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Liverpool beat Chelsea on penalties to win Carabao Cup final – as it happened

Jürgen Klopp celebrates with the fans.
Jürgen Klopp celebrates with the fans. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

Roman Abramovich has passed on the stewardship of the club.

Ronay on Chelsea.

All the pics.

Andy Hunter on Kelleher.

Right then, I’ll be off. Here’s what Virgil van Dijk had just said:

Hard work. A lot of counters, it was an intense game, let’s say that. A lot of offside goals. That rule of just keep playing on until I don’t know when, it’s annoying. Something we have to consider maybe taking out for next season, that’s my opinion. Unnecessary metres, unnecessary challenges that come from it. The penalties were quite good, all of them, except for the last penalty.

On Matip’s disallowed goal:

I don’t understand this rule. I wasn’t even participating in this moment, the ball went over my head, I didn’t even go for the ball. It’s a game full of challenges and you’re allowed to block and move and do all these things, and I don’t understand it. I don’t want to start being negative about this game, it was very intense, we won it, the first trophy of hopefully a couple more this season.

And here’s a good photograph:

Harvey Elliott of Liverpool
Harvey Elliott of Liverpool celebrates with a red flare following his team’s victory over Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final. Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty Images

And here’s the match report again. Bye!


Jurgen Klopp has had a brief chat with Sky:

I would have been fine with 90 minutes, 1-0 Liverpool and we go home. I’m happy for the people, in difficult times, to celebrate something like this. It’s really nice. Chelsea were incredibly strong, we matched each other. You need to have luck, we needed luck tonight. The game could have been 5-5. We play Wednesday again, which I can’t believe at this moment, but Anfield will be rocking and we’ll give it a try.

Here’s a match report:

“Never on a football field has the selection of a player better illustrated the truth that after Hubris comes Nemesis,” writes Charles Antaki. “I bet Tuchel knows his classical myths now.” That’s a very Guardian email, thankyou for writing it. Meanwhile here’s former Watford and Brentford goalkeeper Rich Lee:

Virgil van Dijk emerges from the presentation clutching the Alan Hardaker Trophy for man of the match. There were several outstanding performances: Luis Diaz, Fabinho, Marcos Alonso, Antonio Rudiger, both starting keepers spring to mind, but there weren’t many disappointments.

The beauty of it is that every single player who was still on the pitch at the end of extra time took a penalty in the shoot-out. In many ways 11-10 is the perfect shoot-out scoreline.

After a long wait and much careful positioning, it’s Jordan Henderson who takes the pot, turns and holds it aloft!

James Milner, who started on the bench but was on-field captain when the final was decided, leads the Liverpool team up the steps to collect their trophy.

My sympathies for Chelsea, who contributed so much to a gripping final. But bringing a keeper on for a penalty shoot-out only for him to let in 11 and then miss his own is just hilarious.

Kepa Arrizabalaga applauds the fans after a penalty shoot-out
Kepa Arrizabalaga applauds the fans after a penalty shoot-out Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images


An email from Katya Barrett in Massachusetts. “My grandma (a recently obsessed Liverpool fan in her 80s, watching from New Jersey in the US after some struggles getting her signed into ESPN+) says, ‘I can’t believe it. Is this real?’” The beautiful game. It’s never too late to discover it.

Juergen Klopp celebrates with Harvey Elliott .
Juergen Klopp celebrates with Harvey Elliott . Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images


Twenty-two penalties, drama ratcheting ever higher with every passing second, and not a single save! The 90 minutes were phenomenal, and the shoot-out was remarkable. What a couple of hours of sport. You’ll Never Walk Alone rings out. Thiago, who started the game on the bench and in tears, is on the pitch with a smile from ear to ear.

Liverpool players celebrate winning the Carabao League Cup Final.
Liverpool players celebrate winning the Carabao League Cup Final. Photograph: James Marsh/REX/Shutterstock


Kepa does decide it! Liverpool have won the Carabao Cup!

Missed! Chelsea 10-11 Liverpool! Kepa, brought on for the shoot-out, sends his penalty high, high over the bar!

Caoimhin Kelleher watches as Chelsea’s Spanish goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga’s penalty goes above the bar in a penalty shoot-out
Caoimhin Kelleher watches as Chelsea’s Spanish goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga’s penalty goes above the bar in a penalty shoot-out Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images


SCORED! Chelsea 10-11 Liverpool! Kelleher scores a lovely, lovely penalty, high into the net with Kepa going the wrong way!

SCORED! Chelsea 10-10 Liverpool! Trevoh Chalobah makes it a full house among the outfield players, Kelleher diving underneath it. Keepers up next!

SCORED! Chelsea 9-10 Liverpool! Konate gives Kepa a chance, but it comes off the side of the keeper’s glove and in!

SCORED! Chelsea 9-9 Liverpool! Thiago Silva tucks it away. Kelleher’s dive was the half-hearted effort of someone who is starting to lose belief.

SCORED! Chelsea 8-9 Liverpool! Harvey Elliot with the 17th successive successful penalty. We could be here a while.

SCORED! Chelsea 8-8 Liverpool! Close! Werner goes low to his left, Kelleher goes the right way, and you hear the clear sound of glove on ball shortly before that of ball on net.

SCORED! Chelsea 7-8 Liverpool! Andy Robertson tucks it to his left, with Kepa diving away from it.

SCORED! Chelsea 7-7 Liverpool! Kante’s penalty is lovely, curled into the left-hand corner with Kelleher again calling it wrong.

SCORED! Chelsea 6-7 Liverpool! Origi also goes low and central, with Kepa again committing early.

SCORED! Chelsea 6-6 Liverpool! Rudiger with the dreaded short, straight run-up. No matter, he passes it mid-height to the right, and Kelleher goes the wrong way again.

SCORED! Chelsea 5-6 Liverpool! So many chances in the game, none of them taken (and those that were taken disallowed). Now they can’t stop scoring! Jota goes low and hard down the middle, by a distance the poorest penalty so far, but it doesn’t much matter because Kepa dives out of the way!

SCORED! Chelsea 5-5 Liverpool! Jorginho does what Jorginho does.

SCORED! Chelsea 4-5 Liverpool! Salah wallops it high to his right, while Kepa goes low to Salah’s left.

SCORED! Chelsea 4-4 Liverpool! Reece James shoots just past Kelleher, who goes the right way and got fingertips to it. He turns to the Liverpool fans, finger to his lips. It’s sudden death now!

SCORED! Chelsea 3-4 Liverpool! Make that seven, Alexander-Arnold hitting the side netting with Kepa again going the right way.

SCORED! Chelsea 3-3 Liverpool! Havertz strolls up to the ball and passes it low to his right, with Keller heading the wrong way. Six excellent pennos so far.

SCORED! Chelsea 2-3 Liverpool! Kepa goes the right way this time, and early. But Van Dijk smashes it past him anyway!

SCORED! Chelsea 2-2 Liverpool! A little stutter from Lukaku sends Kelleher to his right, and the ball goes where he doesn’t!

SCORED! Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool! You can take the Brazilian out of Brazil, etc and so forth. Fabinho dinks down the middle and lets Kepa dive out of the way!

SCORED! Chelsea 1-1 Liverpool! Alonso blasts low to his right, and Kelleher goes the right way but can’t reach it.

SCORED! Chelsea 0-1 Liverpool! Kepa goes the wrong way, and the ball whistles low into the other corner!

James Milner wins the toss, and it looks like Liverpool will take the first penalty, in front of their own fans. Milner himself has the ball in his hands.

“I really hope Mendy refuses to come off,” wrote Matt Dony, shortly before Mendy came off. It would have been a very jolly jape, though.

Extra time didn’t quite live up to the preceding 90 minutes, but it’s been a great final. Time for someone to win it.

Penalty shoot-out ahoy! It's finished Chelsea 0-0 Liverpool

90+31 mins: One more hopeful punt forward from Liverpool ends with a number of players falling over and the ball going nowhere, at which point the referee blows his whistle!

Kepa Arrizabalaga on for penalties.
Kepa Arrizabalaga on for penalties. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian


90+30 mins: We are one minute away from penalties.

90+29 mins: Alexander-Arnold chips the ball into the penalty area, it runs behind off Origi’s shin, and Chelsea make their change. Mendy has had an excellent game, but he is not going to be on the pitch when it’s decided. Kepa comes on for the spot kicks.

90+28 mins: Robertson’s low cross runs to Jota, who swings his left foot and misses it completely!

90+27 mins: Kepa has now put his gloves on. Liverpool should pass the ball around for the remainder of the match and make sure he stays on the bench.

90+25 mins: Rudiger makes his first mistake of the game, losing the ball to Salah just outside Chelsea’s penalty area, but the Egyptian can’t convert possession into a chance.

90+24 mins: On the touchline, we see Kepa come out from the dressing rooms, gloves in hand.

90+22 mins: Liverpool pass the ball around for a while, but when they eventually push forward Jota can’t control Milner’s pass.

90+20 mins: Another disallowed goal! Lukaku gets the ball on the left and passes inside to Havertz, who controls and drills a low shot across Kelleher and in. Very nice finish, but he was a yard offside.

Kai Havertz of scores a goal past Caoimhin Kelleher of Liverpool that was disallowed for offside.
Kai Havertz of scores a goal past Caoimhin Kelleher of Liverpool that was disallowed for offside. Photograph: Chris Lee - Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC/Getty Images


90+19 mins: Liverpool have been struggling to control midfield and keep possession since Henderson went off. They have been on the back foot for the great majority of extra time.

90+16 mins: Peeeeeeeep! Lukaku kicks off. Will that be the day’s last kick-off?

Romelu Lukaku seems to be delivering Chelsea’s team talk. Tuchel eventually takes over. Jorginho, who was always going to come on before anyone started taking penalties, replaces Kovacic.

Half time in extra time: Chelsea 0-0 Liverpool

90+17 mins: A less intense period than any in the initial 90, but compelling all the same. We are 15 minutes away from penalties.

Head-to-head: Trent Alexander-Arnold of Liverpool and Kai Havertz of Chelsea clash .
Head-to-head: Trent Alexander-Arnold of Liverpool and Kai Havertz of Chelsea clash . Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian


90+16 mins: Alexander-Arnold and Havertz get in a bit of a tangle, and then put foreheads together. Harvey Elliott then comes along to push Havertz in the chest. Both Alexander-Arnold and Havertz get booked.

90+15 mins: Havertz’ cross is just too high for Werner, and James’s cross that follows it bounces out for a throw-in on the other side.

90+12 mins: Chelsea are having their most prolonged period of possession of the game, but Liverpool are keeping them out of their penalty area. In other news:

GOAL? No! Lukaku's offside!

90+8 mins: Lukaku is played in down the right, runs into the area, cuts onto his left foot and shoots low past Kelleher, but the lino has a flag up. VAR checks it, and it’s cigarette paper tight but is, it seems, indeed offside.

Off side: Romelu Lukaku scores their first goal before it is disallowed after a VAR review
Off side: Romelu Lukaku scores their first goal before it is disallowed after a VAR review Photograph: John Sibley/Action Images/Reuters
And can’t believe it. Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images


90+7 mins: Divock Origi comes on for Diaz, who might be knackered, and might just have a sore arse from that ball-falling business.

90+6 mins: Werner runs across the area from left to right before feeding Kante, who tries to ... well ... it’s hard to know what he was trying to do, but whatever it was he didn’t do it. Goal kick.

90+5 mins: Werner tries to curl the ball into the far corner, but doesn’t get enough curl.

90+3 mins: In possibly his first misstep of the day, Diaz runs onto Robertson’s pass, just keeps it in play, falls over, and lands on the ball.

90+1 mins: Liverpool kick off again.


Another change before the restart, Liverpool bringing Ibrahima Konate on for Matip.

Expected goals latest: Chelsea 1.72-1.80 Liverpool.

It's going to extra time!

90+7 mins: The whistle blows, and a bonus 30 minutes await. Nobody will be complaining (except the Liverpool fans still annoyed about the disallowed goal).

90+5 mins: One more save, this time from Kelleher! Alonso crosses from the byline, and Lukaku turns it goalwards from wide of the near post only for Kelleher to get his feet in the way.

90+3 mins: Diaz goes past Chalobah for the nth time today, winning a late corner.

90+1 mins: Another excellent save from Mendy! This time Alexander-Arnold’s corner is headed towards the corner of the net by Van Dijk, but Mendy dives to his left to palm it away! Then Kovacic blocks Salah’s follow-up shot from the edge of the area.

90+1 mins: There will be six minutes of stoppage time.

90 mins: Kovacic is booked for pulling down Salah to prevent a Liverpool break.

88 mins: A bit of a lull! It’s the first one of those since perhaps the 90 first-half seconds when Van Dijk, Fabinho and Matip passed it around a bit.

85 mins: From a short corner Robertson pulls back to Diaz, whose shot is saved by Mendy and runs out to Robertson, whose shot is also saved!

Antonio Rudiger gets his boot to the ball before Joel Matip can convert the chance
Antonio Rudiger gets his boot to the ball before Joel Matip can convert the chance Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images


82 mins: Milner plays a one-two with Salah before shooting and falling over at the same time. The ball goes very high and extremely wide.

81 mins: Stuart Attwell pops to the touchline to tell Jurgen Klopp to calm down.

80 mins: “The Liverpool goal was correctly disallowed due to Van Dijk interfering with play while in an offside position, not for a foul,” pointofinformations Danny Michaux, correctly.

79 mins: A triple substitution for Liverpool: Harvey Elliott, promoted to the bench because of Thiago’s injury, comes on for Henderson, while James Milner replaces Keita and Diogo Jota comes on for Mane.

78 mins: Another disallowed goal! This one doesn’t last long enough to be celebrated. Diaz loses the ball and Kovacic chips it over the defence to Werner, whose cross is headed in by Havertz, despite Kelleher very nearly pulling off what would have been a truly exceptional save. Werner, though, was well offside.

Chelsea’s Kai Havertz scores their first goal before it is disallowed.
Chelsea’s Kai Havertz scores their first goal before it is disallowed. Photograph: John Sibley/Action Images/Reuters


76 mins: Another save! Alexander-Arnold’s driven long pass, right to left, is controlled by Diaz who runs into the area and shoots low from an angle, too close to Mendy.

75 mins: Diaz tricks his way past James before doing a no-look pass to Mane. He’s been phenomenal so far, along with Havertz the outstanding attacking players.

73 mins: Chelsea make a double change, taking off Mount and Pulisic and bringing on Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner.

71 mins: The wind is in Liverpool’s sails now. Diaz’s pull-back is just too far ahead of Keita, and Thiago Silva clears.

NO GOAL! VAR intervenes and it's still 0-0!

The goal is disallowed for a Van Dijk foul on Reece James, who would have been more likely to challenge Mane for the initial header had the Dutchman not put an arm across him. Clearly there was contact there, but I think that’s harsh.

VAR says no.
VAR says no. Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images


GOAL! Chelsea 0-1 Liverpool (Matip, 67 mins)

Liverpool take the lead! Salah wins a free-kick on the right-hand corner of the area. Alexander-Arnold crosses beyond the far post, where Mane heads back across goal for Matip to touch in from a yard or two out!

Joel Matip of Liverpool celebrates .
Joel Matip of Liverpool celebrates . Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian


64 mins: Chance for Liverpool! Mendy comes out but scuffs his clearance straight to Fabinho, and from his first-time pass Mane releases Salah. He runs into the area, draws the keeper, and chips in a shot that looked to be bouncing wide even before Thiago Silva got back to clear!

Mohamed Salah beats the keeper but has the ball cleared off the line.
Mohamed Salah beats the keeper but has the ball cleared off the line. Photograph: Nigel Keene/ProSports/REX/Shutterstock


63 mins: Alonso gets forward to win a corner, Chelsea’s first. Liverpool have had six, for what it’s worth.

60 mins: Keita and Chalobah collide in midfield and the referee, who has been admirably reluctant to stop play throughout, waves play on. Liverpool’s move ends with Robertson’s poor cross - not the first today - which is probably just as well given replays show Keita landing studs on Chalobah’s right thigh, not a red card but certainly a foul.

58 mins: Alonso chips the ball down the left flank into the path of Mount’s run. He exchanges passes with Havertz, comes infield, and curls a shot straight at Kelleher.

57 mins: Azpilicueta has gone off, and James has come on.

55 mins: The referee calls on the Chelsea physios, with Azpilicueta struggling. It’s hard to see what the problem is, but Reece James immediately starts to get ready.

53 mins: Great footage of Tuchel watching that Mount miss, dropping to his knees and bashing the ground in frustration.

51 mins: Chelsea were under the cosh for much of the first half but across the piece they have played brilliantly, defended excellently, created a few wonderful chances, and really should be winning.

50 mins: Now Diaz plays the ball over Chelsea’s defence, but Mendy is out like lightning and reaches it before Mane.

49 mins: Chance of the game for Chelsea! Pulisic chips the ball over the Liverpool defence, Mount breaks the offside trap and runs clear, and he sidefoots past Kelleher but against the inside of the post!

Off the post: Mason Mount misses another chance
Off the post: Mason Mount misses another chance Photograph: Kieran McManus/REX/Shutterstock
Mason Mount
Nowhere to hide. Photograph: Chris Lee - Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC/Getty Images


48 mins: Ooooh! Havertz sends in a low cross from the left that goes across goal, just out of Mount’s reach, and out the other side!

46 mins: Peeeeeep! Chelsea get the ball re-rolling.

The players are back out, and they look to be the same lot that ended the first half.

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Half time: Chelsea 0-0 Liverpool

45+1 mins: We have had half of the time, and what time it’s been! It’s been breathless, high-pace, high-quality stuff, but also high discipline and organisation. Liverpool have had 69% of possession and 100% of the corners, but Chelsea have created two of the three outstanding chances.

Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel leave arm in arm at half time
Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel leave arm in arm at half time Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images


45 mins: What a chance for Chelsea! Mane gives the ball away, and Pulisic passes right to Havertz, who caresses the ball infield to Mount, who with the ball coming just behind him volleys wide from eight yards!

Mason Mount puts his chance wide.
Mason Mount puts his chance wide. Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images
Mason Mount misses a glorious chance.
Mason Mount misses a glorious chance. Photograph: Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images


42 mins: Havertz nudges back to Azpilicueta, whose shot isn’t far away from nestling in the far corner. Liverpool have been dominant for the last 20 minutes or so, but Chelsea have been organised enough to stand up to it, and threaten occasionally on the break.

39 mins: Mane plays for a free kick as Kovacic comes to challenge, but the referee waves play on and Chelsea break, Havertz finds Pulisic, and Kelleher saves his angled shot.

35 mins: Havertz is played through, and despite being obviously offside is allowed to run on and miss the chance before play is brought back.

31 mins: They’ve had a chance now! Again it starts with a long ball down the left, beautifully controlled by Diaz. Mane touches his pass back to Keita, whose low drive is well saved by Mendy. The ball runs out to Mane, who looks to have a tap-in, but Mendy gets up to get something on it! That is a fantastic second save from the Chelsea keeper!

Double save: Edouard Mendy (L) dives to save a shot from Liverpool’s Senegalese striker Sadio Mane
Double save: Edouard Mendy (L) dives to save a shot from Liverpool’s Senegalese striker Sadio Mane Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images
Juergen Klopp with head in hands.
Juergen Klopp with head in hands. Photograph: David Klein/Reuters


30 mins: Another beautiful first touch, this time from Salah. Liverpool have completely dominated the last 10 minutes, but remain in search of a decent chance.

28 mins: A shout for handball against Azpilicueta from a Liverpool corner, but there was nothing there.

25 mins: Mount pressures Keita and then goes down clutching his face. The referee blows his whistle, and Liverpool’s players react with the kind of overblown fury that suggests they fear a teammate being shown a card. The referee, though, points for a Liverpool free-kick, which calms them down pretty fast. Keita had put an arm across Mount to protect the ball, and had made contact with the Chelsea player’s chin, but with no obvious power or intent.

Mount pressures Keita and then goes down clutching his face
Mount pressures Keita and then goes down clutching his face Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian


23 mins: More good pressure from Chelsea: Chalobah wins the ball from Diaz, and Alonso from Fabinho, and at the end of it Kante has a chance to shoot. The shot rolls limply wide.

22 min: Alexander-Arnold backheels for Salah, whose shot is poor and flies wide, curling ever wider.

21 mins: The ball is eventually played long down the left to Luis Diaz, whose first touch to bring it under control is insanely good. The move ends with a foul a few yards outside Chelsea’s penalty area, and a shooting chance.

20 mins: Van Dijk has a moment on the ball without real pressure, and enjoys it so much he keeps it for a while, and then Fabinho and Matip do likewise.

18 mins: After messing up his last attempted cross, Alexander-Arnold’s next effort is absolutely sublime, but Mane miscues his header.

17 mins: Havertz gets down the left again, but from his low cross both Mount and Kovacic have shots blocked. Then Mane beats Chalobah again, but Kante gets back to cut out the ensuing pass.

15 mins: Alexander-Arnold prepares to half-volley a cross with the outside of his right foot, notices there’s nobody in the box to cross to, half pulls out of the cross and produces an embarrassingly useless pass to nobody.

13 mins: Thiago Silva is down, holding his right elbow. Turns out he’s doing so to protect his left shoulder. The physios run on and hand him some kind of magic pill.

11 mins: Luis Diaz and Mane both successfully take on Trevoh Chalobah down the left in the space of a minute or two. Liverpool lose the ball as soon as they try to work it inside, but some encouragement there.

Chelsea’s Trevoh Chalobah in action with Liverpool’s Luis Diaz.
Chelsea’s Trevoh Chalobah in action with Liverpool’s Luis Diaz. Photograph: David Klein/Reuters


9 mins: Liverpool are still struggling to achieve anything, under constant pressure from Chelsea at both ends of the pitch - defenders constantly hassled, forwards under pressure the moment they receive the ball.

6 mins: What a chance for Chelsea! From a left-wing throw-in they play the ball across to the right - a lovely backheel flick from Kovacic along the way - from where Azpilicueta’s low centre finds Pulisic unmarked on the six-yard line, but he sidefoots straight at Kelleher!

Christian Pulisic shoots straight at the keeper.
Christian Pulisic shoots straight at the keeper. Photograph: Javier García/REX/Shutterstock


4 mins: Havertz has the ball in the middle with Alonso running to his left and Kante bombing through the middle. He misses the pass down the centre, and Alexander-Arnold beat Alonso to his ball out wide.

2 mins: Liverpool have had most of the ball in these opening exchanges, but with constant hounding from their opponents haven’t been able to do much with it.

1 min: Peeeeeeep! The English League Cup final is under way!

Teams line up with a message of support for Ukraine.
Teams line up with a message of support for Ukraine. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian


The Thiago news is a serious blow for Liverpool. He is in tears on the bench, being consoled by Alisson.

The players are out, and the entire stadium is standing for a few moments in support of Ukraine.

Meanwhile the Telegraph is reporting that “trustees of Chelsea’s charitable foundation have not yet agreed to Roman Abramovich’s idea to hand them ‘stewardship’ of the club” because “they have major unanswered questions” and “do not want to act or be seen as a front”.

Here’s what Thomas Tuchel says about his decision to leave out Romelu Lukaku:

If you look at the history he starts a lot of matches, but today for us is a bit more about running, and running behind the line, and Kai, Christian and Mason are today, from a tactical point of view, a bit a better fit, and it’s very nice to have Romelu off the bench to influence the game.

Thiago has been injured in the warm-up and can’t play for Liverpool. Naby Keita comes in for him.

There look to be lots of Ukraine flags among Liverpool’s supporters, while Chelsea are handing out blue-and-yellow signs to be held up by their fans, or at least those of them capable of the mental contortion involved in supporting both Chelsea and Ukraine’s fight against Russia.

The big screen at Wembley shows support for Ukraine  before the Carabao Cup final.
The big screen at Wembley shows support for Ukraine before the Carabao Cup final. Photograph: James Marsh/REX/Shutterstock

Here’s Barney Ronay’s pre-match preview thing:

And you shall know us by the trail of sponsors. The League Cup has always been a bird-on-a-wire kind of thing. Every year this fond old springtime ritual is menaced and marginalised and threatened with ever more imminent extinction, but still people keep turning up in February and March asking where the party is.

The title branding tells a story of that picaresque progress. In the space of 40 years, English football’s second-string domestic cup has gone from the quiet gravitas of being named after the entire Football League, through Coca-Cola, beer, electrical goods and the generic liquid “milk” into a holding pattern of insurance and financial products and now on to its current iteration as the global face of Thailand’s second-most popular energy drink.

And still it marches on, enduringly popular with the people who actually go to watch and a genuinely mouthwatering prospect as Chelsea and Liverpool prepare to meet at Wembley on Sunday afternoon. This time around the headline branding looks spot-on. A perfect fit for a fizzy, colourful, fun kind of day, a little left-field but with its own peppy sense of fun; not to mention, on this occasion, a little caffeinated ignition. Not least for Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool, a great club team still in the process of writing their own story as a great club team, who really could do with winning this one.

Much more here:

It has been reported today that John Toshack, who scored 96 goals in 247 games for Liverpool between 1970 and 1977 and won three league titles, an FA Cup and a couple of Uefa Cups, and has gone on to manage an absolute shedload of clubs including Swansea and Real Madrid, is in intensive care in a Spanish hospital after contracting Covid 19. The liveblog’s very best but almost completely irrelevant wishes go to him and his family.

The teams!

The teams have been announced and they look like this:

Liverpool: Kelleher, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Thiago, Diaz, Salah, Mane. Subs: Alisson, Konate, Tsimikas, Milner, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Minamino, Jota, Origi.
Chelsea: Mendy, Chalobah, Silva, Rudiger, Azpilicueta, Kante, Kovacic, Alonso, Mount, Havertz, Pulisic. Subs: Kepa, James, Sarr, Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek, Saul, Hudson-Odoi, Lukaku, Werner.
Referee: Stuart Attwell.

Here’s PA Media’s take on the Liverpool line-up:

Liverpool duo Thiago Alcantara and Luis Diaz made their Carabao Cup debuts in the final against Chelsea at Wembley. Thiago was one of two changes from the midweek hammering of Leeds, with Caoimhin Kelleher resuming his place as goalkeeper in the cup competitions.

It meant Mohamed Salah made only his third League Cup appearance in nearly five years, having lost his previous two appearances against Chelsea in September 2018 and Arsenal in October 2020. Diogo Jota was named on the bench after overcoming an ankle injury.

Hello world!

It’s cup final day! Wembley is the venue as Liverpool, who have won this competition quite a lot (eight times, level at the top of the all-time table with Manchester City) if not for a decade, come up against the footballing wing of London-based charitable foundation (lol) Chelsea. Liverpool are the country’s form team, with one draw (at Stamford Bridge, in their first game of 2022) and six wins in the league this calendar year, while Chelsea have only two league wins (and, to be fair, a Club World Cup) to their name since the end of 2021. Encouraging omen dept: there hasn’t been a goalless draw between these teams in 39 meetings since 2008, when Liverpool’s attack consisted of Ryan Babel, Dirk Kuyt and Peter Crouch so failing to score wasn’t terribly surprising.

Anyway, welcome! Here’s some pre-match reading about Liverpool:

And here’s some pre-match reading about Chelsea:


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The Blues and the Reds played out a thrilling Carabao Cup final at Wembley that somehow failed to produce a…
We simulated Chelsea vs Liverpool in Carabao Cup final and this is what happened
Liverpool will play Chelsea in their first Carabao Cup final since the 2015/16 season, so we simulated the game for…
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Chelsea vs Liverpool LIVE: Carabao Cup final result after Kepa misses crucial penalty in shoot-out
Chelsea 0-0 Liverpool (Liverpool wins 11-10 on penalties): Kepa Arrizabalaga’s miss settles thrilling final at Wembley