Klopp puts faith in kids as Liverpool beat Chelsea to win ‘most special’ trophy of his career

LONDON: The old saying that you can’t win anything with kids was thrown out of the window on Sunday (Feb 25) as Jurgen Klopp put his trust in a host of youngsters who repaid his faith in spades as Liverpool beat Chelsea 1-0 after extra time to lift the League Cup.

Klopp, facing an injury crisis so severe it threatened to derail Sunday’s plans at Wembley, turned to a group of young players with barely a handful of first team appearances between them to dig him out of a hole.

As the game edged towards extra time with Chelsea on top, a flagging Liverpool were in need of an injection of energy to wrestle momentum back in their favour.

The Liverpool manager brought on 19-year-olds James McConnell and Bobby Clark and Jayden Danns, 18, before also throwing on 21-year-old Jarell Quansah off the bench.

All four looked calm on the ball and unruffled by the occasion as Liverpool found the decisive breakthrough in extra time when Virgil van Dijk headed the winner in the 118th minute.

The League Cup may be the least important of England’s domestic trophies but Klopp, a Champions League and Premier League winner with Liverpool and double Bundesliga champion with Borussia Dortmund, said Sunday’s victory was something special.

“I got told outside that you don’t win trophies with kids. Write it new. In my more than 20 years (as a manager), this is easily the most special trophy I have ever won,” he told reporters.

“Sometimes I get asked if I am proud of this or that, I wish I could feel pride more often, but I was proud of absolutely everything today.

“Seeing the faces of the kids after the game, Jayden Danns, can you create stories in football that nobody would ever forget – this tonight if you find the same story with academy players coming on against a top, top side, and winning it, that’s how we do it.”


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