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The trophy of the EFL Cup

The EFL Cup (until 2016 Football League Cup , currently called Carabao Cup through name sponsorship ) is a cup competition in English football . Like the better known and more prestigious FA Cup , it is played in the knockout system . Unlike in the FA Cup, only the 92 members of the English Football League , which organizes the competition itself, and the clubs of the Premier League are eligible to start. The winner of the EFL Cup qualifies for the UEFA Europa League (until 2008 for the UEFA Cup).

In terms of importance, the EFL Cup is clearly overshadowed by the FA Cup and was also mocked at the time of sponsorship by the brewer Worthington & Co. , the Worthless Cup (in German: "Worthless Cup"). The derogatory term Mickey Mouse Cup is also in use . The top clubs tend to use reserve or youth players in EFL Cup games.

Format of the competition

With the exception of the semi-finals, the encounters are individual games which, in the event of a draw , will be decided in a penalty shoot-out after 90 minutes . The winners advance to the next round of the competition.

Preliminary round

A preliminary round is only played if the number of clubs taking part in the European competitions influences the number of byes for clubs in the second round and thus does not lead to more byes in the first round (see also the regulations for this) in the first and second round). The games are usually played between clubs at the bottom of the table in the fourth division, i.e. Football League Two , and usually relate to the clubs that have just been promoted from the fifth division, the Conference National .

First round

All clubs in the English Football League (EFL) , i.e. the second to fourth leagues ( Football League Championship , Football League One and Football League Two), enter the cup in this round, provided they do not participate in the UEFA Europa League . Previously played winners from the preliminary round complete the field of participants. Sometimes it is necessary, because of the clubs active in Europe, to distribute a first-round bye for one or more clubs. This could be the case when (or not) EFL clubs have qualified in Europe and when a previous preliminary round was a better way to construct an even number of games. The clubs that can get a bye this way are the highest ranked clubs in the EFL. As a rule, these are the clubs that have just been relegated from the Premier League.

In the first round, the clubs are assigned to the northern or southern region, although this does not always result in two equal parts, so that one of the parts prevails. Half of the clubs are seeded in each area and it is determined whether the seeded club has to play a home or away game. In the next step, one of the unset clubs from the same region is drawn as opponents.

Second round

In addition to the winners of the first round, the Premier League clubs are now entering the competition. This does not apply to all clubs participating in the UEFA Champions League or Europa League.

Third round

All clubs that take part in the Champions League or Europa League now enter the competition and complete a field of 32 clubs with the winners of the second round.

Round of 16 and quarter finals

Both rounds are played in the knockout system. The same rules apply as before.


The four winners of the quarter-finals take part in this round.

The two matches will be played in two games each, with each club playing a home and an away game against its opponent. The winners, determined by adding up the two game results, move on to the final. If the added result leads to a draw, the game will be decided on penalties. The away goals rule has been removed from the EFL Cup since the 2018/19 season and a tie immediately leads to a penalty shoot-out. The final game is an exception


The two winners of the semi-finals will compete against each other in the final at Wembley Stadium and determine the winner of the EFL Cup.

The English federation is currently awarding a starting place for the Europa League to the EFL Cup winner. Instead of being sixth in the Premier League, he takes on the third qualifying round of the Europa League.

Should the EFL Cup winner be otherwise, e.g. For example, to qualify for an international competition by winning an international title or by reaching at least 5th place in the Premier League, then it is not the losing finalist, but another Premier League participant, generally the sixth in the table, who moves up. But if there is a successor through the FA Cup, the table seventh is usually nominated for the Europa League.


During the 1950s, the major English clubs added floodlights to their stadiums . This gave them the opportunity to use the evenings on weekdays in winter too. The introduction of the Football League Cup, abbreviated League Cup, in the 1960/61 season was a direct reaction to this development and was explicitly introduced as a competition that was played in the middle of a week under floodlights. In the beginning, the League Cup was rejected by many clubs and it was solely thanks to the ability to qualify for the UEFA Cup that all clubs later took part in the competition.

Liverpool FC is the record holder with eight wins and was even able to win the cup four times in a row in the 1980s. The last win came in 2012 against Cardiff City .

When the League Cup organizer, the Football League, changed its name to English Football League (EFL) in 2016 , the name of the Football League Cup was also changed to EFL Cup .


Since 1982 the EFL Cup has been held under a changing name of the current sponsor:

  • 1982–1986 Milk Cup (British milk association)
  • 1986–1990 Littlewoods Challenge Cup
  • 1990–1993 Rumbelows Cup (consumer electronics trade)
  • 1993–1998 Coca-Cola Cup
  • 1998–2003 Worthington Cup (beer brand)
  • 2003–2012 Carling Cup
  • 2012–2016 Capital One Cup
  • 2016–2017 EFL Cup (without sponsor)
  • 2017– 0000Carabao Cup (beverage brand)

The finals at a glance

year Venue (s) winner Result finalist
1960/61 Millmoor /
Villa Park
Aston Villa 0: 2/3: 0 a.d. Rotherham United
1961/62 Spotland Stadium /
Carrow Road
Norwich City 3-0 / 1-0 Rochdale AFC
1962/63 St. Andrew's Stadium /
Villa Park
Birmingham City 3: 1/0: 0 Aston Villa
1963/64 Victoria Ground /
Filbert Street
Leicester City 1: 1/3: 2 Stoke City
1964/65 Stamford Bridge /
Filbert Street
Chelsea FC 3: 2/0: 0 Leicester City
1965/66 Upton Park /
The Hawthorns
West Bromwich Albion 1: 2/4: 1 West Ham United
1966/67 Wembley Stadium Queens Park Rangers 3: 2 West Bromwich Albion
1967/68 Wembley Stadium Leeds United 1-0 Arsenal FC
1968/69 Wembley Stadium Swindon Town 3: 1 a.d. Arsenal FC
1969/70 Wembley Stadium Manchester City 2: 1 a.d. West Bromwich Albion
1970/71 Wembley Stadium Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Aston Villa
1971/72 Wembley Stadium Stoke City 2: 1 Chelsea FC
1972/73 Wembley Stadium Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Norwich City
1973/74 Wembley Stadium Wolverhampton Wanderers 2: 1 Manchester City
1974/75 Wembley Stadium Aston Villa 1-0 Norwich City
1975/76 Wembley Stadium Manchester City 2: 1 Newcastle United
1976/77 Wembley Stadium /
Hillsborough Stadium /
Old Trafford
Aston Villa 0: 0 n.V. / 1: 1 n.V. / 3: 2 n.V. Everton FC
1977/78 Wembley Stadium /
Old Trafford
Nottingham Forest 0: 0 n.v. / 1: 0 Liverpool FC
1978/79 Wembley Stadium Nottingham Forest 3: 2 Southampton FC
1979/80 Wembley Stadium Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 Nottingham Forest
1980/81 Wembley Stadium /
Villa Park
Liverpool FC 1: 1 n.V. / 2: 1 West Ham United
1981/82 Wembley Stadium Liverpool FC 3: 1 a.d. Tottenham Hotspur
1982/83 Wembley Stadium Liverpool FC 2: 1 a.d. Manchester United
1983/84 Wembley Stadium /
Maine Road
Liverpool FC 0: 0 n.v. / 1: 0 Everton FC
1984/85 Wembley Stadium Norwich City 1-0 Sunderland AFC
1985/86 Wembley Stadium Oxford United 3-0 Queens Park Rangers
1986/87 Wembley Stadium Arsenal FC 2: 1 Liverpool FC
1987/88 Wembley Stadium Luton Town 3: 2 Arsenal FC
1988/89 Wembley Stadium Nottingham Forest 3: 1 Luton Town
1989/90 Wembley Stadium Nottingham Forest 1-0 Oldham Athletic
1990/91 Wembley Stadium Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 Manchester United
1991/92 Wembley Stadium Manchester United 1-0 Nottingham Forest
1992/93 Wembley Stadium Arsenal FC 2: 1 Sheffield Wednesday
1993/94 Wembley Stadium Aston Villa 3: 1 Manchester United
1994/95 Wembley Stadium Liverpool FC 2: 1 Bolton Wanderers
1995/96 Wembley Stadium Aston Villa 3-0 Leeds United
1996/97 Wembley Stadium /
Hillsborough Stadium
Leicester City 1: 1 a.d. / 1: 0 a.d. Middlesbrough FC
1997/98 Wembley Stadium Chelsea FC 2: 0 a.d. Middlesbrough FC
1998/99 Wembley Stadium Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Leicester City
1999/2000 Wembley Stadium Leicester City 2: 1 Tranmere Rovers
2000/01 Millennium Stadium Liverpool FC 1: 1 n.v. / 5: 4 i. E. Birmingham City
2001/02 Millennium Stadium Blackburn Rovers 2: 1 Tottenham Hotspur
2002/03 Millennium Stadium Liverpool FC 2-0 Manchester United
2003/04 Millennium Stadium Middlesbrough FC 2: 1 Bolton Wanderers
2004/05 Millennium Stadium Chelsea FC 3: 2 a.d. Liverpool FC
2005/06 Millennium Stadium Manchester United 4-0 Wigan Athletic
2006/07 Millennium Stadium Chelsea FC 2: 1 Arsenal FC
2007/08 Wembley Stadium Tottenham Hotspur 2: 1 a.d. Chelsea FC
2008/09 Wembley Stadium Manchester United 0: 0 n.v. / 4: 1 i. E. Tottenham Hotspur
2009/10 Wembley Stadium Manchester United 2: 1 Aston Villa
2010/11 Wembley Stadium Birmingham City 2: 1 Arsenal FC
2011/12 Wembley Stadium Liverpool FC 2: 2 n.V. / 3: 2 i. E. Cardiff City
2012/13 Wembley Stadium Swansea City 5-0 Bradford City
2013/14 Wembley Stadium Manchester City 3: 1 Sunderland AFC
2014/15 Wembley Stadium Chelsea FC 2-0 Tottenham Hotspur
2015/16 Wembley Stadium Manchester City 1: 1 n.V. / 3: 1 i. E. Liverpool FC
2016/17 Wembley Stadium Manchester United 3: 2 Southampton FC
2017/18 Wembley Stadium Manchester City 3-0 Arsenal FC
2018/19 Wembley Stadium Manchester City 0: 0 n.v. / 4: 3 i. E. Chelsea FC
2019/20 Wembley Stadium Manchester City 2: 1 Aston Villa

Ranking list of winners

rank society Victories Year (s)
1 Liverpool FC 8th 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1995, 2001, 2003, 2012
2 Manchester City 7th 1970, 1976, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020
3 Aston Villa 5 1961, 1975, 1977, 1994, 1996
Chelsea FC 5 1965, 1998, 2005, 2007, 2015
Manchester United 5 1992, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2017
6th Tottenham Hotspur 4th 1971, 1973, 1991, 2008
Nottingham Forest 4th 1978, 1979, 1989, 1990
8th Leicester City 3 1964, 1997, 2000
9 Arsenal FC 2 1987, 1993
Norwich City 2 1962, 1985
Birmingham City 2 1963, 2011
Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 1974, 1980

The following teams have won the EFL Cup once:

Blackburn Rovers, Leeds United, Luton Town, Middlesbrough FC, Oxford United, Queens Park Rangers, Sheffield Wednesday, Stoke City, Swansea City, Swindon Town, West Bromwich Albion

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Carabao Cup: 2018/19: Carabao Cup rule changes. June 8, 2018, accessed January 24, 2019 .
  2. Goodbye Football League, hello English Football League: rebranding announced In: The Guardian from November 12, 2015 (accessed July 14, 2020)