Wayne Rooney lifts the League Cup.

League Cup history: Facts and figures

Tuesday 22 September 2020 09:35

The League Cup is 60 years old this week and Manchester United have had an interesting association with the competition since our very first game at Exeter City.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side travel to Luton Town on Tuesday night, hoping to go a step further than in 2019/20, when the Reds reached the semi-finals but were beaten 3-2 on aggregate by Manchester City, the eventual winners, despite victory in the second leg at the Etihad Stadium.

Ahead of the third-round Carabao Cup tie, we take a look at some of the stats and facts from our history in the competition...

See how United lifted the trophy against Wigan Athletic in 2006.


It all started for United in the League Cup with a 1-1 draw at Exeter's St James Park in 1960. Alex Dawson's 78th-minute equaliser cancelled out a goal by Graham Rees. Back at Old Trafford, the Reds secured a 4-1 victory, through goals from Albert Quixall (two), Johnny Giles and Mark Pearson. We were then knocked out, 2-1 by Bradford City, in the next round.


Due to the tournament not enjoying such a high status at the time and also our European commitments in certain seasons, the club did not compete again in the League Cup until 1966 and it proved an unhappy return as Blackpool won 5-1 at Bloomfield Road. We did not participate again until 1969, with Middlesbrough beaten 1-0 at Old Trafford, and entry was made compulsory in 1971.


Ron Atkinson's team reached Wembley in 1983, the same year we also won the FA Cup. Norman Whiteside opened the scoring with a clever goal but Ray Kennedy levelled before Ronnie Whelan's curler past Gary Bailey won it for the Merseysiders in extra-time.


We did not get our hands on the trophy until 1992, a year after losing to Sheffield Wednesday, managed by Atkinson, with Mancunian John Sheridan grabbing the only goal. Brian McClair was the matchwinner against Nottingham Forest but we then lost our next two finals - against Aston Villa (1994) and Liverpool (2003).

However, the Reds have won our last four finals - beating Wigan Athletic 4-0, Tottenham (on penalties after a 0-0 draw), Aston Villa (2-1) and, most recently, Southampton in 2017.

Watch as Ben Foster is the hero of the shoot-out win over Tottenham in 2009.


McClair is our goal king in the competition, with that winner against Forest one of 19 he struck in total in the League Cup. The Scot's former strike-partner Mark Hughes is in second spot with 16 goals, with Ryan Giggs in third on 12. Lou Macari (10) is the only other player to reach double figures. 

Marcus Rashford is the leading current marksman with seven, the same figure recorded by his manager Solskjaer.


Gordon Hill netted our first League Cup treble, in a 7-2 victory over Newcastle in 1976. Hughes (twice), McClair and Lee Sharpe have also hit hat-tricks in the competition. Carlos Tevez is the last man to take the match-ball home from a League Cup tie, after bagging four in a 5-3 success against Blackburn Rovers at Old Trafford in 2008.


The aforementioned 7-2 thrashing of Newcastle in 1976 comes out on top here, with Stewart Houston, Stuart Pearson, Steve Coppell and Jimmy Nicholl also in on the act, in addition to Hill's hat-trick.

The Reds have also registered 5-0 wins over Tranmere Rovers (1976), Hull City (1987) and Rotherham United (1988) and, famously, won 6-2 at Arsenal in November, 1990.

The new season is here. Our 2020/21 home, away and third kits are available now from United Direct.