Gary Lineker makes stance clear on Gary Neville's stinging criticism of Chelsea after Liverpool defeat

Gary Lineker makes stance clear on Gary Neville's stinging criticism of Chelsea after Liverpool defeat

WATCH NOW: Wayne Lineker discusses relationship with brother Gary Lineker

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 26/02/2024

- 12:16

The Sky Sports pundit made the comments live on air

Gary Lineker believes Gary Neville was 'a bit strong' after the Sky Sports pundit branded Chelsea 'billion-pound bottle jobs' following their 1-0 Carabao Cup final defeat to Liverpool on Sunday.

Virgil van Dijk sunk the Blues with a powerful header in the closing stages of extra time.

Liverpool were depleted, both before and during the match, with Jurgen Klopp forced to call on youngsters to get the job done.

It was a big missed opportunity for Chelsea, who performed well even if they were ultimately beaten at the death.

Gary Lineker Gary Neville

Gary Lineker thinks Gary Neville was 'too strong' with his criticism of Chelsea during their Carabao Cup final defeat to Liverpool


Neville, commentating for Sky Sports, ruthlessly branded the west London giants 'billion-pound bottle jobs' - sparking a backlash in the process.

And Lineker thinks the former Manchester United captain was a 'bit strong' in his scathing assessment.

"I thought it was a bit strong," he told The Rest is Football podcast.

"They could have easily won that game.

"I thought Cole Palmer could have won the game but it was a brilliant save from Kelleher."

Ally McCoist, speaking to talkSPORT, also thinks Neville was wrong to be so brutal to Chelsea given their positive performance.

"I think [calling Chelsea bottle jobs] is unfair. It's strong," he said on talkSPORT.

"They could have won it. I think it's extremely strong and wrong to call them bottlejobs, but they do deserve criticism.

"I mean the game could have gone either way, Liverpool's disallowed goal, Jackson's disallowed goal, which dear me, look how tight that was.

"And then you've got Van Dijk's header, the game was on a knife edge and it was a flick of the coin.

"So, I'm certainly not going to be as critical of Chelsea and Pochettino as some of the pundits are.

"But, what an opportunity it was for him to get his first piece of silverware."

Mauricio Pochettino was asked about Neville's comments after the game.

And the Chelsea boss, who was visibly irked by missing out on a first trophy in English football, refused to be overly critical of Neville.

"I didn’t hear what he said, but if you compare the age of the two groups, I think it is similar," he said.


Virgil van Dijk Liverpool Chelsea

Virgil van Dijk scored the only goal of the Carabao Cup final as Liverpool beat Chelsea to the prize


"I have a good relationship with Gary and I don’t know if that’s how I can take this opinion. But I respect his opinion.

"Of course, we made a few changes with (Conor) Gallagher and (Ben) Chilwell in extra time.

"But it is true we didn’t keep the energy of how we finished the second half.

"I don’t know how you can describe this situation. But for sure I feel proud. I feel proud of the players, I think they made a big effort.

"We are a young team and (it is) nothing to compare with Liverpool (just) because they finished with also a few young players. I think it’s impossible (to compare the two sides).

Mauricio Pochettino Chelsea Liverpool

Mauricio Pochettino refused to bite back at Gary Neville after Chelsea lost to Liverpool in the final of the Carabao Cup


"He (Neville) knows, he knows the dynamics are completely different. I think it’s not fair to talk in this way, if he said that.

"But I think we are going to keep strong and keep believing in this project and see what we can do in the future."

You may like