How Have Spurs' Last 5 League Cup Finals Ended?

Spurs v Chelsea - 2014/15

It was meant to be the match Mauricio Pochettino crowned his ascent to the top of management with a piece of silverware. A swing of John Terry’s right boot put a stop to that and Tottenham Hotspur’s first final under the Argentine ended in disappointment.

Their road to Wembley came almost without a hitch, as they pushed aside mainly lower league opposition, with an in-form Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and Roberto Soldado being crucial in their cup run.

After crashing out of the FA Cup against Leicester City in late January, the League Cup stood as Tottenham’s last hope of winning a trophy. Goals either side of half-time from Chelsea skipper Terry and prolific talisman Diego Costa gave the Blues their first trophy of two that campaign, with success in the league to follow.

On the Spurs teamsheet that day? None other than Ryan Mason, the recently appointed interim boss. The then 23-year-old featured in all but two of Spurs’ matches in the competition, scoring in the third round victory against Nottingham Forest.

Spurs v United - 2008/09

Harry Redknapp and Tottenham Hotspur are synonymous with each other and such is the Englishman’s connection with the club, there were calls for the 74-year-old to be given the reigns until the end of the season after Jose Mourinho’s departure.

But before the crazy Champions League runs, wicked Gareth Bale free kicks and the bizarre touchline scraps between Joe Jordan and Gennaro Gattuso, Redknapp’s Spurs were a completely different entity.

Desperate for points in the league and on the brink of their first relegation since 1977, Tottenham went into the League Cup final against Manchester United as severe underdogs. An intense and high-octane affair, a United team containing star-studded names such as Carlos Tevez, Rio Ferdinand and Cristiano Ronaldo, needed the luxury of extra-time and then penalties to sweep aside Redknapp’s plucky side.

Making no mistake from the spot, the Champions League winners from a season prior converted all four of their penalties, with Spurs managing just the one. A second half of the season resurgence steered Tottenham clear of the drop and up to an eighth-placed finish, narrowly missing out on a European spot by two points.

Spurs v Chelsea - 2007/08

One of the League Cup’s most memorable finals and the first at the new Wembley.

A valiant Spurs resisted the force of Frank Lampard and co. to come from a goal down and lift their first trophy in just under a decade. Over 10 years later, this match remains their last taste of silverware.

A triumph that will live long in the memory of the Tottenham faithful, not least for their exploits on the route to the final, as they strolled through the competition. Spurs comprehensively brushed aside fierce rivals Arsenal in the semi-finals, winning 6-2 across the two legs. This would be the first of two League Cup finals the north London side would reach in consecutive years and much like the match against United a season later, their odds were heavily stacked against them.

Stunned by a Didier Drogba free-kick five minutes from half-time, Chelsea were well set for their third League Cup victory in four years. A fate they’d probably have secured if it weren’t for a lapse of Wayne Bridge’s concentration; adjudged to have handballed in the box, Dimitar Berbatov fired Spurs level from the spot with 20 minutes to go.

From there on in, Tottenham’s pressure was relentless and it eventually tolled in extra time. A misjudged punch from Chelsea stalwart, Petr Cech, fell onto the head of Jonathan Woodgate and Juande Ramos’ men were League Cup winners once again.

Spurs v Blackburn - 2001/02

If Tottenham have been underdogs in the majority of their final appearances in this tournament, for the 2002 edition, they were firm favourites.

A depleted Blackburn Rovers side, propped up by a 38-year-old Mark Hughes in midfield, made the Lancashire side serious outsiders and most fans were probably just happy for a day out in South Wales.

In the first of a few final to be played at the Millennium Stadium due to bulldoze of Wembley, it was one in which Spurs never got going and after prodding home off a deflected Keith Gillespie shot, Matt Jansen gave Rovers the lead mid-way through the first half.

A swift reply from Christian Ziege had Tottenham level at the break, only for a Ledley King mistake to cancel out his hard work, whose hesitancy gifted Andy Cole a tap-in and Blackburn the trophy deep into the second half. A crushing defeat for Spurs legend turned manager, Glenn Hoddle, who won the FA Cup twice with the club as a player in 1981 and 1982.

Spurs v Leicester - 1998/99

Tottenham hadn’t reached a cup final since they despatched Nottingham Forest in the 1991 FA Cup final – their last triumph in that competition to date. Buoyed with the name on every Premier League fans lips, David Ginola, Spurs were looking to replicate the success of seven years prior and leave the national stadium with silverware.

In a scrappy affair, Tottenham and Leicester traded blows, but neither managed a knockout. The liveliest spark in the match came from a fresh-faced 23-year-old Robbie Savage, whose efforts seemed to focus more on getting himself sent off, rather than helping the Foxes win the cup.

Crawling into added time still goalless, it was a fixture destined for 30 more minutes. Two years down the line, Leicester goalkeeper Kasey Keller would be a Spurs player himself, yet the American endeared himself to his future employers when he palmed a stop right onto the head of Allan Nielsen.

Nodding home in the 92nd minute, the Norwegian’s finish gave Tottenham their first League Cup victory since the early 1970s. A landmark victory for a side desperate for a trophy.

By Amos Murphy


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