Wednesday, April 24News That Matters

Guardiola aims dig at Liverpool over Carabao Cup final celebrations

Pep Guardiola, the manager of Manchester City, cleverly criticized Liverpool for their exuberant celebrations following their Carabao Cup final win.

Liverpool secured their third Carabao Cup in as many seasons with a 1-0 triumph over Chelsea at Wembley on Sunday.

Virgil van Dijk’s header in the 118th minute proved decisive, securing victory for Liverpool, who concluded the match with five players aged 21 or under on the field.

The Reds players celebrated joyously after the win, with Klopp describing it as ‘easily the most special trophy I have ever won’ during his managerial career.

Guardiola playfully referenced his own first-team coach while humorously poking fun at Liverpool’s celebrations.

He said: “I still remember when I arrived at City, Brian Kidd told me: ‘Carabao Cup, don’t pay attention! Play young players, nobody cares.’

“Sir Alex Ferguson was always, ‘Eugh, it doesn’t matter’. “Phwoar, I don’t know what happened in the last years!”

The Carabao Cup typically doesn’t carry as much significance as the FA Cup, which is widely considered England’s premier competition.

Historically, many managers have faced criticism for fielding what are perceived as weaker teams in the Carabao Cup, often resting players with an eye on other competitions.

Carabao Cup matches are frequently scheduled amidst busy fixture lists, leading to a combination of injuries and a congested schedule that compels managers to rotate their squads.

Before a match against Newcastle in September, following international duty, Guardiola humorously suggested he might have to play due to fitness concerns within his squad.

However, the 120 minutes of action at Wembley took a toll on Liverpool, as midfielder Wataru Endo left the stadium wearing a protective boot, and Ryan Gravenberch was stretchered off after a mistimed tackle by Moises Caicedo.

Luis Diaz and Harvey Elliott, who completed the entire match, are both dealing with fitness concerns leading up to Wednesday’s FA Cup fifth-round encounter against Southampton.

But Klopp summed it up by saying: “I have no idea who can play on Wednesday, but for tonight [Sunday], it is a night I will never forget.”

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