League Cup

From Academic Kids

The Football League Cup, commonly known as the League Cup, is an English football competition. Like the more prestigious FA Cup, it is played on a knockout (single elimination) basis. Unlike the FA Cup, only the 92 members of The Football League (who organise the competition) and FA Premier League can enter. The winners qualify for the UEFA Cup, if they have not qualified for European competition in some other way.

Since 1982 the League Cup has been named after its sponsor, giving it the following names:

  • Milk Cup (1982-1986)
  • Littlewoods Challenge Cup (1986-1990)
  • Rumbelows Cup (1990-1993)
  • Coca-Cola Cup (1993-1998)
  • Worthington Cup (1998-2003)
  • Carling Cup (2003-)

The League Cup is less prestigious than the FA Cup and when it was sponsored by Worthington, it was dubbed the Worthless Cup. It is fairly common for larger clubs to field a reserve or youth team unless they make it into the later stages.



Preliminary Round

This is only used when the number of teams in European competition affects the number of byes to the third round and it would not be easier to give a club a bye to the second round. The match(es) involve the eligible clubs who finished lowest in the English football league system last season (normally clubs promoted from Conference National).

The ties are single matches, with extra time and kicks from the penalty mark (penalty shootout) if necessary, with the winners progressing to the next round.

First Round

All clubs playing in The Football League (the Football League Championship, Football League One and Football League Two), unless they are competing in the Champions League or UEFA Cup, enter at this stage and join any Preliminary Round winners. Sometimes (depending on the number of clubs competing in Europe, whether or not they play in The Football League and whether a preliminary round would be an easier way to even up the numbers) it is necessary to give one or more clubs a bye to the second round. The clubs would be those eligible to compete in the First Round who finished highest in the English football league system last season (normally clubs relegated from the FA Premier League).

For this round, the clubs are divided in northern and southern sections (though not always equally, so there could be more clubs in one section than another). Half of the clubs from each section are seeded and half are not. First a draw is made to determine whether the seeded club is to play at home or away, and then the club is drawn against an unseeded club from their section.

The ties are single matches, with extra time and a penalty shootout if necessary, with the winners progressing to the next round.

Second Round

All clubs playing in the FA Premier League, unless they are competing in the Champions League or UEFA Cup, as well as any clubs that may have been given a bye to this round, enter at this stage and join the First Round winners.

The ties are single matches, with extra time and a penalty shootout if necessary, with the winners progressing to the next round.

Third Round

All clubs competing in the Champions League or UEFA Cup enter at this stage and join the Second Round winners (making for a total of thirty-two clubs).

The ties are single matches, with extra time and a penalty shootout if necessary, with the winners progressing to the next round.

Fourth Round

The sixteen Third Round winners compete in this round.

The ties are single matches, with extra time and a penalty shootout if necessary, with the winners progressing to the next round.


The eight Fourth Round winners compete in this round.

The ties are single matches, with extra time and a penalty shootout if necessary, with the winners progressing to the next round.


The four Quarter-Final winners compete in this round.

The ties are played over two matches (one at each club's stadium) with the aggregate score being used to determine the winners. If the scores are level at the end of the second match extra time is played. If the scores are still level at the end of extra time the club who has scored the most away goals goes through. If the number of away goals is level a penalty shootout is used to decide the winners.


The two Semi-Final winners compete to win the cup.

The tie is a single match played at a neutral stadium (currently the Millennium Stadium), with extra time and a penalty shootout if necessary.


During the late 1950s, the majority of senior English clubs equipped their grounds with floodlights. This opened up the opportunity to exploit weekday evenings throughout the Winter. The League Cup was introduced in the 1960-61 season specifically as a mid-week floodlit tournament. In the early years of the competition, many of the top teams declined to take part, and it was only when automatic entry to the UEFA Cup was promised to the winners that the full League membership took part.

Liverpool have won it the most, with seven victories including four successive trophies in the early 1980s. The present holders (2005) are Chelsea, after defeating Liverpool in the final by a scoreline of 3-2 after extra time.


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 id:Nottingham  value:rgb(0,0.3,0)     legend:Nottingham_Forest_(4)  
 id:Chelsea     value:rgb(0,0,0)       legend:Chelsea_(3) 
 id:Tottenham   value:rgb(0,0.5,0.7)   legend:Tottenham_Hotspur_(3)
 id:Leicester   value:rgb(0.6,0,0.8)   legend:Leicester_City_(3)     
 id:Arsenal     value:rgb(0.8,0.6,1)   legend:Arsenal_(2)              
 id:ManCity     value:rgb(0,1,1)       legend:Manchester_City_(2)
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 id:Wolves	     value:rgb(1,1,0.6)     legend:Wolverhampton_Wanderers_(2)
 id:Birmingham  value:rgb(0.2,0.6,1)   legend:Birmingham_City_(1)
 id:Blackburn   value:rgb(0,0,1)       legend:Blackburn_Rovers_(1) 
 id:Leeds       value:rgb(1,1,1)       legend:Leeds_(1)
 id:Luton       value:rgb(1,0.4,0)     legend:Luton_Town_(1)
 id:ManUnited   value:rgb(0,0.6,0.2)   legend:Manchester_United_(1)  
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 from:1961 till:1962 text:"1st Aston Villa 1" color:Villa
 from:1962 till:1963 text:"2nd Norwich 1" color:Norwich
 from:1963 till:1964 text:"3rd Birmingham City 1" color:Birmingham
 from:1964 till:1965 text:"4th Leicester City 1" color:Leicester
 from:1965 till:1966 text:"5th Chelsea 1" color:Chelsea
 from:1966 till:1967 text:"6th West Bromwich Albion 1" color:WBA
 from:1967 till:1968 text:"7th Queens Park Rangers 1" color:QPR
 from:1968 till:1969 text:"8th Leeds United 1" color:Leeds
 from:1969 till:1970 text:"9th Swindon Town 1" color:Swindon
 from:1970 till:1971 text:"10th Manchester City 1" color:ManCity
 from:1971 till:1972 text:"11th Tottenham Hotspur 1" color:Tottenham
 from:1972 till:1973 text:"12th Stoke City 1" color:Stoke
 from:1973 till:1974 text:"13th Tottenham Hotspur 2" color:Tottenham
 from:1974 till:1975 text:"14th Wolverhampton Wanderers 1" color:Wolves
 from:1975 till:1976 text:"15th Aston Villa 2" color:Villa
 from:1976 till:1977 text:"16th Manchester City 2" color:ManCity
 from:1977 till:1978 text:"17th Aston Villa 3" color:Villa
 from:1978 till:1979 text:"18th Nottingham Forest 1" color:Nottingham
 from:1979 till:1980 text:"19th Nottingham Forest 2" color:Nottingham
 from:1980 till:1981 text:"20th Wolverhampton Wanderers 2" color:Wolves
 from:1981 till:1982 text:"21st Liverpool 1" color:Liverpool
 from:1982 till:1983 text:"22nd Liverpool 2" color:Liverpool
 from:1983 till:1984 text:"23rd Liverpool 3" color:Liverpool
 from:1984 till:1985 text:"24th Liverpool 4" color:Liverpool
 from:1985 till:1986 text:"25th Norwich City 2" color:Norwich
 from:1986 till:1987 text:"26th Oxford United 1" color:Oxford
 from:1987 till:1988 text:"27th Arsenal 1" color:Arsenal
 from:1988 till:1989 text:"28th Luton Town 1" color:Luton
 from:1989 till:1990 text:"29th Nottingham Forest 3" color:Nottingham
 from:1990 till:1991 text:"30th Nottingham Forest 4" color:Nottingham
 from:1991 till:1992 text:"31st Sheffield Wednesday 1" color:SheffieldW
 from:1992 till:1993 text:"32nd Manchester United 1" color:ManUnited
 from:1993 till:1994 text:"33rd Arsenal 2" color:Arsenal
 from:1994 till:1995 text:"34th Aston Villa 4" color:Villa
 from:1995 till:1996 text:"35th Liverpool 5" color:Liverpool
 from:1996 till:1997 text:"36th Aston Villa 5" color:Villa
 from:1997 till:1998 text:"37th Leicester City 2" color:Leicester
 from:1998 till:1999 text:"38th Chelsea 2" color:Chelsea
 from:1999 till:2000 text:"39th Tottenham Hotspur 3" color:Tottenham
 from:2000 till:2001 text:"40th Leicester City 3" color:Leicester
 from:2001 till:2002 text:"41st Liverpool 6" color:Liverpool
 from:2002 till:2003 text:"42nd Blackburn Rovers 1" color:Blackburn
 from:2003 till:2004 text:"43rd Liverpool 7" color:Liverpool
 from:2004 till:2005 text:"44th Middlesbrough 1" color:Boro
 from:2005 till:2006 text:"45th Chelsea 3" color:Chelsea


Past winners of the League Cup

Note: * means after extra time

1961-1966 (two legs)

Year Home Team Score Away Team Venue
1961 Rotherham United 2 - 0 Aston Villa Millmoor
Aston Villa 3 - 0* Rotherham United Villa Park
Aston Villa won 3-2 on aggregate
1962 Rochdale 0 - 3 Norwich City Spotland
Norwich City 1 - 0 Rochdale Carrow Road
Norwich City won 4-0 on aggregate
1963 Birmingham City 3 - 1 Aston Villa St Andrew's Ground
Aston Villa 0 - 0 Birmingham City Villa Park
Birmingham City won 3-1 on aggregate
1964 Stoke City 1 - 1 Leicester City Victoria Ground
Leicester City 3 - 2 Stoke City Filbert Street
Leicester City won 4-3 on aggregate
1965 Chelsea 3 - 2 Leicester City Stamford Bridge
Leicester City 0 - 0 Chelsea Filbert Street
Chelsea won 3-2 on aggregate
1966 West Ham United 2 - 1 West Bromwich Albion Upton Park
West Bromwich Albion 4 - 1 West Ham United The Hawthorns
West Bromwich Albion won 5-3 on aggregate

Since 1967 (single game)

1967 Queen's Park Rangers 3 - 2 West Bromwich Albion Wembley Stadium
1968 Leeds United 1 - 0 Arsenal Wembley Stadium
1969 Swindon Town 3 - 1* Arsenal Wembley Stadium
1970 Manchester City 2 - 1* West Bromwich Albion Wembley Stadium
1971 Tottenham Hotspur 2 - 0 Aston Villa Wembley Stadium
1972 Stoke City 2 - 1 Chelsea Wembley Stadium
1973 Tottenham Hotspur 1 - 0 Norwich City Wembley Stadium
1974 Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 - 1 Manchester City Wembley Stadium
1975 Aston Villa 1 - 0 Norwich City Wembley Stadium
1976 Manchester City 2 - 1 Newcastle United Wembley Stadium
1977 Aston Villa 0 - 0* Everton Wembley Stadium
Aston Villa 1 - 1* Everton Replay - Hillsborough
Aston Villa 3 - 2* Everton Replay - Old Trafford
1978 Nottingham Forest 0 - 0* Liverpool Wembley Stadium
Nottingham Forest 1 - 0 Liverpool Replay - Old Trafford
1979 Nottingham Forest 3 - 2 Southampton Wembley Stadium
1980 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 - 0 Nottingham Forest Wembley Stadium
1981 Liverpool 1 - 1* West Ham United Wembley Stadium
Liverpool 2 - 1 West Ham United Replay - Villa Park
1982 Liverpool 3 - 1* Tottenham Hotspur Wembley Stadium
1983 Liverpool 2 - 1* Manchester United Wembley Stadium
1984 Liverpool 0 - 0* Everton Wembley Stadium
Liverpool 1 - 0 Everton Replay - Maine Road
1985 Norwich City 1 - 0 Sunderland Wembley Stadium
1986 Oxford United 3 - 0 Queen's Park Rangers Wembley Stadium
1987 Arsenal 2 - 1 Liverpool Wembley Stadium
1988 Luton Town 3 - 2 Arsenal Wembley Stadium
1989 Nottingham Forest 3 - 1 Luton Town Wembley Stadium
1990 Nottingham Forest 1 - 0 Oldham Athletic Wembley Stadium
1991 Sheffield Wednesday 1 - 0 Manchester United Wembley Stadium
1992 Manchester United 1 - 0 Nottingham Forest Wembley Stadium
1993 Arsenal 2 - 1 Sheffield Wednesday Wembley Stadium
1994 Aston Villa 3 - 1 Manchester United Wembley Stadium
1995 Liverpool 2 - 1 Bolton Wanderers Wembley Stadium
1996 Aston Villa 3 - 0 Leeds United Wembley Stadium
1997 Leicester City 1 - 1* Middlesbrough Wembley Stadium
Leicester City 1 - 0* Middlesbrough Replay - Hillsborough
1998 Chelsea 2 - 0* Middlesbrough Wembley Stadium
1999 Tottenham Hotspur 1 - 0 Leicester City Wembley Stadium
2000 Leicester City 2 - 1 Tranmere Rovers Wembley Stadium
2001 Liverpool 1 - 1* Birmingham City Millennium Stadium
Liverpool won 5-4 on penalties
2002 Blackburn Rovers 2 - 1 Tottenham Hotspur Millennium Stadium
2003 Liverpool 2 - 0 Manchester United Millennium Stadium
2004 Middlesbrough 2 - 1 Bolton Wanderers Millennium Stadium
2005 Chelsea 3 - 2* Liverpool Millennium Stadium

Related links

Football in England

League competitions

The FA

Cup competitions

FA Premier League FA Cup
The Football League (Champ, 1, 2) England
League Cup
Football Conference (Nat, N, S) FA Community Shield
Northern Premier League (Prem, 1) (women) Football League Trophy
Southern League (Prem, 1W, 1E) List of
FA Trophy
Isthmian League (Prem, 1, 2) FA Vase
English football league system Records FA NLS Cup

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Template:Football in the United Kingdom

External links

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