Chelsea player ratings from EFL Cup final loss to Liverpool – Palmer and Colwill offer hope for the future as Blues fall to late defeat

A Virgil van Dijk header in the dying minutes of extra time saw Chelsea slip to a 1-0 defeat against Liverpool in the EFL Cup final at Wembley.

Here are Dan Evans’ player ratings from Wembley.

Dorde Petrovic – 7

Quieter than his opposite number Caoimhin Kelleher for the most part but still did everything required of him when called upon in regular time. Made good saves from Luis Diaz and Harvey Elliott, as well as one to deny youngster Jayden Danns early in extra time. Saved his best for last by keeping out Elliott’s header in the dying moments, only to be beaten by Van Dijk’s well-placed effort.

Picture: Rob Avis

Malo Gusto – 6

Took his eye off the ball more than once to give away possession during Chelsea’s nervous start to the game. Was given a tough afternoon by Diaz but gave as good as got on that front, making an impressive six tackles in total.

Axel Disasi – 6

 Another who was not always assured with the ball at his feet but regularly made crucial defensive contributions. However, in losing Van Dijk for the corner at the death he allowed the towering centre-back all of the time and space he needed to decide the game.

Chelsea v Liverpool -, Carabao Cup Final, Wembley Stadium, 25 February 2024
Picture : Keith Gillard

Levi Colwill – 8

Had one nervy moment on the ball in the opening exchanges but was otherwise imperious. Made eight clearances, three blocks and three interceptions, and was also impressive in possession as he regularly strode beyond tacklers and helped Chelsea get out of their own half.

Ben Chilwell – 6

Was not tested to anywhere near the same extent as Gusto on the other flank but never really put a foot wrong. Collected a silly yellow card for an altercation with Liverpool’s Conor Bradlet and was overpowered by Van Dijk for a goal that was disallowed for offside. Replaced late on in extra time.

Chelsea v Liverpool -, Carabao Cup Final, Wembley Stadium, 25 February 2024
Picture : Keith Gillard

Moises Caicedo – 6

Probably fortunate to stay on the pitch after catching Ryan Gravenberch with a nasty challenge that forced the Liverpool man to be stretchered off. His seven tackles was more than anyone on the pitch though and he regularly showed more composure in possession than midfield partner Enzo Fernandez.

Enzo Fernandez – 5

Was perhaps the Chelsea player who struggled the most in the difficult start to the game. Was all too often caught by the Liverpool press in his own half and was even guilty of giving the ball away under little to no pressure with some errant passing. Improved as the game went on but still made poor decisions with the ball throughout.

Chelsea v Liverpool -, Carabao Cup Final, Wembley Stadium, 25 February 2024
Picture : Keith Gillard

Conor Gallagher – 7

Look flustered early on, struggling to impose himself in midfield as Liverpool pressed aggressively. Ended up having a good game though, helping to bring Chelsea’s forward players into the contest. Missed two golden chances to win the cup in normal time as he spurned opportunities after being brilliantly set up by Cole Palmer. Replaced in extra time after putting in a real shift.

Cole Palmer – 8

Became Chelsea’s most influential attacking threat once Mauricio Pochettino’s side had got themself a foothold in the game. Regularly ghosted beyond defenders and showed lovely vision to twice pick out Gallagher for massive chances to take the lead. A first-half effort that was saved at close range by Kelleher may haunt him but this was still a great display.

Chelsea v Liverpool -, Carabao Cup Final, Wembley Stadium, 25 February 2024
Picture : Keith Gillard

Nicolas Jackson – 7

Caused Liverpool plenty of problems with his tireless running in behind, creating opportunities for himself and for team-mates. Was unfortunate to be flagged narrowly offside after racing down the right wing to set up Raheem Sterling for a disallowed opener. Perhaps lacked a killer instinct when sent in behind in the second half before being taken off late on.

Raheem Sterling – 5

Was unable to make the most of a great chance to open the scoring in the first half as space disappeared before he could get his shot away. Did see a potential goal ruled out for a marginal offside against Jackson not long after but was otherwise quiet against one of his former sides, touching the ball just 19 times before being replaced around the hour mark.

Chelsea v Liverpool -, Carabao Cup Final, Wembley Stadium, 25 February 2024
Picture : Keith Gillard


Christopher Nkunku – 6

Added something different to the Chelsea attack with his movement and ball-carrying skills. Passed up a couple of half-chances to decide the game late in regular time.

Mykhaylo Mudryk – 5

Made very little impact after replacing Jackson.

Noni Madueke – 6

Produced more than one decent dribble and forced a save from Kelleher in extra time.

Nathaniel Chalobah – NA

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