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League Cup - Football: Greatest ever finals

Ahead of Sunday's League Cup final showdown between Chelsea and Liverpool at Wembley we look back at three of the great finals the competition has thrown up over the years.

Eight-time winners Liverpool feature in this mini list, but joint record holders Manchester City have missed out - despite having won the competition in each of the last four completed seasons.

Most League Cup final victories

TeamWinsRunners-upYears Won
Liverpool84

1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1995, 2001, 2003, 2012

Manchester City81

1970, 1976, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021

Aston Villa54

1961, 1975, 1977, 1994, 1996

Manchester United54

1992, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2017

Chelsea53

1965, 1998, 2005, 2007, 2015

Tottenham Hotspur45

1971, 1973, 1999, 2008

Nottingham Forest42

1978, 1979, 1989, 1990

Hats off Luton Town

Starting with a classic final back in 1988, Luton Town caused a major upset as they landed a first major cup victory against a highly-fancied Arsenal side at Wembley.

Hatters boss Ray Harford saw his side make the perfect start to the final in front of over 95,000 spectators in the national stadium when Brian Stein found the back of the net after 13 minutes.

Things were looking good for the underdogs going into the break and they managed to repel the Gunners all the way up until the 71st minute, thanks mainly to a tremendous performance from Welsh keeper Andy Dibble.

That was before a stunning comeback from Arsenal, with substitute Martin Hayes and Alan Smith both finding the back of the net in the space of three minutes.

Arsenal had the chance to put the final to bed when David Rocastle was brought down in the box, but Nigel Winterburn had his penalty effort saved by an inspired Dibble.

Rather than let the shellshock of two quickfire goals take a hold of them, Town responded in spectacular fashion against their north London opponents.

First it was midfielder Danny Wilson who found the back of the net in the 82nd minute to make it 2-2, before Stein bagged his second of the game in the 90th minute to send the Luton fans into raptures.

Harford went on to describe it as "the greatest win in my time at Luton" and was full of praise for the display from Dibble, who was only a stand-in for the final in the absence of first-choice goalkeeper Les Sealey.

Blues edge Reds in '05 thriller

It took extra-time to separate Liverpool and Chelsea back in 2005 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff in another cracking League Cup final.

John Arne Riise got the Reds off to a flying start with the Norwegian finding the back of the net with a fine volley in the first 45 seconds of the match.

Liverpool were aggrieved they weren’t awarded a penalty soon after when Claude Makelele climbed all over the back of Steven Gerrard to bring the England midfielder to ground, but no spot-kick was awarded.

In the second half Gerrard had a great opportunity to make it 2-0, but his effort from close range went agonisingly wide of an upright when it looked easier to score.

There was to be more heartbreak for Gerrard when his header found the back of his own net in the 79th minute to level the scores before the full-time whistle.

Blues boss Jose Mourinho was sent off for his celebration of the own goal, but watched on as star striker Didier Drogba scored the vital goal in the 107th minute, before Mateja Kezman wrapped up the win for the west London outfit.

Antonio Nunez scored what proved to be just a consolation goal and it was Mourinho who managed to land his first of many trophies in English football.

It is Liverpool and Chelsea who meet in the final again on Sunday, with the Blues at 11/10 to lift the trophy and the Reds at 8/11 to claim the title for a record ninth time in their history.

Spurs' last trophy success

A day that will live long in the memory of Tottenham fans, it was Spurs who won the 48th League Cup final thanks to a thrilling 2-1 win over London rivals Chelsea.

It was that man Drogba to strike again with the opener as the Ivory Coast international produced a superbly struck trademark free-kick before half-time.

The Blues were leading up until the 70th minute of the contest when Wayne Bridge handled the ball in the area and Dimitar Berbatov tucked away the resulting penalty.

With the game finishing 1-1 at full-time it did not take long before Spurs were in the lead for the first time in extra-time.

Jermaine Jenas' curling free-kick found the head of Jonathan Woodgate, whose effort rebounded off Petr Cech, before hitting the defender and going into the back of the net.

Frank Lampard almost managed to secure an equaliser that would have likely taken the game to a dreaded penalty shootout.

The England midfielder produced a well-struck free-kick from the left-hand side, with the ball looking destined for the top corner, only for keeper Paul Robinson to come to the rescue for Spurs.

Woodgate's effort ended up being the winning goal to end what was then a nine-year wait since Spurs' previous major trophy.

However, that 2008 League Cup was to be Spurs' last major trophy to date in what was another end-to-end League Cup classic final.

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