- Liverpool beat Fulham 3-2 on aggregate in the Carabao Cup semi-final
- The Reds will face Chelsea at Wembley in the final on February 25
- From Kevin Keegan to Arsene Wenger… IAN LADYMAN picks his top five managerial meltdowns on It’s All Kicking Off
The Reds came to west London with a 2-1 aggregate lead and extended that after 11 minutes through Luis Diaz but defender Issa Diop made it a nervy finish for Liverpool after his 76th-minute goal pulled one back in the tie and equalised on the night.
But Liverpool stood tall to book a third final in two years with Chelsea – after beating them in penalty shoot-outs in the Carabao Cup and FA Cup final in 2022 – and Klopp warned: ‘We all know it’s Chelsea and they want to put history right.’
Klopp was delighted that Liverpool were able to cope with a raucous crowd at Craven Cottage after Fulham boss Marco Silva urged fans to create a memorable atmosphere before this match, the Cottagers’ first League Cup semi-final ever.
‘We were just ready for this game,’ said the German. ‘I heard Marco’s press conference, I respect him so much. It was their most important game of the season – we knew what it meant to them. We had to show the outside world that we wanted it as much – and I saw that.
Jurgen Klopp is relishing another Wembley showdown against Chelsea next month
Liverpool reached the Carabao Cup final with a 1-1 draw against Fulham in the second leg
‘We could have put the game to bed but didn’t. Harry Wilson had a really good moment to be honest. We had to bring it over the line and we did. It feels great, the dressing room is really happy, we wanted it and we got it.
‘Everything great about the Carabao Cup final. Around that we have to be focused on all the other competitions as well and that is what we will do. It is so perfect. Wembley is a special place and I am really happy for everyone involved that they can have that experience.’
Klopp singled out Liverpool’s youngsters for praise and confirmed that No 2 goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher is likely to continue deputising for Alisson Becker against Chelsea. The boss also described versatile defender Joe Gomez as a ‘life-saver’.
The 26-year-old has played at right back, centre back and left back this season, playing 90 minutes in all five of Liverpool’s games in 2024. ‘Without Joey, nothing would have happened,’ said Klopp. ‘Exceptional, supreme defender and he comes inside. But yeah… a life saver!
‘And Jarell looks very calm. He’s just a really good player. Conor Bradley as well, Bobby Clark – these boys (the young players) are essential for what we do. It’s really nice to see how they grow every day.’
Marco Silva felt his team could have played better but he could not fault their commitment
Silva thought his team could have played better but he could not fault their commitment. ‘Performance wise and overall it was not our best,’ he said. ‘ But the desire, attitude and commitment from our players… they gave everything from the first and last minute.
‘I am proud of our journey in this competition and this season. From when we played the first time against Tottenham we showed our ambition and our desire to go on in this competition. Our attitude was serious and our ambition we have to be proud of it.
‘We kept the semi-finals open against the team which is at the top of the Premier League and they have been so consistent in games. We have to be proud of it and unfortunately we did not win the game. As a club and myself I am proud of the fans, there was a great atmosphere.’