Both Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur have had long and storied histories in the Capital One Cup. Both teams have had their share of wins and losses in the Final too, which makes Sunday’s matchup between the bitter rivals all the more intriguing.
Earlier today we took a look at Chelsea’s history in the once League Cup, now Capital One Cup. It’s now time to take a look at the interesting and long history between the North London club and this cup competition.
1971 – Spurs 2-0 Aston Villa
Tottenham’s first foray in to the League Cup final was a successful one, but it shouldn’t have been all that surprising. Despite the historic nature of Villa as a club, the 1971 version of the club was in the third tier of England and struggling to get back up to the top level which it had belonged to for most of its history.
Spurs were still trotting out some of the biggest names in club history under historic manager Bill Nicholson too. Legends like Pat Jennings, Martin Chivers and Steve Perryman all started the final. Chivers would play the hero in this cup final, as he ended a 0-0 draw in the 79th minute and then put it out of reach three minutes later for the 2-0 final score.
It was about as dominant a run to lifting the cup as one could imagine for Spurs, as they gave up just three goals in seven matches.
1973 – Spurs 1-0 Norwich City
Talk about an unlikely pairing and an unlikely hero, but such was the case in Spurs’ return to the League Cup final. Many of the participants from the ’71 final were back, but it would be a substitute that did the deed for the Lillywhites.
After an injury saw defender John Pratt off in the 25th minute, it would be his replacement, Ralph Coates, that would be the memorable name from this match.
1982 – Spurs 1-3 Liverpool
After a nearly decade of missing out on the League Cup final, Spurs returned to Wembley looking to make Ossie’s dream of lifting the cup a reality for a second year in a row. It was hard not to like their chances either, as Spurs were one of the best teams in English soccer at the time and ran through the League Cup without conceding a goal up until the final.
This may have been the most entertaining of the finals played by the club up to that point in time as well. Liverpool and Spurs drew 1-1 after full-time, but the Lillywhites didn’t have the extra time luck and conceded two goals in extra time as Liverpool hoisted the cup.
Spurs only had themselves to blame though, as Steve Archibald opened up the scoring with a goal in the 11th minute but weren’t able to hang on to the lead as Liverpool equalized in the 87th minute.
1999 – Spurs 1-0 Leicester City
It would take 17 years, but Spurs finally made a return to the League Cup final…only this time the cup was known as the Worthington Cup. No mind the name, Spurs’ history with the cup was already pretty legendary.
Spurs cemented that legend and the importance of the cup to the club with it’s third victory in four finals. This time Tottenham took care of the business of lifting the cup in dramatic fashion, as Allan Nielsen went all diving header past American goalkeeper Kasey Keller (who would later don the Spurs kit as well).
2002 – Spurs 1-2 Blackburn Rovers
Once again an American goalkeeper would play an integral part in a cup final, unfortunately for Spurs it wasn’t the same good fortune for them, as Blackburn keeper Brad Friedel would be named man of the match for his efforts at stopping Spurs from scoring bunches of goals.
Instead, it was Spurs’ keeper letting one too many in to the back of the net, as forwards Matt Jansen and Andy Cole would score goals in the 2-1 victory.
2008 – Spurs 2-1 Chelsea
It took five years, but the two rivals are back at it again in the Capital One cup final. Spurs fans will hope for much of the same on Sunday as they got in 2008, as the North London club was well below their West London rivals in the EPL table but still got the result it needed to lift a cup that season.
2009 – Spurs 0-0 Manchester United (4-1 Man U on penalties)
History was made in this League Cup final, as the match went to penalty kicks for only the second time in the 49-year history of the competition. Unfortunately, Spurs couldn’t hit the mark in the penalty shootout, mishitting two of the three opportunities, while the Red Devils struck on all four of their penalties.
It was a shame, as both teams came in with some of the best goal scorers in the competition and the whole of England at the time. Spurs’ Roman Pavlyuchenko scored in every League Cup match he played up until the final, while Carlos Tevez of Manchester United netted six goals himself in the competition.