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Klopp says players proved a point in semi-final triumph
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Matthew Hill
Jurgen Klopp heaped praise on his Liverpool players after they saw off Fulham
Jurgen Klopp heaped praise on his Liverpool players after they saw off Fulham

Jurgen Klopp hailed his Liverpool players for matching Fulham's desire after their 1-1 draw at Craven Cottage set up a Carabao Cup final showdown with Chelsea.

The Reds headed into their semi-final second leg with a 2-1 advantage from the first meeting and quickly extended their lead when Luis Diaz's deflected shot squirmed past Bernd Leno.

Issa Diop's equaliser after 76 minutes threatened to set up a grandstand finish in West London but the visitors ultimately closed out a deserved success with minimal fuss. 

It means Klopp's side will face Chelsea in the Wembley showpiece on Sunday, February 25 — an occasion the German feels his troops fully deserve to be a part of.

Klopp said: "This was not a night to shine or to play a bit of fancy football. It was a night to qualify for a final.

"We saw the press conference yesterday with Marco [Silva] and how much it means to Fulham and that they really want to go to Wembley.

"So when we came here, we had to prove that point as well and we did. 

"These boys want to win, they want to qualify for big, big finals. We did tonight and it's absolutely a special moment."

It is the third time Klopp has led the Reds to the Carabao Cup final, with the club seeking a record-extending 10th triumph in the competition.

Remarkably, the last seven meetings between them and Chelsea have all ended level, though the Merseysiders won both penalty shootouts in the 2022 EFL Cup and FA Cup finals.

The Liverpool boss is anticipating another memorable occasion against Mauricio Pochettino's Blues next month.

He added: "It is so perfect. Wembley is a special place and I am really happy for everyone involved they can have that experience.

"We had the experience before, so we know what to expect. Again against Chelsea, wow, what a story that is.

"The stadium will be full blue and red, it is going to be a good one.

"Coming here tonight and then going through is special — you can never take these things for granted in football."


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