Lift It High: Van Dijk's Header in Extra Time Gives Liverpool Caraboa Cup Title

26th February 2024

Virgil van Dijk headed a cross from from a corner kick in the 118th minute as Liverpool dramatically defeated Chelsea in front of nearly 90,000 fans at Wembley Stadium to the Final and lift the trophy. The victory marks the 10th time Liverpool has won the competition and Jürgen Klopp's 7th major trophy as manager of the club.

First Half

Liverpool earned a par of free kicks deep in the attacking third inside the first 10 minutes, but both chances failed to find the back of the net. forced a save from a header in the 9th minute but answered with a corner. The action picked up moments later as both keepers were forced to make saves.

Liverpool continued with their pressure, winning the ball in good areas, but it was who came with a massive save in the 20th minute. had to be stretchered off in the 25th minute. put the ball in the back of the net for Chelsea 10 minutes later, but the strike was chalked off due to offsides.

nearly scored in the 40th minute. Moments later nearly scored on a scramble in front of the net, but the teams had to settle for a 0-0 scoreline at the half after six minutes of stoppage time.

Second Half

Liverpool earned a corner straight away in the second half, but Wataru Endo's shot was wide. As the Reds kept pushing forward Chelsea looked to strike on the counterattack as the match settled into an entertaining match. appeared to have scored on a header after a free kick at the hour mark. The goal was given, but later taken away by VAR as Endo was offside.

Before the smoke had cleared from Liverpool fans' celebration of the disallowed goal, Chelsea also nearly scored off a header. Liverpool earned a corner in the 74th minute, but Chelsea hit the post in the 76th.

put a shot on goal after making a run from the back in the 80th minute. Kelleher made another big save late in regulation as he came off his line to snuff a promising attack. Kelleher and several defenders kept the ball out of the back of the net in stoppage time as the match headed to extra time goalless 

Extra Time

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 25: Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool scores his team's first goal past Djordje Petrovic of Chelsea during the Carabao Cup Final match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Wembley Stadium on February 25, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Liverpool had the first chance of the extra session as Jayden Dans had a header tipped over the bar. A free kick later in the period was claimed by the Chelsea goal and Elliott put a good chance in front of goal into the side netting. Kotas Tsimikas also forced a save, but Chelsea also earned a pair of corners, but no one could score in the first 15 minutes of stoppage time.

Chelsea earned a corner in the 18th minute of extra time, but it was cleared. Kelleher claimed a save in the 20th. Tsimikas also forced a save moments later. Danns nearly scored in the 25th minute on a scramble in front of the net, but the ball was claimed just before it crossed the line.

Three minutes later, van Dijk came through with his heroic header from a Tsimikas corner. The captain showed more juice in his legs as he outjumped the Chelsea defenders and headed the ball down into the corner of the net. This time the goal stood and the Reds were able to see out the final few minutes to lift the Carabao Cup.

Cheers To You, Lads

Liverpool's English striker #67 Lewis Koumas (L), Liverpool's English striker #76 Jayden Danns (C) and Liverpool's English midfielder #98 Treymaurice Nyoni pose with the trophy following the English League Cup final football match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Wembley stadium, in London, on February 25, 2024. Virgil van Dijk scored the only goal deep into extra-time as Liverpool won the League Cup for a record tenth time. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

Liverpool played the entire 30 minutes of extra time with 5 players, out of the 11 on the pitch, 21 years of age. The young guns honestly outplayed the veterans of Chelsea during that time as Liverpool's winner was completely deserved. The Reds had the majority of chances in the extra session. 

The future looks bright at .

Evenly Matched

As you might expect from a match that was scoreless after 90 minutes, the stats were pretty even. Both goalkeepers were impressive between the pipes with Kelleher making nine saves and Chelsea keeper Djordje Petrovic claiming 10. Liverpool outshot Chelsea 24-19 (11-9 on goal)  while possession was also pretty even with Liverpool controlling the ball 53 percent of the time.

A Word From The Captain

“It means so much van Dijk,” told Sky Sports after the match. All the young boys on the pitch in extra time, it's incredible. I'm so proud of this team. It was an intense game for both sides. They had chances, we had chances. It was an amazing first trophy as a Liverpool captain. Let's enjoy it.”

LFC Globe Verdict

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 25: Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool, celebrates with the Carabao Cup trophy after his team's victory during the Carabao Cup Final match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Wembley Stadium on February 25, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Let's all just take a deep breath. As I said in the , this one was going to be close. In fact, I thought it was going to be decided via penalties. It nearly was except for the head of Virgil van Dijk and the solid play of the youngsters in extra time. Here's hoping we can lift a few more trophies by season's end.

Man Of The Match

The official Man of the Match is van Dijk and deservedly so. He not only scored the game-winner, but he had a similar play chalked off by VAR at the hour mark. Kelleher also deserves tons of credit as he made numerous big saves to keep the match scoreless until van Dijk's Breakthrough.

What's Next

Liverpool will have to avoid heavy legs as they have an FA Cup match with Southampton set for February 28th at Anfield.


  1. Virgil van Dijk 118'


  • None



  1. Joe Gomez for Ryan Gravenberch 28'
  2. for Conor Bradler 72' 
  3. Jayden Danns for Cody Gakpo 87'
  4. James McConnell for 87'
  5. Kostas Tismikas for 87'
  6. Jarell Quansah for Ibrahima Konate 105'


  1. Christopher Nkunku for Raheem Sterling 67'
  2. Mykhailo Mudryk for Nicolas Jackson 90'
  3. Noni Madueke for Conor Gallagher 97'
  4. Trevoh Chalobah for Ben Chilwell 113'
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