The first piece of silverware of the English football season is up for grabs here at Wembley Stadium, as Liverpool take on Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final.
Jurgen Klopp is looking for his first domestic cup triumph as Liverpool boss, having lost his only final so far — the 2016-17 Carabao Cup final against Manchester City.
Chelsea, meanwhile, are looking to improve an awful recent record in Wembley finals, which has surprisingly seen the Blues lose nine of their last 10 showpiece occasions across the FA Cup, Carabao Cup and Community Shield.
The Blues are of course in the middle of a rollercoaster few weeks, which has seen the new highs of winning the FIFA Club World Cup, and the uncertainty over their structure following Roman Abramovich’s handing over of the club amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
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For Liverpool, it’s been business as usual, and all very stable. They coped admirably without Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane during January’s Africa Cup of Nations, and have now welcomed the African superstars back into the fold just in time for the machine-like Reds to click into gear in the Premier League title race.
Sporting News is stationed at the home of football, Wembley Stadium, bringing you live updates below.
Chelsea vs. Liverpool live score
Chelsea vs. Liverpool live updates
HALF-TIME: It’s 0-0 at the break. Mendy to thank at one end; poor finishing at the other.
44th min: Wow! Another gilt-edged Chelsea opportunity goes begging. This time, Pulisic drives through the Reds’ core, gives it to Havertz, who cleverly tees up Mount on the volley – but he puts it wide.
38th min: Another Pulisic shot hit straight at Kelleher, while Liverpool fans begin to turn on the referee. They’re not happy at all with the way decisions have gone over the last few minutes, feeling two free-kicks and a corner should’ve come their way.
35th min: Havertz, the final specialist, is clean through on goal with only Kelleher to beat, and puts it wide! Chelsea fans were getting restless just leading into that break, as Liverpool begin camping out in the Blues’ half.
EDOUARD MENDY IS NOT HUMAN 🤯
One of the best double saves you’ll ever see. pic.twitter.com/ha6No0lxje
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) February 27, 2022
30th min: Mendy to the rescue! Keita denied by the Senegalese from distance, and then compatriot Mane’s follow-up while bearing down on goal is somehow kept out! Diaz, who is loving a no-look pass on the left flank having now done three of them, key in that passage.
28th min: Liverpool are building. The last few minutes have been promising – a couple of corners, a couple of half-chances, a moment of Salah genius and generally getting closer to the killer pass.
24th min: The first bit of slight controversy, as Mount gets a flailing elbow to the face while on the break, from Keita. Chelsea fans obviously calling for a card, but nothing brandished.
22nd min: It’s laid off by Alexander-Arnold, but Salah blasts the shot wide. The injection of pace in the previous foray was much needed, though.
21st min: Diaz gets the crowd on their feet with a sublime first touch to pick a ball out of the air. The move doesn’t quite end in a decent effort, but the Reds do now have a presentable free-kick.
18th min: Not quite as golden a chance as Pulisic had, but Mane should do better in the center of the penalty area. Alexander-Arnold puts in a typically-brilliant lofted pass, which is met by a poor header.
16th min: Kovacic plays a beautiful ball in behind down the left for Havertz, but the attack comes to nothing. At the other end, the Reds get in down their left for the second time, with Chalobah looking like he can be targeted by Mane and Diaz here.
13th min: Delay in play and a slight worry for Tuchel as Thiago Silva is down with an injury.
10th min: Chelsea looking the more confident team here, starting to play some good stuff. Two balls make into the area, but dealt with by Matip and Robertson.
HOW DID PULISIC MISS?! 🤯
What an opportunity to give Chelsea an early 1-0 lead in the Carabao Cup final pic.twitter.com/hflgj14BaM
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) February 27, 2022
6th min: Huge chance for Chelsea! Azpilicueta plays in Pulisic brilliantly, but the American fails to convert from just a few yards out. He hits it straight at the goalkeeper. Let off for the Reds.
5th min: Liverpool make inroads for the first time, but Salah is unable to wriggle past the four Chelsea defenders swarming him onb the edge of the area.
3rd min: A cagey opening few minutes. Off the field, Liverpool fans enjoying their first trip here in five years.
KICK-OFF: We’re underway in the battle for the season’s first silverware!
11:29am: Wembley is ready to go!
11:20am: A late change in the Liverpool lineup, as Thiago pulls out through injury. Naby Keita comes into the midfield.
11:15am: For Thomas Tuchel, today represents his fifth final in just over a year in charge of Chelsea; a figure almost beyond belief. So far, he’s won three internationally, but lost his only domestic final to Leicester City in the FA Cup last season.
11:00am: Half an hour to go. Both teams going through their warmups on a sunny day in North London. Liverpool fans greeted the Blues boys with a cacophony of boos, as you’d expect. Chelsea fans trickling in a lot more slowly, naturally with the short trip across the capital.
10:40am: New signing Luis Diaz gets the start on the big stage. As for Chelsea, the inclusion of Edouard Mendy in goal is slightly surprising, given Kepa is the domestic cup ‘keeper. Record signing Romelu Lukaku on the bench after his recent struggles.
10:30am: Both teams are in…
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) February 27, 2022
Here’s our line-up for the #CarabaoCupFinal 🏆🔴
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 27, 2022
10:25am: These sides have met once before with the League Cup at stake, back in 2004/05 when the final was played in Cardiff while Wembley was being rebuilt. In a game best known for Jose Mourinho ‘shushing’ the Liverpool fans, the Blues won a dramatic encounter 3-2 after extra-time.
10:20am: Today marks a return to the Carabao Cup final for Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, who infamously refused to be substituted ahead of the penalty shootout in the 2018/19 defeat to Manchester City.
10:10am: Meanwhile, Chelsea skipper Cesar Azpilicueta is relishing the chance to lift the Carabao Cup again, not content with racking up every major trophy on offer. The Spain international said: “We all dream about days like these. It’s a real privilege and honor to lead the team on such a big day. Wembley’s such a special place. I get the same feeling from winning now as when I started.”
10:00am: We’re 90 minutes away from the 90 minutes. In his programme notes, Virgil van Dijk took a philosophical view on missing the 2016/17 Carabao Cup final due to injury: “To me, everything happens for a reason. It has led me to today. Luckily, I’ve got some more trophies to my name since then. I’m really excited to be back at Wembley and want to get my hands on the Carabao Cup.”
9:30am: Welcome to Sporting News’ live coverage from Wembley Stadium. The crowd is slowly making their way up Wembley Way, as the Reds and Blues face off for the right to be the Carabao Cup’s first winner not called Manchester City in five years.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism