The Best XI League Cup finals

The MirrorFootball Best XI is our new feature celebrating the very best of the beautiful game. Each list has been compiled by our expert reporters and, moving forward, we'll update them as and when to ensure they remain definitive guides.

This week: The Best XI League Cup finals


11) Tottenham 2-1 Chelsea (2008)

The all-London affair in 2008 was the first League Cup final held at the new Wembley stadium and the two sides produced a memorable match.

Didier Drogba's superbly-struck 37th-minute free kick gave the Blues a halftime lead, but Spurs came roaring back after the break. Dimitar Berbatov's spot-kick punished Wayne Bridge's handball, before Jonathan Woodgate won it for Spurs deep into stoppage time.

10) Stoke City 2-1 Chelsea (1972)

The Potters secured a memorable League Cup win back in 1972 with victory over Chelsea in front of 98,000 fans at Wembley.

Flame-haired midfielder Terry Conroy have Stoke an early lead inside five minutes, only for Peter Osgood to grab an equaliser right on halftime. Stoke needed a hero, and 35-year-old George Eastham to score a 67th-minute winner and send the Cup back to the Potteries.

9) Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal (2007)

Chelsea figure once again, but this time they were on the winning side as a Didier Drogba-inspired Blues side defeated a young Arsenal XI to claim victory.

Theo Walcott opened the scoring with his first goal for the Gunners before Drogba pounced twice to seal victory in a bad-tempered affair that finished in a mass brawl and three red cards.

8) Nottingham Forest 3-2 Southampton (1979)

Brian Clough never won the FA Cup, but he won the League Cup four times, with Forest's 1979 victory being arguably the best of the bunch.

Saints fullback Dave Peach gave the Saints the lead on 16 minutes, but a second half brace from Garry Birtles and a crucial third from Tony Woodcock guaranteed the win. Nick Holmes' 88th minute strike jangled Forest nerves, but Clough's men held on.

7) Manchester City 2-1 Newcastle United 1 (1976)

Ask a long-standing City fan about this game and their abiding memory will almost certainly be the winning goal.

Peter Barnes gave City an 11th-minute lead, but Alan Gowling's strike ten minutes before halftime levelled the scores. But just one minute into the second half Dennis Tueart produced a brilliant overhead kick to win the Cup for City.

6) Aston Villa 3-2 Everton (2nd replay, 1977)

It took two replays to settle the 1977 final and the deciding game proved to be an absolute cracker.

Bob Latchford gave Everton the lead before Villa centre half produced a stunning 40-yard striker to equalise and, with Everton still reeling, Brian Little put Villa in front.

Amazingly, the Toffees bounced back immediately and drew level just two minutes later through Mick Lyons, but Villa - and Little - had the last laugh, with the striker scoring an extra-time clincher.

5) Swindon Town 3-1 Arsenal (1969)

Few gave Swindon a chance against Arsenal, but the Robins turned the form book upside down with a remarkable 3-1 win.

Roger Smart gave Swindon the lead, only for Bobby Gould to level for the Gunners with just four minutes remaining. Then Swindon's Don Rogers became the hero, netting twice in extra time to send the cup back to Wiltshire.

4) Chelsea 3-2 (aet) Liverpool (2005)

Another extended final saw Chelsea and Liverpool produce an extra-time thriller at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

John Arne Riise's first-minute goal gave Liverpool the lead, but a Steven Gerrard own-goal with 11 minutes to go handed Chelsea a late lifeline.

Goals from Didier Drogba and Mateja Kezman handed Chelsea the crucial advantage in extra time, with Antonio Nunez's goal proving too little too late as Jose Mourinho claimed his first trophy as Chelsea manager.

3) Birmingham 1-1 (aet) Liverpool (Liverpool won 5-4 on penalties, 2001)

Robbie Fowler looked to have won the cup for Liverpool through an exquisite volley, only for a 90th-minute Darren Purse penalty to force the game into extra time.

Neither side could add to the score during the extended period, meaning the cup would be decided on penalties, when Andy Johnson's miss proved to be the killer for Birmingham and gave Liverpool the first leg of their memorable treble that season.

2) Birmingham 2-1 Arsenal (2011)

Last season's League Cup final produced one of the biggest shocks in recent years as Birmingham stunned Arsenal with just one minute of the game remaining.

Birmingham took the lead when Roger Johnson's header deflected in off lanky frontman Nikola Zigi, but the Gunners responded through a superb Robin Van Persie volley. But there was a sting in the tail for Arsenal, as a mix-up between keeper Wojciech Szczesny and centre half Laurent Koscielny gifted a goal to Obafemi Martins with 89 minutes on the clock.

1) Luton 3-2 Arsenal (1988)

The Hatters were celebrating in 1988 when Brian Stein's double gave Luton a memorable win against an Arsenal side that would go on to win the title the following season.

Stein gave Luton the lead, but two Arsenal goals in three second half minutes from Martin Hayes and Alan Smith looked to have put the Hatters in their place.

But Luton came back strongly and Danny Wilson's 82nd minute equaliser gave them hope. Stein's 90th minute winner gave them a moment to remember forever.

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