Best League Cup Finals since 2000
2008 League Cup Final, Photo Courtesy of Mark Freeman: https://www.flickr.com/photos/46357488@N00/2302048584
With the 2015 Capital One Cup final fast approaching we thought we would take a look back on some of the best finals since the millennium.
The year will see table-topping Chelsea face London rivals Tottenham Hotspur for this season’s first piece of silverware. Chelsea have won the competition 4 times, with the most recent coming in the 2006/2007 final where they conquered Arsenal 2-1. Spurs have also lifted the trophy 4 times, with their latest victory coming the year after Chelsea’s in the 2007/2008 season.
This final was also played between the two London clubs. Chelsea took an early lead before being pegged back by Berbatov, with Woodgate scoring the winner early in extra time.
With 16 points separating Chelsea in 1st with Tottenham in 6th the non-football fan may think this will be a walkover. That however, is not likely to be case; let’s not forget Chelsea have already been knocked out of the FA Cup by lower league opposition Bradford City.
Below are our favourite League Cup finals in anticipation of March 1st:
4. Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Chelsea, 2008
The 2008 cup final was the first to be played at the new Wembley stadium, and it lived up to expectations.
Dominant Chelsea took an early first-half lead thanks to Didier Drogba, before Tottenham fought back to send the game to extra time. Woodgate scored early and Tottenham held on to win only their 2nd trophy in 17 years.
With this final be something similar or will Chelsea complete the job this time around?
3. Liverpool 1-1 Birmingham City, 2001
With Wembley being re-built, the Millenium Stadium hosted its first ever major domestic final between Liverpool and Birmingham.
The game went to penalties after the Blues injury time equaliser cancelled out Fowlers half-volley, where Liverpool won 5-4. This was the first trophy Liverpool had won in 6 years, and the first major cup final to be decided on penalties.
2. Birmingham City 2-1 Arsenal, 2011
With Birmingham severely struggling in the league, the cup was where they could get back to enjoying playing football…and they did just that. Zigic gave them the lead, and Martins finished Arsenal off after some crazy defending by the Gunners late in the game.
Birmingham were relegated, but had won their first trophy since 1963, and were awarded a place in Europe.
1. Chelsea 3-2 Liverpool, 2005
The 2005 final was arguably the best in the history of the cup.
A first-minute wonder by Riise goal gave Liverpool the lead, and they held on for most of the game. To get back into it Mourinho sent on both Gudjohnsen and Kezman…and what an effect it had! Gerrard headed into his own net with only 10 minutes to go sending the game into extra time.
This followed by goals from Drogba and Kezman, before Liverpool managed a late consolation. The game had everything: first minute goals, a captain scoring an own goal, a manager sent off, extra time, and a great comeback.
Liverpool won’t mind too much though as they won THAT Champions League not so long after!