Liverpool’s Academy and Youth Players Shine Bright in 2024 Carabao Cup Final: Who Won Medals?

Liverpool’s Academy and Youth Players Shine Bright in 2024 Carabao Cup Final: Who Won Medals?

Joel Reyes
February 26, 2024 at 12:52 PM
In this article:
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  • Liverpool defeated Chelsea in the 2024 Carabao Cup final despite missing several key stars
  • Jurgen Klopp praised the club's academy players for stepping up in the championship match
  • The German boss used several youngsters as substitutes late in the second half and extra time

Liverpool's kids are all right.

Jurgen Klopp's youngsters stepped up big-time in the absence of some of the club's key stars, playing important minutes in the 2024 Carabao Cup final.

Sports Brief looks at the club's academy and youth players who delivered the goods in the win against Chelsea on Sunday.

Liverpool, Carabao Cup, Chelsea, League Cup, Jurgen Klopp, Mohamed Salah, Bobby Clark, Harvey Elliott, James McConnell, Jayden Danns, Jarell Quansah, Conor Bradley
Liverpool's youth players celebrate after their Carabao Cup win over Chelsea. Image: Jacques Feeney.
Source: Getty Images

Liverpool's youth and academy stars who started

Two youth players and two academy graduates started for Liverpool in the crunch clash against Chelsea.

Caoimhim Kelleher (academy)

Academy graduate Kelleher started the game for the Reds between the sticks. Liverpool's No. 2 showed he was deserving of the spot, making nine saves en route to a clean sheet in the final.

Virgil van Dijk praised his performance, saying that the Man of the Match Award should have been given to the goalkeeper instead of him, per The Mirror.

Conor Bradley (academy)

Bradley is another product of Liverpool's academy who started in the Carabao Cup final. The 20-year-old was dominant at the start, helping the Reds contain Chelsea's Raheem Sterling with his effective pressing.

He was a workhorse for Liverpool being replaced in the 72nd minute.

Ryan Gravenberch (youth)

Gravenberch moved to Liverpool from Bayern Munich last September, with the Reds paying a reported €40 million fee to land his services.

He started the game against Chelsea on Sunday, but his appearance was short-lived. He went off injured in the 28th minute and was replaced by Joe Gomez.

Harvey Elliott (youth)

Elliott starting the game against Chelsea wasn't a complete surprise. He has been a regular in Jurgen Klopp's lineup the past two seasons, making 54 Premier League appearances for the Reds.

He was given a heavy responsibility in the final, with Mohamed Salah and Diogo Jota both unavailable for Liverpool.

Klopp turns to youth for super subs

With the game hanging in the balance, Jurgen Klopp didn't hesitate to turn to his youth players to provide some much-needed energy late in the second half and extra time.

Bobby Clark (academy)

Clark was the first to come in, replacing fellow academy star Bradley in the 72nd minute. He helped the Reds hold their own in midfield against Chelsea's Moises Caicedo and Enzo Fernández.

James McConnell (academy)

Klopp then turned to McConnell as his next sub, with the 19-year-old replacing Alexis Mac Allister in the 87th minute. He helped the Reds maintain their superiority in the contest as the match went into extra time.

Jayden Danns (academy)

Danns also was called upon by Klopp in the 87th minute, replacing Cody Gakpo. He was hugely effective in attack for the Reds, nearly scoring twice for Liverpool as they searched for the breakthrough.

Jarell Quansah (academy)

Quansah was the last of Liverpool's academy stars to see action in the match. He replaced the tiring Ibrahima Konate in the 105th minute to provide support to Virgil van Dijk in the centre of defence.

He played his role well, helping the Reds record the clean sheet in the second half of extra time.

Klopp trusting Clark, McConnell, and Danns in the latter stages of the contest was a gutsy move as they have combined for just 15 first-team appearances, according to The Athletic.

Van Dijk is a big game player

Sports Brief recently reported on van Dijk's Man of the Match displays in Liverpool's past finals.

He was named the Player of the Match in the win over Chelsea on Sunday.

He also got that honour back in the 2019 Champions League final and the 2022 Carabao Cup final.

Authors
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Joel Reyes
Joel Reyes is a sports editor at Sportsbrief.com with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of the Philippines. He has eight years of work experience in sports writing.
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