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"I don’t understand it" - Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk compares controversial decision in Carabao Cup final to incident from Manchester United's Premier League match

Liverpool central defender Virgil van Dijk was not happy with Stuart Atwell's decision to rule out Joel Matip's goal during the Carabao Cup final
Liverpool central defender Virgil van Dijk was not happy with Stuart Atwell's decision to rule out Joel Matip's goal during the Carabao Cup final
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Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk has questioned the referee's decision to rule out Joel Matip's goal during the Carabao Cup final against Chelsea on Sunday. (27 February)

Matip appeared to have broken the deadlock in the 67th minute, nodding home after Sadio Mane had headed Trent Alexander-Arnold's free-kick across the face of goal. However, referee Stuart Atwell called for a VAR check and the goal was eventually disallowed as Van Dijk was offside in the build-up.

Replays showed that the Dutchman had begun his run a tad too early and also seemed to be marginally blocking Reece James' run.

Speaking after the match, Van Dijk expressed his confusion about the incident, stating (as quoted by the Mirror):

“I told the ref I don’t understand. I wasn’t even participating in the moment, the ball went over my head and I did not even go for the ball. It is a game of challenges and you are allowed to block a move. I think we saw it when Manchester United played away at Burnley there was a similar thing that was also disallowed and I don’t understand it.”
🗣 "I don't understand it."Virgil van Dijk is confused as to why Matip's goal was ruled out because he was offside https://t.co/xweuPFlxbC

Van Dijk seemed to be referring to a moment from Manchester United's Premier League encounter against Burnley earlier this month. Raphael Varane headed home a free-kick from the right flank, but the goal was ruled out after a lengthy VAR check. The overturning of the decision was attributed to Harry Maguire being marginally offside and blocking Jay Rodriguez's run.

It is worth noting that the decision eventually cost the Red Devils as the match ended in a 1-1 draw, with Rodriguez ironically scoring his side's goal. However, Matip's disallowed goal did not stop Liverpool from lifting their record ninth EFL Cup triumph.


Liverpool and Chelsea play out entertaining encounter in Carabao Cup final

While Sunday's match ended goalless after 120 minutes, there was no dearth of attacking action in the Carabao Cup final between Liverpool and Chelsea. Up to four goals were disallowed for offside, with the ones against Matip and Romelu Lukaku causing plenty of commotion.

Both teams seemed keen to keep the match from going into a penalty shootout, peppering the opposition goal with shots. Chelsea managed 11 shots and four on target, while Liverpool took 20 shots and got six of those on target. However, they also missed some very presentable chances.

Chelsea and Liverpool had a combined 29 shots in 90 minutes 😅HOW WAS THAT 0-0?! https://t.co/c3injJHWFd

Finishing from both teams fared better from 12 yards as all the outfield players from Liverpool and Chelsea scored their spot-kicks.

Jurgen Klopp's side eventually took the game (11-10) and their record ninth Carabao Cup thanks to Caoimhin Keller's successful penalty and Kepa Arrizabalaga's miss. The world's costliest goalkeeper skied the ball way over Kelleher's goal, not even requiring the Irishman to attempt to save.


Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh
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