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Van Dijk and Henderson hail 'special' day after dramatic cup win

2022-02-28 10:29:22 1309 Versions

Virgil van Dijk and Jordan Henderson both hailed Liverpool's "special" Carabao Cup triumph over Chelsea after sealing a dramatic penalty shootout victory on Sunday.

Virgil van Dijk and Jordan Henderson, Liverpool

An enthralling final that saw both teams have goals disallowed had to be settled from the spot, and after a run of 21 successful spot-kicks, Chelsea's substitute goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga blazed over the bar to hand the Reds record success in the competition.

Van Dijk netted the Red's third kick of the shootout but he was instrumental in another of the match's key turning points.

Joel Matip had a second-half goal disallowed after his centre-back partner was ruled offside when blocking defender Reece James.

Speaking to Sky Sports after lifting the trophy, Van Dijk praised his team's maturity and work-rate but expressed his confusion at the decision to disallow Matip's goal.

The 30-year-old Dutchman said: "It was very special.

"There was a lot of hard work, as we expected before the game, a lot of calm nerves needed. The penalties overall were all quite good apart from the last one from Kepa.

"We have matured and been through quite a lot over the last two seasons, the way we play and additions we have made.

"It was an intense game and offside goals were also a thing, and that rule of playing on until whenever when an offside call is tight is annoying. It is something we have to consider taking out for next season.

"I told the ref I don't understand the offside decision. I wasn't even participating, the ball went over my head and I did not even go for the ball. It is a game of challenges, and you are allowed to block a move. 

"I think when Manchester United played away at Burnley in a Premier League draw earlier this month, there was a similar thing that was also disallowed and I don't understand it."

Henderson, 31, added: "It was amazing, it's very special to win trophies at this football club. It's always difficult when it goes to penalties.

"We have used all the squad, the academy, first team, they all chipped in which makes it really special.

"It is mad to think it was 10 years since we won it. Today was really special. We never take for granted playing for this club. The fans deserve it and hopefully it can give us a kick start for the rest of the season."

The result means that Jurgen Klopp's side remain in the hunt for an unprecedented quadruple. 

They trail Premier League leaders Manchester City by six points with a game in hand, host Norwich in the FA Cup fifth round on Wednesday and hold a 2-0 lead at the halfway point of their Champions League round-of-16 tie with Inter Milan.

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Topic LiverpoolChelsea