How Good is Liverpool FC’s Record in Cup Finals?

- - Trophies

Two Red Trophies IconLiverpool’s trip to Wembley Stadium for the Carabao Cup final will be the 14th time that they have contested the trophy game of the League Cup in its various guises.

The good news for Reds fans is that they have a pretty good record in the final of this particular competition – experiencing the joy of the trophy lift more often than the agony of defeat and the long trip home up the M1 and M6.

They are 1-1 in the League Cup final under Jurgen Klopp’s guidance, so can they break out and make it 2-1 in his final season in charge?

And how good has Liverpool’s record been in finals over the years?

Champions League Final

Played Won Win Ratio
10 6 60%

The crème da le crème of European football has been called various things over the years, with the European Cup – followed by the Champions League – the most notable identities.

The Reds made their first appearance in the European Cup final in the 1976/77 season, winning courtesy of a 3-1 defeat of Borussia M’gladbach in Rome. Goals from Terry McDermott, Tommy Smith and a Phil Neal penalty proving decisive as Liverpool got their hands on the famous trophy for the first time.

It set into motion an outstanding run of form in the European Cup, with the Reds also winning their next three appearances in the final:

  • 1977/78 – Liverpool 1-0 Club Brugge
  • 1980/81 – Liverpool 1-0 Real Madrid
  • 1983/84 – Liverpool 1-1 Roma (Reds win on penalties)

It’s an extraordinary run of results against some of the best club sides in the world, and it’s remarkable that the Reds didn’t taste defeat in a European Cup final until the fifth time of asking – a penalty from Michel Platini breaking the travelling Reds’ fans hearts in Brussels back in 1985 as they went down 0-1 to Juventus, to the backdrop of the tragic events of the Heysel Stadium disaster.

The Reds wouldn’t return to the Champions League final until 20 years later – and you probably won’t need much reminding about the miracle of Istanbul! Three down at half-time to AC Milan, Rafa Benitez must have given the greatest team talk of his life as Steven Gerrard, Vladimir Smicer and Xavi Alonso all netted in the space of seven second-half minutes.

Both teams had chances to win the game in regulation and extra time, but it would be a dreaded penalty shootout to determine the destination of the trophy.

Liverpool’s task was made all the easier when both Serginho and Andrea Pirlo missed their spot kicks, so successful strikes from Didi Hamann, Djibril Cisse and Smicer put one hand on the silverware.

Andriy Shevchenko missed the fifth and final Milan penalty, with Reds keeper Jerzy Dudek saving his second spot kick to propel Liverpool to yet another European triumph.

Defeats in the 2007 and 2018 finals were hurtful, but the Reds got back to winning ways in the biggest club game of them all in 2019 – Mo Salah’s second-minute penalty the ice-breaker for a comfortable 2-0 victory over Spurs.

But you wonder if Klopp feels like there’s unfinished business after losing his last Champions League final with the club – the 2022 loss to Real Madrid still no doubt painfully vivid in the memory.

However, all told, Liverpool do have a winning record in European Cup and Champions League finals.

Liverpool in the Europa League Final

Played Won Win Ratio
4 3 75%

The Reds have played in the final of what can be described as continental football’s second-tier event on four separate occasions.

Prior to their ascension to European Cup glory, Liverpool twice won the UEFA Cup in the 1970s – ironically defeating Borussia M’gladbach and Brugge, who they would later beat in those European Cup finals, in 1973 and 1876 respectively.

The new millennium brought that famous season in which the Reds won a cup treble – an own goal in extra time securing a rollercoaster 5-4 victory over Alaves in the UEFA Cup final, to go with victories in the FA Cup and League Cup finals.

The 2016 Europa League saw Liverpool’s one and only defeat in the competition’s final – Sevilla taking the spoils in Basel.

Liverpool in the FA Cup Final

Played Won Win Ratio
15 8 53%

It would take too long to list all of Liverpool’s FA Cup final appearances – a competition they first played in way back in 1892!

Over the course of their 15 FA Cup finals – the first coming way back in 1914, the most recent in 2022 – Liverpool have won eight and lost seven of the showpiece occasion.

That 2022 victory on penalties over Chelsea was special – it was the 150th anniversary of the FA Cup, after all, and marked the first time that the Reds had gotten their hands on the iconic trophy since 2006.

Liverpool’s first FA Cup triumph came back in 1965, while the 2001 win against Arsenal is considered one of the best finals in the competition’s history.

The most satisfying FA Cup wins in Liverpool’s history? Surely the 1986 and 1989 victories over Everton!

Liverpool in the League Cup Final

Played Won Win Ratio
13 9 69%

Although the League Cup is considered the poor relation of the FA Cup, it’s a competition that has been very good to Liverpool over the years – a very healthy 69% win rate from 13 finals telling its own tale.

The pinnacle was perhaps the fourth consecutive trophy hoists between 1981 and 1984 – three of those seasons ultimately ending up with Liverpool as treble winners as they bossed the old First Division too.

Of the modern era, the 2003 victory over Manchester United was particularly satisfying – Owen and Steven Gerrard on the scoresheet in a 2-0 win, while the 2022 final will forever be remembered for that astonishing penalty shootout against Chelsea, which saw 20 consecutive spot kicks netted before Blues keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga ended the drama by blazing over.

It was Klopp’s first domestic cup win as Liverpool boss in a truly unforgettable tenure in charge.

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