"Only the beginning" - Virgil van Dijk singles out 2 Liverpool stars for special praise after setting up EFL Cup final against Chelsea

Fulham v Liverpool - Carabao Cup Semi Final Second Leg
Fulham v Liverpool - Carabao Cup Semi Final Second Leg

Liverpool skipper Virgil van Dijk has praised Jarell Quansah and Conor Bradley after they impressed in the Reds' 1-1 draw against Fulham (January 24).

Jurgen Klopp and Co. defeated the Cottagers 3-2 on aggregate in the EFL Cup semi-finals to book their spot in the final against Chelsea. The clash is scheduled to take place at Wembley on February 25.

Quansah and Bradley were deployed on the right side of the defense, to cover for Ibrahima Konate and Trent Alexander-Arnold respectively. Despite the pair being just 20 years of age, they looked assured on the ball and performed well.

Quansah assisted Luis Diaz's goal in the 11th minute with a brilliant cross. He also made seven clearances, seven recoveries, and won three duels. On the other hand, Bradley created two big chances, made six recoveries, and won three duels.

Following the game, Van Dijk said (via This is Anfield):

“Obviously the right-hand side was not maybe the most experienced side today, but they did very well – I think the whole season already. I’m proud of these guys. It’s only the beginning for them and they must feel it that way as well. But to be going to the final with this performance is a very good thing and only shows what kind of progress they made. Hopefully they can keep going.”

Liverpool next face Norwich City in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Sunday, January 28.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp gives his verdict on Luis Diaz's performance against Fulham

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp waxed lyrical about Luis Diaz after his goal helped the Reds secure a crucial 1-1 draw against Fulham on Wednesday.

Diaz looked like a constant threat down the wing at Craven Cottage. He received Quansah's cross exceptionally well on his chest in the 11th minute before finding the back of the net through his deflected effort. The 26-year-old created three big chances, had a pass accuracy of 84 percent, and won nine duels.

During the post-match press conference, Klopp stated (via Liverpool's official website):

"Very good. He's a fantastic player, absolutely. Absolutely no criticism but I wish he would've set up the second and scored the third because first half it was a fantastic football situation where he was in a similar situation like when he scored."

He added:

"But playing-wise, what a boy! The speed, the power he can generate, the technique, the combination of all that… it is absolutely outstanding. I am really happy."

Diaz has impressed so far this season, scoring seven goals and providing two assists in 28 appearances across all competitions.

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Edited by Sai Krishna