Chelsea vs Liverpool: Why Virgil Van Dijk's goal was ruled out in Carabao Cup final

Chelsea vs Liverpool: Why Virgil Van Dijk's goal was ruled out in Carabao Cup final

Martin Moses
updated at February 25, 2024 at 11:09 PM
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  • Liverpool beat Chelsea to win the 2024 Carabao Cup final
  • Virgil Van Dijk scored in the 118th minute to win the game
  • The Reds captain had earlier seen a goal chalked off for offside,

The Carabao Cup final on February 25 was marred by a litany of contentious VAR decisions.

Virgil Van Dijk's late header won the game for Liverpool in a closely-contested affair. It was the second time in the game the Dutchman had found the back of the net.

Virgil Van Dijk, Chelsea vs Liverpool, Carabao Cup final
Liverpool players celebrate Virgil Van Dijk's goal against Chelsea. Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA.
Source: Getty Images

Moises Caicedo was extremely lucky to avoid a sending-off after a dangerous tackle on Ryan Gravenberch.

Raheem Sterling then saw his goal disallowed for a marginal offside on Nicolas Jackson, who threaded the pass to him.

After the break, Liverpool had a goal of their own chalked off. Andrew Robertson floated in a brilliant free-kick, which was met by Virgil Van Dijk. The Liverpool captain lost his marker before planting his header past Dorde Petrovic's arms.

Why VAR cancelled Van Dijk's first goal

After a prolonged celebration, the VAR came into play, calling the referee Chris Kavanagh's attention to Wataru Endo's initial positioning before the free-kick was taken and his movement after Robertson took the cross.

The Japanese midfielder started in an offside position, and as the ball came in, he blocked Levi Colwill, who was retreating to defend.

Section 11 of IFAB laws states that:

If (player's movement) it impacts on the ability of the opponent to play or challenge for the ball. If the player intentionally impeded the opponent’s progress, then it shall be deemed as an offside.

Van Dijk would later score again two minutes from the end of extra-time to win the first trophy of Liverpool's quadruple charge in Jurgen Klopp's final season.

Pochettino's letter to Chelsea fans

Sports Brief had earlier reported that Mauricio Pochettino had written a letter to Chelsea fans ahead of the Carabao Cup final.

Pochettino was angling to win his first trophy on English soil after a barren spell during his days as Tottenham boss.

Liverpool were the favourites going into the game, but a number of injuries to key stars dampened the mood ahead of the game.

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Martin Moses
Martin Moses is a sports journalist with over five years of experience in media. He graduated from Multimedia University of Kenya (Bachelor of Journalism, 2017-2021)