Football News

Player ratings as Liverpool beat Chelsea in extra-time to win first silverware of the season

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 17:50, 25 February 2024

Liverpool wrapped up the first leg of a potential quadruple with a 1-0 extra-time win over Chelsea in an entertaining League Cup final this afternoon.

Both sides had a goal disallowed in the opening 90 minutes, with Raheem Sterling and Virgil van Dijk the unfortunate non-scorers, the latter for an incident leading to him nodding past Đorđe Petrović in the Blues goal.

Van Dijk, surrounded by a sea of youthful teammates, would not be denied as he clinched a 119th minute winner, nodding home Konstantinos Tsimikas’ corner. As the Reds celebrated questions will now be asked of Mauricio Pochettino.

“In extra time it’s been Klopp’s kids against the blue billion pound bottle jobs,” Gary Neville said on Sky Sports commentary.

“Liverpool have been absolutely sensational. Those young players have been incredible. Klopp must be so proud. However, for Chelsea, I have no sympathy for them whatsoever.”

Here’s how the players rated at Wembley:


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Chelsea

Đorđe Petrović – 7 – Began the busier of the two goalkeepers before Mauricio Pochettino’s team settled into the contest.

Malo Gusto – 6.5 – Started nervously before settling into the game. He enjoyed a fascinating battle with Diaz down Chelsea’s right flank.

Levi Colwill – 7 – Came up with a key block on the stroke of half-time, with Bradley sure to breach Chelsea’s goal.

Axel Disasi – 6.5 – Made a fatal slip that nearly led to Liverpool’s opener but soon made amends.

Ben Chilwell – 6 – He often found himself on the back foot and not in the opposition half, where his creative prowess could have made a difference.

Enzo Fernández – 5.5 – Aside from conducting his usual midfield duties (won seven of 12 attempted tackles), he went for a spectacular back-heel — following a swift Chelsea counter — when he could have stood still and controlled it before laying off to Sterling.

Conor Gallagher – 7 – Combative as usual, drawing a foul here and there, but the Chelsea midfielder was unlucky not to find the net when his neat flick struck the post before Kelleher denied him one-on-one.

Moisés Caicedo – 5.5 – Very lucky not to be shown a yellow card after his challenge on Ryan Gravenberch left the Dutchman writhing in pain, leading to his exit from the game. His overall performance, especially in possession, wasn’t glowing. 

Cole Palmer – 7 – Always looked to drive Chelsea forward; everything positive the Blues did seemed to come through him.

Raheem Sterling – 5 – Had a goal disallowed for offside. That was his sole highlight in a frustrating outing against his former club.

Nicolas Jackson – 6 – Often cut a lonely figure leading Chelsea’s frontline. He was the outlet whenever Chelsea aimed to switch from defence to attack.

Substitutes:

Christopher Nkunku (for Sterling 66) – 6 – Ended up leading Chelsea’s attack following Jackson’s late substitution. Seldom had a sniff on goal.

Mykhailo Mudryk (for Jackson 88) – N/A – A late sub.

Noni Madueke (for Gallagher 96) – N/A – A late sub.

Trevoh Chalobah (for Chilwell 113) – X – Rating text

Player name (for PLAYER GOING OFF NAME AND MINUTE) – X – Rating text


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Liverpool

Caoimhín Kelleher – 9 – Produced an incredible effort to deny Palmer when the Reds were on top. “It’s an unbelievable save,” were Jamie Carragher’s thoughts on Sky Sports commentary. “The whole stadium was waiting for the net to bulge.”

Conor Bradley – 7 – Continues to do a mighty fine job in Trent Alexander-Arnold’s absence. 

Ibrahima Konaté – 8 – His reading of the game was impeccable today: he made no fewer than four interceptions as well as several key blocks. 

Virgil van Dijk – 9.5 – Another stellar outing for the Breda-born colossal who thought he nodded Liverpool in front on the hour mark before securing the win deep into extra-time. 

Andrew Robertson – 5.5 – Showed glimpses of the marauding Scotsman many have become familiar with.

Wataru Endō – 7 – Played a crucial role in Liverpool’s goal being chalked off. Standing in an offside position, the Japanese International blocked Colwill, which stopped him from getting to Van Dijk.

Alexis Mac Allister – 6.5 – A late entry into the referee’s book. Despite that misdemeanour, the Argentine won six of his seven attempted tackles.

Ryan Gravenberch – 5.5 – Left the game on a stretcher after falling under Caicedo’s challenge, leading to Jurgen Klopp remonstrating at on-field referee Chris Kavanagh, who didn’t caution the Ecuadorian midfielder.

Harvey Elliott – 7 – Began in Liverpool’s forward line before dropping into midfield following Gravenberch’s injury. He could have won the final in extra time when his effort hit the side netting. 

Cody Gakpo – 6.5 – Saw a headed effort crash off the post, though he was almost back-peddling, to be fair. It proved to be his only significant contribution. 

Luis Díaz – 7.5 – He started the liveliest of Liverpool’s attackers, never letting up, to be fair, and should have found the net in the opening quarter.

Substitutes:

Joe Gomez (for Gravenberch 27) – 6.5 – Came on the injured Gravenberch and slotted at right-back, with Bradley playing further forward in the Salah role. Had a speculative effort on goal while coming up strong from a defensive standpoint. 

Bobby Clark (for Bradley 63) – 6 – Had only ever made one senior start for Liverpool, now found himself playing in a League Cup final at Wembley, and in his brief time out there, he gave a modest account of himself. 

Konstantinos Tsimikas (for Robertson 88) – 6 – Provied the cross for Liverpool’s winner.

James McConnell (for Mac Allister 88) – N/A – A late sub.

Jayden Danns (for Gakpo 88) – N/A – A late sub.

Jarell Quansah (Konaté 106) – N/A – A late sub.

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