Gary Neville slams Chelsea’s expensive players for doing this against Liverpool youngsters

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Chelsea suffered a second defeat to Liverpool this season – but this time, it was in the final of the 2023-24 Carabao Cup at Wembley.

Virgil van Dijk scored the only goal of the match in 28 minutes of extra time, with the Merseyside club winning it 1-0.

The Blues gave a good account of themselves in the original 90 minutes of the game, to be fair, but their finishing was nowhere near good enough, and they were punished for it.

Meanwhile, Jurgen Klopp’s side were without many of their key players, including Mohamed Salah, Dominik Szoboszlai, Darwin Nunez, Curtis Jones and Alisson, who were all injured ahead of the match – and the German had to rely on his youngsters for the win.

Speaking on Sky Sports after the match, former Manchester United defender, Gary Neville criticised Chelsea players for the way they let their guard down in the closing stages of the game, and heaped praise on Klopp’s men for staying focused until the end.

He said: “In extra time it’s been Klopp’s kids against the blue, billion pound bottle jobs. Liverpool absolutely sensational, those young players incredible, he must be so proud. But for Chelsea I’ve got no sympathy whatsoever.

“I cannot believe Chelsea in extra-time, what has happened to them? From the very first minute of extra time they haven’t played, they haven’t turned up. He [Pochettino] must be absolutely gutted.”

He added: “Those Chelsea players will regret that extra-time for a long, long time. I thought they played quite well and punched hard in the first 90 minutes and were unlucky, but in the real crux of the game where they had Liverpool by the scruff of the neck, not having the answer in the last 10 minutes of normal time.

“They didn’t turn up, they didn’t perform and you can’t do that. You cannot do that.

“What was up with them? I’m really disappointed with Chelsea in that extra-time period. You can lose any final, you can lose any game of football but you cannot play like that, you cannot shrink. Particularly when Liverpool had five kids out on the pitch, you have to go for their throats.”

Chelsea should have won this game in normal time, but as Gary Neville rightly pointed out – they missed their chance to do so.