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Liverpool 16/1 to complete quadruple after EFL Cup win

Liverpool are now just 16/1 to complete a quadruple of trophy successes this season after overcoming adversity to beat Chelsea after extra time to secure the first on offer, the EFL Cup.

The Reds were already without some star names before Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez were ruled out of Sunday's match-day squad, while they lost Ryan Gravenberch - carried from the field on a stretcher - in the first half at Wembley.

The Reds also had to pick themselves up after Virgil van Dijk's header on the hour was ruled out, somewhat controversially, after a lengthy check from the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) but it was the same player who glanced home Kostas Tsimikas' corner deep into extra time to ultimately secure the silverware.

bet365's Steve Freeth said: "One down, three to go!

"We've been here a few times before with Manchester City eventually falling short - not to mention Liverpool themselves two years ago who ended up with a domestic cup double - but not for the amounts we have the Reds in for this time around.

"So much so that when Jurgen Klopp made his announcement we saw a huge surge of interest in the quadruple at much reduced prices from the open show of 1,500/1"

"Pep, over to you."

So, going into the business end of Jurgen Klopp's farewell season at the club, Liverpool have been cut to 16/1 to make it a memorable one by winning all four trophies they are contesting, with two trophies an 11/10 favourite, one priced at 13/8 and a treble on offer at 10/3.

Football

Reds rise from adversity

Already missing the likes of Diogo Jota, Alisson and Trent Alexander-Arnold, Liverpool fans may have been fearing the worst when neither Nunez nor Salah were fit enough to even make the bench.

However, it didn't necessarily show on the pitch with Cody Gakpo denied by the woodwork in the first half, although Chelsea did start to take a grip of proceedings.

Caoimhin Kelleher produced a fine performance to deny Chelsea when the Reds won the 2022 final on penalties, and he was arguably even better this time around as he came to his side's rescue on a number of occasions.

His point-blank block to deny Cole Palmer the opener in the first half was sensational, although he could do little to prevent Raheem Sterling converting Nicolas Jackson's pass before the break - a goal ruled out for a very marginal offside decision.

There were plenty of chances at both ends in the second period, either side of Van Dijk's chalked-off header, with Kelleher racing off his line quickly to prevent Conor Gallagher providing the breakthrough, with the Chelsea midfielder also seeing another effort coming back off the inside of the post with the Reds' keeper stranded.

Axel Disasi miscued inside the six-yard box following a corner, while the Blues couldn't find the killer touch in a mad scramble at the end as the game somehow finished goalless in normal time.

Chelsea seemed to lose their energy going into extra time, perhaps nervous of the occasion, despite the fact that Jayden Danns, 18, and 19-year-old duo Bobby Clark and James McConnell had been thrown on by Klopp, and the Reds were able to capitalise.

The Blues' keeper Djordje Petrovic denied Danns and Harvey Elliott, with the latter also firing a good chance into the side netting, but he could do little about Van Dijk's winner with just two minutes to go.

One down, three to go in Klopp's farewell campaign.

What next for Liverpool?

Liverpool could hardly be in a better position than they are as, after securing the first piece of silverware of the season, they also top the Premier League standings after 26 games - albeit by a point from Manchester City, and two from Arsenal.

They next face strugglers Nottingham Forest at the City Ground in the league before a massive game against the champions at Anfield on March 10, a week after the Manchester derby.

Before then they will look to keep their quadruple hopes alive when they host Southampton in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Wednesday. The Reds are strong favourites to progress, and Saints' recent form - three defeats in their last four games - is perhaps not likely to persuade many to back against another Reds win.

The return of European action on 7th March adds congestion to Liverpool's schedule but Klopp will be hopeful the injury problems at Anfield will have started to ease a little by then.

A worrying aspect for Liverpool's rivals is the fact that the Reds are still finding ways to win despite their injury issues, while they have still perhaps not reached their peak form.

Liverpool are 3/1 to win the FA Cup and 13/8 favourites to claim the Europa League. They are still second favourites at 2/1 to win the Premier League behind City at 11/10, with Arsenal - already knocked out of the FA Cup by the Reds - 3/1.

Chelsea must overcome more cup despair quickly

This has been a season of struggle for Chelsea, in the Premier League at least with the Blues down in 11th place in the standings, and Cup joy could have been the catalyst for a strong finish to the campaign, and a push for Europe. Chelsea are on offer at 10/3 To Finish in Top 6.

There is no doubt they had their chances on Sunday but the defeat marked their sixth successive loss in a Wembley final, with three of those coming against Liverpool.

How they respond only time will tell, but this result will undoubtedly hurt, given who was missing from the Reds' lineup and the number of opportunities they had to score.

Mauricio Pochettino is still chasing his first trophy in England and has little time to dwell on what might have been as he must rouse his troops for an FA Cup fifth-round clash with in-form Championship high-flyers Leeds United.

The Blues are 11/20 favourites to make home advantage count, while they are 8/1 to go all the way in the FA Cup, but they have to pick themselves up very quickly after spurning what looked like a massive opportunity on Sunday.

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