Ryan Gravenberch stretchered off as Liverpool’s injury crisis continues | Football

Moises Caicedo escaped punishment for the challenge (Pictures: Getty / Sky Sports)

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was left raging in the Carabao Cup final after Chelsea’s Moises Caicedo escaped punishment for a challenge that saw Ryan Gravenberch stretchered off the pitch.

The Merseysiders dominated the early exchanges at Wembley and created a host of chances, though they were indebted to the reflexes of Caoimhin Kelleher for preventing Cole Palmer from netting the best chance of a lively first half.

Liverpool went into the contest missing a host of first-team players and they were dealt yet another injury blow mid-way through the half when Gravenberch was caught very late by Caicedo.

The Ecuadorian, who had already got away with several fouls, escaped a yellow but the tackle ended Gravenberch’s match, with the Dutchman stretchered off – much to Klopp’s fury.

‘Jurgen Klopp is going mad. He is literally going mad over there,’ said Gary Neville on Sky Sports. ‘I think he’s making a studs motion as if he’s saying his player has been done.’

He continued: ‘We can hear the VAR official explaining to the on-field referee. The referee knows there’s been contact and he’s asking what happened and he’s just having it explained to him.

‘I think Jurgen Klopp may be most angry with the fact he hadn’t recognised that he’d played on for an advantage, obviously Gakpo was then fouled after that – or he thought he was fouled, but he actually wasn’t.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp during Carabao Cup Final

Klopp was livid with referee Chris Kavanagh (Picture: Getty)

‘I think he thinks the referee missed that first challenge, which he hasn’t. He’s seen it and decided that Liverpool could maybe attack.

‘The referee is still asking VAR what’s happened. He’s obviously a little unsure on the pitch, but I think he’s being fed the right information [VAR saying it was a slip]. It certainly wasn’t a red card. It may have been a yellow but it certainly wasn’t a red.’

Former referee Mike Dean chipped in: ‘It’s the second bad challenge by Caicedo, so he’s treading a fine line at the moment.

Gravenberch looked in agony as he lay on the Wembley turf (Picture: Getty)
Klopp checks on Gravenberch as he leaves the pitch (Picture: Getty)

‘I know the VAR can’t inform the referee but sometimes when challenges are like that, he’s obviously seen a foul, he’s tried to play on.

‘That’s when you’d like to think the VAR could say, “Well for me it’s not serious foul play, but it is definitely a yellow card”.

‘I think he could have [taken it back] because obviously he’s chosen not to give the second one either, which I don’t think was a foul, so he could have gone back.

‘But the assistant referee on the nearside, he’s probably got the best view of the tackle and he could have informed Chris [Kavanagh] that, yes, play on, but when the play stops he should go back and caution the player.’

Jamie Carragher added of the incident: ‘It’s going to be interesting whether he can carry on, we know Liverpool haven’t got many options on the bench. You look how frustrated they [Klopp and his coaching staff] are.

‘I don’t think it’s a red card but Caicedo has already put a challenge in early on, on the edge of his own box, and you think with that one he’s very lucky not to at least be in the referee’s book at this stage now.

‘This is a problem for Liverpool. You just think how will they reshape now, where will Joe Gomez go here?’

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