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Carabao Cup

The Carabao Cup countdown

25 July 2021

This season’s Carabao Cup is almost here, so we have delved into the EFL archives to come up with odd facts, crazy games and memorable moments.

8 - Manchester City drew level with Liverpool on two counts in last season’s competition. Their fourth successive triumph matched the Reds’ feat from 1981-84, while it also pulled them alongside in terms of overall wins, with eight apiece. No other club has won the competition more than five times.

4 - On the managerial front, Pep Guardiola eclipsed Bob Paisley’s three triumphs with Liverpool with his fourth win last season and has matched Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United), Brian Clough (Nottingham Forest) and José Mourinho (3 Chelsea, 1 Manchester United). Pep’s wins have come in four seasons, while Fergie’s spanned a remarkable 19 campaigns.

10-0 – Biggest wins

West Ham United 10 Bury 0, Round Two, Second leg, 25 October 1983

West Ham had never managed double figures in the club’s proud history until four goals from Tony Cottee and two apiece from Trevor Brooking and Alan Devonshire led them past Bury at Upton Park. There was a symmetry about the Hammers’ success, too, with five goals coming in each half to secure a 12-1 aggregate victory.

Liverpool 10 Fulham 0, Round Two, First leg, 23 September 1986

Third Division Fulham travelled to Anfield more in hope than expectation to face Kenny Dalglish’s Liverpool, Double-winners the previous season. That hope was extinguished early when Ian Rush scored the first of his two goals. John Wark also managed two, but the star was midfielder Steve McMahon, who ventured forward to score four times.

32 – Most penalties taken in a shoot-out

Will any penalty shoot-out match the drama of Derby County’s epic 14-13 victory over Carlisle United in August 2016 when 27 of a competition record 32 spot-kicks were scored following a 1-1 Round Two draw? So long did the shoot-out go on that a total of nine players (four from Carlisle, five from Derby) converted two penalties each.

12 - Highest-scoring games

Reading 5-7 Arsenal (aet), Round Four, 30 October 2012

Remarkably, Reading took a 4-0 first-half lead at the Madejski Stadium in this whirlwind Round Four tie which featured nine different goalscorers. Theo Walcott’s dinked finish, the first goal of his hat-trick, on the stroke of half-time was perhaps the pivotal moment as it gave Arsenal hope. They scored three more in the second half to take it into extra-time where, finally, Marouane Chamakh sealed a stunning comeback with an audacious lob.

Dagenham & Redbridge 6-6 Brentford (aet), Round One, 12 August 2014

Football logic seemed to apply in this London derby when Stuart Dallas scored twice in the first nine minutes to give Brentford a comfortable 2-0 lead. Logic and comfort had no further parts to play, however. The crazy nature of the contest was summed up in extra-time when 18-year-old Montell Moore put Brentford 5-4 ahead, only for a player 20 years his senior, Jamie Cureton, to equalise three minutes later. The tie was eventually settled on penalties with Brentford winning 4-2.

All-time leading scorers

Ian Rush – 50 goals (for Liverpool, Leeds United, Newcastle United)

Geoff Hurst – 50 goals (for West Ham United, Stoke City)

Ian Wright – 38 goals (for Crystal Palace, Arsenal, West Ham United)

6 - Most goals scored by one player in a single EFL Cup tie

Frankie Bunn, Oldham v Scarborough, Round Three, 25 October 1989

Oldham Athletic’s run to the 1990 Final was sparked into life in Round Three when Bunn, hardly a prolific striker with just 32 goals in his 154 career appearances prior to joining the Latics, scored six times in a 7-0 Round Three victory over Scarborough. He had five to his name before half-time.

23 - Number of different winning Clubs

12 – The number of former winners in this season’s Round One. They are:

Birmingham City, Blackburn Rovers, Luton Town, Middlesbrough, Nottingham Forest, Oxford United, Queens Park Rangers, Sheffield Wednesday, Stoke City, Swansea City, Swindon Town, West Bromwich Albion.

3 – The number of different trophies handed out in the competition.

The current three-handled Georgian-style urn, which weighs almost 3kg, has been used for all but 10 years of the Cup’s history. It took a breather after the 1980/81 edition when two successive sponsors (the Milk Marketing Board and Littlewoods) produced their own trophies, but returned for the 1989/90 campaign. Only four Clubs – Liverpool, Norwich City, Arsenal and Nottingham Forest – have lifted more than one of the trophies.

Finally, do you remember these famous giant-killing wins?

Third-tier Queens Park Rangers came from 2-0 down to beat top-flight West Bromwich Albion 3-2 in the first Final at Wembley in 1966/67. Clive Clark put Albion two goals ahead, but Rangers roared back through Roger Morgan and a young Rodney Marsh before the appropriately named Mark Lazarus completed the comeback.

York City beat Manchester United 3-0 at Old Trafford in Round One, first leg in 1995/96. Despite Ferguson loading the United side with the likes of Paul Scholes and Eric Cantona, United could only win the second leg at Bootham Crescent 3-1, which meant third-tier York went through 4-3 on aggregate.

Having already eliminated Premier League Wigan Athletic and Arsenal, Bradford City defied all-known football logic to become the first fourth-tier side since Rochdale in the competition’s inaugural season (in 1961/62) to reach the Final when they overcame Aston Villa 4-3 on aggregate in the Semi-Finals in 2012/13.

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