Jurgen Klopp labels Carabao Cup triumph his ‘most special trophy’

  • Liverpool beat Chelsea in the final of the Carabao Cup at Wembley on Sunday
  • Virgil van Dijk scored the only goal of the game at the end of extra-time 
  • David Moyes doesn’t deserve the negativity towards him at West Ham. It’s ridiculous and shameful for the job he’s done – It’s All Kicking Off

Jurgen Klopp described Liverpool‘s thrilling Carabao Cup final triumph over Chelsea as the ‘most special’ of his career.

Virgil van Dijk‘s extra-time winner clinched the trophy for the Merseysiders, who fielded six players aged 21 or under – including three teenagers – due to a mounting injury crisis that left Klopp without 10 first team players for the game.

Klopp has won 10 major trophies – including the Premier League, Champions League and Bundesliga – during his career.

But the German, who is leaving Anfield at the end of the season, said: ‘In my more than 20 years, it was easily the most special trophy I have ever won.

‘It is absolutely exceptional. I wish I could feel proud more often. Tonight that is the overwhelming feeling. I was proud of our people for the way they pushed us.

Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool’s Carabao Cup final triumph is the ‘most special’ of his career

‘I was proud of the staff, I was proud of our academy.

‘It was nothing to do with it maybe being my last game at Wembley. It was about how everybody contributed with the kids.

‘Can you create stories in football that definitely nobody will ever forget? It’s so difficult. ‘Can find a similar story with kids coming off the bench against a top team?’

Ravaged by injury, made worse by the sight of Ryan Gravenberch being stretchered off with an ankle injury, Reds boss Klopp relied heavily on his kids with Conor Bradley, Harvey Elliott, Bobby Clark, Jarell Quansah, James McConnell and Jayden Danns – who are all 21 or under – playing a role in Liverpool’s win over Chelsea.

‘Age is not at all in our thought process,’ replied Klopp when asked about the decision to play his young stars.

‘It’s clear we need to fill the squad and these were the boys we would take. We needed fresh legs, that was clear. It was clear we had to make changes.

‘The development of Bobby Clark, It’s really crazy, I have to say.

‘The development of James McConnell is absolutely insane. And Dannsy I love him, from his first training session.

The German has now won 10 major trophies during his legendary managerial career

‘There were other kids we could have brought on. It’s just nice to partner these boys with their first moment. The way the experienced group embraces them is pretty special.’

The triumph represented Klopp’s seventh major trophy at Liverpool, and with the club top of the Premier League and still in the FA Cup and Europa League, the German’s final season in charge at Anfield could be the most special of all.

But Klopp added: ‘I couldn’t care less about my legacy. I’m not here to create one.

‘As a manager I just have to do the job. I couldn’t have done the same with another club.

It was exactly made for this situation This was so special. We had problems before the game, they became bigger in the game.

‘We had a ref who was not up to the level, for both teams. There was really no common sense again. It’s something I don’t know if they don’t teach it or don’t ask for it, it’s just not there.

Klopp hailed the role of the club’s young talents in the victory over Chelsea at Wembley
The Liverpool boss claimed referee Chris Kavanagh was not up to the level for the final

‘We had players on the pitch until the end of the game who had problems, we asked Harvey to stay (up field), we asked Lucho [Luis Diaz] to stay.

‘I have no idea who can play on Wednesday night [versus Southampton]. It’s a moment I will never forget. It’s a nice memory.’

On match-winner Virgil van Dijk’s contribution, Klopp added: ‘From the first day since he stepped into Liverpool he has been outstanding.

‘Thank God he’s absolutely spot on, top shape, we need him. I think he learned an important lesson tonight. He will never forget it, not just because it was his first trophy as Liverpool captain, but because of the circumstances.’

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