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Top 10 League Cup finals

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  • 5 examines ten of the League Cup's most memorable finals from across the years.

With Arsenal's Carling Cup final against Birmingham at Wembley looming, we count down the best showpieces from the tournament over the years.

Ranging from the 1960s to the present day, we've highlighted the memorable victories, upsets and controversies that have shaped the competition over the last five decades.

1961: Aston Villa 3-2 Rotherham United (on agg)

The inaugural final, staged over two legs, saw the first division's Aston Villa go up against Yorkshire minnows Rotherham, who went on to finish the season 24 league places below their opponents in the second tier.

The Millers looked on course to cause a shock upset after securing a 2-0 win in the first leg, but their cup dreams were crushed in the return fixture at Villa Park.

Villa pulled things back to level terms to send the clash into extra-time before Northern Ireland international Peter McParland completed a dramatic comeback with the winner.

1967: QPR 3-2 West Brom

The first ever League Cup final to be staged at Wembley also saw one of the biggest upsets in the history of the tournament.

Staged as one game at the prestigious venue rather than over home and away legs, the decider saw QPR, then of the third division, overthrow West Brom to end the Baggies' title defence after they had beaten West Ham to the trophy the previous year.

Rangers, appearing at Wembley for the first time, had slipped 2-0 behind at half-time after a brace from Baggies man Clive Clark.

But a stunning fightback from the West Londoners saw them pull level, with Roger Morgan and Rodney Marsh doing the business.

There were just nine minutes left on the clock when Mark Lazarus delighted the watching Rangers fans by finding the winner to wrap up the shock win.

1969: Arsenal 1-3 Swindon Town

After losing to Leeds in the League Cup final the previous season, Arsenal were looking to make amends against lowly Swindon.

Appearing in their first final of the tournament and making their debut Wembley outing, the Robins were massive underdogs going into the clash.

However, there was the sniff of an upset in the air when Roger Smart put the minnows ahead in the 35th minute, much to the Gunners' surprise.

After hunting for the equaliser for the remainder of the match, Arsenal finally pulled things level just four minutes from time when a Bobby Gould header sent the game into extra-time.

Don Rogers became the Robins' hero in the added minutes, hitting home the winner to condemn the Gunners to a humiliating defeat.

1976: Manchester City 2-1 Newcastle

City's last major trophy to date, the 1976 final is best remembered for Dennis Tueart's spectacular winning goal.

After winning the trophy in 1970, the Blues were desperate to repeat their success and made no secret of it early on when Peter Barnes hit home to open the scoring.

The Toon came back in the first half through a well-worked Alan Gowling goal, leaving things level heading into half-time.

It did not stay that way for long though as Tueart found the legendary winner just one minute after the break, pulling off a spectacular overhead kick to beat Mike Mahoney in the Newcastle goal.

1977: Aston Villa 3-2 Everton (replay)

After a turgid goalless draw at Wembley, and an equally uninspiring 1-1 (aet) replay at Hillsborough, the second replay at Old Trafford did not fail to deliver.

Chances came thick and fast at both ends from the start before the Toffees drew first blood with a Bob Latchford strike.

That opener was followed by a four-minute spell boasting three goals in the second half, triggered by a famous 40-yard screamer from Chris Nicholl.

Brian Little put the Villans in front barely a minute after the memorable equaliser, but Mick Lyons had evened things up again for Everton just two minutes later.

It eventually fell to Little to find the winner for Villa, hitting home in extra-time to hand Villa their third League Cup.

1984: Everton 0-1 Liverpool (replay)

The last of Liverpool's legendary quartet of consecutive victories in the tournament, there was extra spice added to this particular clash given it was a Merseyside derby.

Renamed the Milk Cup after the League Cup heading was axed, the original game was the first meeting between the two fierce rivals at Wembley, although the tie was decided away from London after a goalless draw.

Manchester City's Maine Road was the venue for the replay three days later, and Graeme Souness was the hero for the Reds.

There was only one goal and it was a crucial one as Souness kept the trophy at Anfield with a long-range strike that evaded Toffees shot-stopper Neville Southall.

1988: Arsenal 2-3 Luton

The first and only League Cup to be won by Luton came as another huge upset to the mighty Arsenal, and the decider is remembered as one of the great finals in the cup's history.

The Hatters scored a surprise opener through Brian Stein early on, but goals from Martin Hayes and Alan Smith seemed to put victory in the bag for George Graham's Gunners.

However, when Andy Dibble pulled off a crucial save to deny a Nigel Winterburn penalty the momentum swung in Luton's favour, and Danny Wilson managed to level matters for the underdogs soon after.

Stein then finished what he had started, snatching victory at the death to cause the ultimate upset and deny Arsenal the silverware.

1991: Man Utd 0-1 Sheffield Wednesday

Sheffield Wednesday shelved their relegation woes from the previous season to overthrow Manchester United in the Rumbelows Cup final, in the same year they secured promotion back to the top-flight.

Sir Alex Ferguson's men were red-hot favourites to prevail having lifted the FA Cup the year before, as well as being in contention for the Cup Winners' Cup, which they went on to win.

But Ron Atkinson, managing the Owls against his former club, was the genius behind the victory as the underdogs emerged victorious at Wembley.

John Sheridan was the hero for Wednesday, finding the winner to hand the South Yorkshire side their first League Cup trophy.

2004: Bolton 1-2 Middlesbrough

After suffering anguish in the 1990s with two consecutive cup final defeats, Middlesbrough finally ended their 128-year wait for a trophy in 2004 at the Millennium Stadium.

Named, as it is now, the Carling Cup, the decider was an exciting affair from beginning to end, with Sam Allardyce's Bolton just as eager for silverware.

Boro went ahead in just two minutes as Joseph Desire Job converted the fastest goal in League Cup final history, although that record was beaten only 12 months later when John Arne Riise hit home for Liverpool in their defeat to Chelsea.

Bolton went 2-0 down barely five minutes later when Bolo Zenden converted a controversial penalty, with replays showing he kicked the ball twice.

A gaffe from Mark Schwarzer gifted Kevin Davies a consolation goal for the Trotters, but Boro managed to hang on for the trophy.

2008: Chelsea 1-2 Tottenham

The first League Cup final to be played at the new Wembley Stadium, holders Chelsea's clash with Tottenham was a thrilling encounter.

Spurs secured their first piece of silverware in nine years, with Jonathan Woodgate finding the winning goal in extra-time.

The Blues looked on course to retain the trophy 37 minutes in when Didier Drogba found the back of the net with a well-placed free-kick.

But Tottenham put themselves firmly back in the game in the second half when Dimitar Berbatov converted from the spot following a Wayne Bridge handball.

Woodgate needed just three minutes of extra-time to find the winner for Spurs, denying their London rivals a second successive trophy.

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