Liverpool are Ready to Assault the Rest of the Season After Winning the Carabao Cup

Liverpool are Ready to Assault the Rest of the Season After Winning the Carabao Cup

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28 Feb 2022
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Nick
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Jordan Henderson will experience a period of melancholy in the following days, grappling with the idea that something is missing.

It’s only been a few years since Liverpool’s captain has felt it. But the more he has afternoons like Sunday, the sharper the emptiness becomes.

He once said ‘It’s the come down.’ ‘You get this high, but then you start to experience withdrawal symptoms.’ When you cross a line, you feel great relief, but then you think to yourself, “I want to do that again.” It’s always been about winning at this place.’

Henderson isn’t the only one who thinks this way. This Liverpool team is made up of exceptional players who are united by a desire to win as much trophies as possible. They’ve realized that the haul they’ve amassed thus far under Jurgen Klopp does not reflect their abilities. It was for this reason that the Carabao Cup final was so important.

A loss to Chelsea would have shattered the momentum they had built over the previous two months, and hopes of a Quadruple would have crumbled at the first hurdle.

‘People are talking about it, but if you don’t perform well, it all changes very quickly,’ Henderson remarked in his pre-match press conference. ‘We want to win this final, but we can only win it if we get to the appropriate level.’

That is just what Liverpool has done. They stepped across the high wire at Wembley, trading punches with a fantastic opponent in a spectacular game that took them to the brink on multiple occasions. Three Chelsea goals were disallowed when Mason Mount struck the post. If any of those events go even a centimeter in the wrong direction, your shot at immortality is gone. Failure, not fading joy, would have caused the emptiness Henderson and his team would have felt.

They did, however, find a way to win. To understand what it meant to them, all you had to do was stand at the bottom of the Royal Box stairs, where James Milner began yelling, “Come on!” to a group that included Andy Robertson and Alex Oxlade- Chamberlain.

Sadio Mane was also present and exclaimed, “Let’s do this!” as he prepared to get his medal. Henderson returned a few seconds later, reward in hand, evidently brimming with the delight that can only be found on special occasions.

This group has a winning mentality, as Virgil van Dijk demonstrated by handing Klopp the Alan Hardaker Trophy for Man of the Match. His manager applauded and slapped the defender across the back for good measure. All of this demonstrated that this team is ready to attack for the remainder of the season, knowing that they may never have another chance like this. A clean sweep is unthinkable in history, but Klopp will be encouraged by the fact that every member of his team is contributing.

Without Caoimhin Kelleher, a record-breaking eighth League Cup victory would not have been possible. This was the Irishman’s competition, and he demonstrated why with a brilliant performance that began with a magnificent sixth-minute stop from Christian Pulisic.

Kelleher’s image will be painted on a mural at the club’s training ground soon, and this journey to Wembley would not have been possible without his efforts against Leicester and Arsenal in previous rounds. There were justifications for starting Alisson Becker, but Liverpool’s manager never considered it.

‘Even in professional football, there should be room for emotion,’ Klopp stated. ‘Kelleher is a young guy who participates in every tournament; what should I do? I am both a professional manager and a human being, and it was the latter that triumphed. He is deserving of it.’

He wasn’t on his own. Ibrahima Konate, a substitute defender, and Harvey Elliott, a teenager, were courageous in the shootout, scoring booming penalties when the pressure was on.

The first trophy will provide relief — Trent Alexander-Arnold stated earlier this month that it was the club’s minimal criteria — but it will not relieve the burden. Every game that Liverpool plays now will be crucial.

If they step out of line against Norwich in the FA Cup fifth round on Wednesday or against West Ham on Saturday, their dreams will come crashing down, but for the time being, they are free to dream.

Henderson will be disappointed that the thrill of hoisting a trophy has passed him by for the time being, but based on what we saw in 2022, it may not be the last time he does so. Liverpool has a tiger’s eye on them. There are a lot of major days coming up.

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