Chelsea vs Liverpool: Why Van Dijk's Goal Was Controversially Ruled Out in EFL Cup Final

Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk against Chelsea | Imago

Chelsea vs Liverpool: Why Van Dijk's Goal Was Controversially Ruled Out in EFL Cup Final

Ayoola Kelechi 20:20 - 25.02.2024

Despite Liverpool's win over Chelsea, the match was still embroiled in VAR controversy

In the high-stakes environment of the Carabao Cup final between Liverpool and Chelsea, a moment of triumph for Liverpool turned controversial due to a VAR decision that disallowed a goal by Virgil van Dijk

The incident, which occurred just before the hour mark, has since sparked widespread debate among fans, players, and pundits alike.

Why van Dijk's goal was disallowed

Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool's towering defender, believed he had given his team the lead after a powerful header from an Andy Robertson free-kick found the back of the net. Celebrations were cut short when VAR intervened, scrutinizing the buildup to the goal. 

The review identified Wataru Endo, Liverpool's midfielder, in an offside position, effectively blocking Chelsea's Levi Colwill from the play. This interference led to the goal being disallowed, much to the dismay of Liverpool supporters and neutral observers who anticipated a breakthrough in the tightly contested final.

The rationale behind the VAR decision hinged on Endo's positioning and its impact on the play. Despite van Dijk not being offside, Endo's involvement in blocking Colwill was deemed enough to influence the play's outcome. Jamie Redknapp, a pundit for Sky Sports, labeled the incident "as contentious as there is," pointing out the lack of consistency in similar decisions across the Premier League. Former Premier League referee Mike Dean also weighed in, describing the offside as "subjective" and underscoring the ambiguity surrounding Endo's role in obstructing Colwill's attempt to contest van Dijk.

Liverpool secure win despite VAR controversy

Despite the setback, Liverpool's resolve remained unshaken, with the team continuing to press for victory. Their efforts were eventually rewarded when van Dijk scored again in extra time, a goal that this time stood, securing Liverpool's 10th EFL Cup title. The controversy surrounding the disallowed goal, however, continues to fuel discussions on the application of VAR and the interpretation of offside rules, highlighting the ongoing debate over technology's role in modern football.

While Liverpool ultimately emerged victorious, the disallowed goal served as a reminder of football's unpredictable nature and the significant impact of refereeing and technological interventions on the game's outcome. As the dust settles on the Carabao Cup final, the conversation is likely to shift towards ensuring greater clarity and consistency in the application of VAR decisions in future matches.

Related content