This Sunday, Liverpool will face Manchester City in the Capital One Cup Final. Liverpool has had a long history in the League Cup Final as they have won the most titles of any team. At 8-3, Liverpool enters Wembley Stadium for the 12th time in the 56 year history of the Capital One Cup Final.
1978 – Liverpool 0-1 Nottingham Forest
Liverpool’s first foray into the League Cup Final was in 1978 at Old Trafford against Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest team. After drawing 0-0 at Wembley, the two teams met in a replay at Old Trafford four days later to decide the winner. Nottingham Forest won 1-0 when it seemed like Liverpool had a case to win this game if not for some bad refereeing decisions. First, Liverpool’s Phil Thompson was ruled to have committed a foul in the box to result in the Forest goal off a penalty when he was outside the box. Then a Terry McDermott equalizer was disallowed for a handball when he actually controlled the ball with his chest. But either way, Liverpool wound up losing their first Final.
1981 – Liverpool 2-1 West Ham United
Another Final where Liverpool needed a replay. After a thrilling 1-1 draw in the first leg where scoring started in the 118th minute, the teams had to go to Villa Park to decide the winner. Being down 1-0 early, Kenny Dalglish and Alan Hansen scored minutes apart from each other and held on to the victory and their first League Cup. It would be their first of four wins in a row. An unprecedented feat that hasn’t been repeated.
1982 – Liverpool 3-1 Tottenham Hotspur
Liverpool’s second of four consecutive titles came at the hands of Tottenham. After Spurs scored early and held onto the lead for almost the entire game, Ronnie Whelan scored the equalizer in the 87th minute. Then with two goals in extra time, scored by Dalglish and Ian Rush respectively, Liverpool won their first League Cup at Wembley.
1983 – Liverpool 2-1 Manchester United
The first League Cup Final derby between Liverpool and Manchester United. Liverpool must’ve had a flair for the dramatics back then because this was another Final where Liverpool was down early and scored late to win in extra time. In this edition, Alan Kennedy got the equalizer late in regular time and Whelan scored in extra time to win Liverpool’s third consecutive title.
1984 – Liverpool 1-0 Everton
Capping off Liverpool’s fourth consecutive title, Liverpool faced off against a rival for a second consecutive year. This time, against Everton, a 0-0 draw in the first leg forced a second leg at Maine Road. A Graeme Souness goal in the 21st minute sealed Liverpool’s win over their Merseyside rival and would be their last League Cup for 11 years.
1987 – Liverpool 1-2 Arsenal
Liverpool’s return to the League Cup Final wasn’t a good one as they lost for the second time in history. After winning four straight, Liverpool lost at the hands of Arsenal after being up 1-0. Arsenal’s Charlie Nicholas scored twice to give Arsenal the win.
1995 – Liverpool 2-1 Bolton Wanderers
This Final was all about Steve McManaman. McManaman’s two goals gave Liverpool a commanding 2-0 lead and even though Bolton put up a tough fight, Liverpool won their first League Cup Final in 11 years.
2001 – Liverpool (5) 1-1 (4) Birmingham City
Liverpool came back in the new millennium and took on Birmingham City at the Millennium Stadium. Liverpool almost lost this game as a result of a penalty equalizer deep into stoppage time of regular time to keep Birmingham City in the game. After an additional half hour of not being able to score, Liverpool was able to win in penalties. It was the first English Cup Final to have been decided by penalty kicks.
2003 – Liverpool 2-0 Manchester United
Liverpool once again got the better of their rivals Manchester United in the League Cup. This time, 20 years later, Liverpool took home their seventh League Cup title after goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek pretty much stood on his head, getting a clean sheet against a very tough Manchester United team.
2005 – Liverpool 2-3 Chelsea
A very back and forth affair that ended in extra time saw Chelsea win out over Liverpool. After John Arne Riise got Liverpool on the board in the first minute, Steven Gerrard equalized for Chelsea with an own goal late to put the game into extra time. In a five minute span, Chelsea scored twice and even though Liverpool pulled a goal back, it was too little, too late and Liverpool suffered their third loss in the League Cup Final.
2012 – Liverpool (3) 2-2 (2) Cardiff City
Liverpool’s last trip to the League Cup Final was Steven Gerrard’s first and only trophy even won in Wembley Stadium. This game was a bit different because Cardiff City was in the Championship at this time and they had upset on their minds. After taking a shock lead in the 19th minute, Liverpool bounced back and scored to put the game into extra time. In extra time, Dirk Kuyt scored to make it 2-1 but Cardiff brought it back right at the end to send things to penalty kicks. In penalties, Liverpool missed their first two kicks but converted their final three kicks to pull out the win and their record eighth title.