Under its any sponsorship guises, the league cup has attracted much mockery in recent seasons as the crowded football calendar pushes it further and further down the pecking order of importance. Weakened first teas, managers seemingly not caring when faced with elimination and generally viewing the whole contest as a chore, has resulted in a collapse of the importance of the competition. However, once it reaches the final four, the competition seems to get serious and the view of Webley starts to emerge. Let us take a look at the finest Finals in the history of the League Cup….

Jeff-Astle-and-West-Bromwich-Albion-team-mates-celebrate-winning-the-League-Cup-in-1966

1966 – West Brom 4 – 1 West Ham United

Back in the 1960s the League cup was a two legged affair with home and away contests. West Ham took the early advantage and won the first encounter 2-1. Much the better team, the trip to the Hawthorns seemed nothing but a formality….but then West Brom turned on a performance that is still talked about to this day. Soaring into a lead, West Brom played the hammers off the pitch and took a 4-1 win to lift the trophy in dramatic style.

1976 – Man City 1 v 0 Newcastle

By the 1970s the cup was at Wembley and a one game, winner takes all contest. With an attendance of 100,000, the 1976 final was an end to end classic. Drama, controversy and a solo winner. This game had it all…..one of the best 1-0’s Ive ever seen!

1977 – Aston Villa 3 v 2 Everton

The year after kept the drama alive as the clash between Aston Villa and Everton went to a 2nd replay, barley imaginable these days. Before the changes were made and before betting on sports.  After draws at Wembley and Hillsbrough, a goalfest emerged at Old Trafford with the score poised at 2-2. It seemed like we had another draw on our hands until future manager Brian Little popped up to net a last gasp winner to take the trophy back to Villa Park!

1983 – Liverpool 2 v 1 Manchester United

Nothing beats a cup final that also has two rivals competition and the 1983 final saw just that as Liverpool took on  Manchester United in a thriller. Extra tie was needed and Ronnie Whealen broke United hearts in the 98th winner with a memorable winner!

2005 – Chelsea 3 v 2 Liverpool

The Liverpool/Chelsea rivalry increased on the back of several clashes in memorable Champions League, FA Cup and Premier League matches. With both chasing the title and both going into the latter stages of the Champions League, the Millennium Stadium played host to a classic  that ended 1-1, and then saw 3 goals in a frantic five minute period with the long forgotten Kezman popping up with a late winner for Chelsea. This was before the advent of sports betting but the odds on this would have the pundits intrigued!

So for all the criticism it gets from fans and the jovial nature it is often treated with, there can be little doubt that the League cup has thrown up many memories and without doubt, if you have been lucky enough to attend a final supporting your team, it will always have a special place!