Virgil van Dijk celebrates scoring the winning goal in the Carabao Cup final. (Credit: Julian Finney/Getty Images)

(CNN) --

Liverpool celebrated the beginning of the end of the Jürgen Klopp era with the club in the best possible way, by winning the Carabao Cup this Sunday after defeating Chelsea 1-0 in the final moments of extra time after a tense final at Wembley Stadium.

All cup finals are fraught with tension but, with Liverpool trying to say goodbye to Klopp with four trophies in his final season in charge and his starting line-up decimated by injuries, what was at stake for his club seemed more important than just win a trophy.

And the tension increased as the missed chances by both teams piled up, including a goal disallowed for each, culminating in several spectacular saves by Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher as the clock ticked down to the end of the game and extension was forced.

  • He ran the biggest football club in Ukraine.

    When the war broke out, his life changed forever.

It was a goal from captain Virgil van Dijk, one of Liverpool's most experienced players, that finally broke the 0-0 lead with three minutes remaining in extra time, but the Reds' victory was largely due to a lot of young players, to whom Van Dijk paid tribute immediately after the match.

"All the young boys on the field in extra time. It's incredible, I'm very proud of the team," he told Sky Sports.

"It was a tense match for both teams, they had chances, so did we, incredible, first trophy as captain of Liverpool."

advertising

Liverpool celebrate winning the Carabao Cup. (Credit: Hannah McKay/Reuters)

The two teams started cautiously, pressured by the tension of playing in the cup final.

Liverpool seemed to settle faster, and in the first ten minutes they had two free kicks in dangerous areas that in the end did not pay off.

Despite this, it was Chelsea that had the first opportunity to score, which was only stopped by the acrobatic intervention of Kelleher, who dived for Cole Palmer's shot that slipped into the goal, before Wataru Endo It will also clear the rejection.

According to TNT Sports, it was the first of nine such saves Kelleher made throughout the game to keep his team afloat.

Ryan Gravenberch's injury after a challenge by Moisés Caicedo in the 25th minute further diminished Liverpool's chances, forcing a furious Klopp to reorganize his team's formation again while arguing with the referee.

Caoimhin Kelleher made nine saves in the final.

(Credit: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images)

Less than ten minutes later, Raheem Sterling scored for Chelsea after a great play involving Nicolas Jackson, but Jackson was offside and the goal was disallowed.

In the second half, with the score at 0-0, Van Dijk seemed to have put Liverpool ahead by heading in a direct free kick, unleashing euphoria on and off the field.

But his goal was disallowed after VAR deemed Endo offside and prevented defender Levi Colwell from reaching Van Dijk.

The match became increasingly frenetic as the clock approached 90 minutes, with both teams racking up a total of 31 shots on goal in regulation time, according to Opta.

Somehow, however, the score remained goalless.

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates his victory in the Carabao Cup. (Credit: Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

In a bid to prevent Liverpool from tiring, Klopp turned to his young substitutes, including 18-year-old Jayden Danns;

James McConnell, 19;

and Bobby Clark, 19, which was the highest number of teenagers on the same team in a Carabao Cup final since 2007. At the end of the match, five of the Liverpool players on the pitch were under 21 years old .

Chelsea and Liverpool took another 12 shots in extra time, but only Van Dijk's header from a Kostas Tsimikas corner led to the decisive goal.

He fell to the ground and his teammates pounced on him as Klopp celebrated with staff on the bench and fans sent red flares onto the pitch, marking another trophy in the Klopp era with Liverpool.

It was the first step in the Reds' quest to win four trophies this season.

They are currently leaders of the English Premier League, will face Sparta Prague in the round of 16 of the Europa League and have a fifth round tie against Southampton in the FA Cup.

ChelseaSoccerLiverpool