayan or the Egyptian ready to step in for Sunday.

Of course, they may have to settle for places on the bench, but that would be enough for us. As long as they’re both able to get on and effect the game at some point, Klopp will be pleased.

It’s disappointing news about Szoboszlai on the other hand. But don’t rule the £60m out just yet.


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OPINIONUEFA just handed Liverpool a huge Man City advantage as nightmare Europa League scenario avoided
Liverpool will face Sparta Prague in the last-16 of the Europa League. Jürgen Klopp will be more than happy with that draw, with a huge clash against Manchester City looming.

Liverpool will face Manchester City between both legs of its Europa League tie against Sparta Prague
Liverpool will face Manchester City between both legs of its Europa League tie against Sparta Prague (Image: Getty Images)

There’s always a slightly nervous wait heading into a cup draw as you wait to see who your side will get, knowing they could be handed a truly difficult test. Fortunately for Liverpool fans, they didn’t have to wait too long for their Europa League last-16 opponents.

The Reds were the first of the seeded teams out of the hat in Switzerland, and were handed a tie against Czech side Sparta Prague. Given some of the alternatives on offer, Jürgen Klopp will definitely be happy with that.

On the face of it, Qarabag would have perhaps been the easiest tie of the round. The Azerbaijan side is a surprise inclusion in the last-16, having overcome Braga in the play-off round in dramatic fashion, winning 6-5 after extra time.

READ MORE: When Liverpool will play Sparta Prague as Europa League last-16 draw confirmed in full

READ MORE: Liverpool injury latest and return dates including Mohamed Salah, Darwin Núñez and Curtis Jones

The journey to Azerbaijan though would certainly not have been welcome for Liverpool, especially with the away leg coming just days before a potential Premier League title decider against Manchester City. For those not quite up to speed on their geography, you won’t even find Azerbaijan on your usual map of Europe, with the country crossing into Asia. It’s a flight time around two and a half times what Liverpool will instead face by heading to Prague.

With plenty of other big names in the draw, avoiding the likes of AC Milan, Benfica, Sporting CP and Roma was also important, and you can also perhaps throw Marseille in there. All in all then, Liverpool has perhaps landed its ideal draw against Sparta, with only German side Freiburg possibly offering a more desirable tie.

If the injury situation has eased by then — and amid the current crisis, that does seem like a big if — then Klopp should have the opportunity to rotate his squad somewhat, and hold some of his bigger players back for that all-important clash against City on March 10. That will be a major advantage in its quest to secure its outgoing manager a second league title.

Not only that, but some of the favorites for this season’s Europa League draw will be going out in the net round. Three from Sporting and Atalanta, Roma and Brighton, and Marseille and Villarreal will exit the competition in the next round, although Bayer Leverkusen and AC Milan should ease their way through against Qarabag and Slavia Prague respectively — meaning a meeting with Xabi Alonso is still on the cards.

Liverpool will be expected to join them. The Reds have been handed not only an ideal draw for their Europa League hopes, but a near-perfect tie to aid them in their Premier League exploits amid a hectic schedule.



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Roberto Firmino faces many controversial and turn back to Liverpool today for Carabao Cup final

‘He will make it’… Journalist thinks injured Liverpool player will be back for Carabao Cup finalPhoto by Joe Prior/Visionhaus via Getty Images
‘He will make it’… Journalist thinks injured Liverpool player will be back for Carabao Cup final
Fri 23 February 2024 07:00
James Brooke
Jurgen Klopp was keeping his cards close to his chest when asked about Liverpool’s injury issues this week.

The manager wasn’t giving too much away following Wednesday night’s 4-1 win over Luton Town. We may hear a little more insight from Klopp when he meets the press today, but for now it’s a little bit of a guessing game.

Liverpool could really do with at least one or two of their injured cohort returning, though. And perhaps top of that list would be Mohamed Salah, who will be desperate to play in Sunday’s Carabao Cup final.

So far, there’s been nothing to suggest the possibility of that either way. But speaking on The Daily Mail’s It’s All Kicking Off! podcast, journalist Dominic King has predicted that Salah will ‘make it’ to play against Chelsea.

“I think Salah will make it,” claimed the reporter. “I just have a feeling Salah will make it. I’m not sure about Nunez.”

Salah tipped to make return
We’d expect that we might have to wait until Sunday to hear confirmation of whether Salah will be in the Liverpool squad.

Klopp has so far insisted that the likes of the Egyptian and Darwin Nunez are being taken ‘day by day’ at the AXA Training Centre.

As a result, he may not yet know himself about the two forward’s availability when he addresses the media today.

Even if he does, maybe the boss will feel it might pay to leave Chelsea guessing. If Salah and Nunez are ready or not will make a pretty big difference to how Liverpool can play. Why not keep them in the dark, it can’t do any harm.

Should either or both of the players then be named on the team sheet – or in the squad – at the weekend, it could also give the travelling Reds fans are big boost and enhance the atmosphere, too.

Mo Salah
Photo by Gaspafotos/MB Media/Getty Images
Obviously, we’d love both Salah and Nunez to be ready to play and win another trophy for Liverpool.

But if only one can make it, then you’d have to say that Mo would probably be the choice. Nunez has been electric of late and is constantly such a threat. Salah is simply on another level altogether, though.

The 31-year-old showed his class yet again last Saturday, coming off the bench at Brentford to put on a second-half clinic. He’s still Liverpool’s talisman whatever way you look at it.

Having failed to score in Liverpool’s last three major cup finals, Salah will be absolutely champing at the bit to get out there against his old club. We’re crossing everything that he makes it. Let’s hope for a positive update today.


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