Manchester United's duplicate Cup draws
Manchester United have drawn the same team, Chelsea, in both the FA Cup and League Cup during the same season for the first time in seven years.
The Blues were also the opponents in 2012/13, and have become familiar foes in the cup competitions in recent times.
There have been other occasions when this has happened in the last 50 years, including meeting Arsenal at the semi-final stage of both tournaments in the 1982/83 campaign, with the Reds progressing to Wembley on two fronts - losing to Liverpool in the Milk Cup final but defeating Brighton & Hove Albion, after a replay, in the FA Cup.
Remarkably, during the 2008/09 term, this situation happened twice as we faced Tottenham and Derby County in both competitions.
For any fans thinking that playing Chelsea four times in one season feels like a lot, spare a thought for those who remember the 1971/72 campaign, when we faced Stoke City on SEVEN occasions!
Let's take a closer look at times over the past 50 years when we've drawn the same team in both the FA Cup and League Cup...
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Reds knocked the Blues out of the Carabao Cup with a 2-1 victory, thanks to a double from Marcus Rashford. The England international's incredible free-kick ensured Michy Batshuayi's strike was in vain as we progressed in the capital. Manchester City, the eventual winners, edged us out, 3-2 on aggregate, in the semi-finals. Much later in the campaign, due to the break enforced by COVID-19, we were paired with the Blues at the last-four stage of the Emirates FA Cup. The tie is to be staged at Wembley.
The Londoners had the upper hand by ending our interest in both cups during a title-winning season for Sir Alex Ferguson's Reds. A much-changed side lost a cracker 5-4, after extra-time, in the capital on Halloween with Ryan Giggs scoring twice. Javier Hernandez and Nani were also on the scoresheet. It proved to be Sir Alex's final League Cup tie and his last FA Cup clash was also against the Blues, as they won a replay 1-0, with a Demba Ba goal, following a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford. Hernandez and Wayne Rooney handed the Reds a 2-0 lead within 11 minutes, only for the Blues to reply through Eden Hazard and Ramires in the second half.
United defeated Spurs in a penalty shoot-out in the League Cup final at Wembley, following a goalless draw. The Reds won 4-1 after the stalemate, with keeper Ben Foster emerging as the hero and earning the Man-of-the-Match award. By then, we'd also eliminated Harry Redknapp's side from the FA Cup, courtesy of a 2-1 victory at Old Trafford. Dimitar Berbatov netted against his former club, with Paul Scholes also on the mark, a minute earlier. Roman Pavlyuchenko had given Spurs a fifth-minute lead.
2008/09: DERBY COUNTY
Like Spurs, Derby became familiar rivals in another rip-roaring campaign for Sir Alex's men. The Rams won the first encounter, 1-0 with a Kris Commons goal, but their lead was overturned in the second leg of the League Cup semi-final. We did not have it all our own way in a 4-2 victory but it sealed a 4-3 success on aggregate, to set up the final with Tottenham. Nani, John O'Shea and Carlos Tevez all scored in the first half, only for a Giles Barnes penalty to give County hope. Cristiano Ronaldo converted a spot-kick of our own, although Barnes added his second in stoppage time. A month later, in the FA Cup, Nani, Darron Gibson, Ronaldo and Danny Welbeck netted in a 4-1 triumph, with Miles Addison replying at Pride Park.
David Bellion found the net in the opening minute of the League Cup tie with the Gunners at Old Trafford, and that is how the scoreline stayed in the fifth-round encounter. United also did the double over Arsene Wenger's charges in the Premier League but the north Londoners exacted revenge in the final game of the season, lifting the FA Cup at the Millennium Stadium. Although the Reds dominated the 0-0 draw, Patrick Vieira converted the decisive penalty in the shoot-out after Scholes's effort was saved by Jens Lehmann.
1991/92: LEEDS UNITED
When the draw for the two tournaments was held on the same day, only one team was above the Reds in the table and, as fate would have it, we were given two assignments at Elland Road. Ferguson's side turned on the style in a 3-1 victory in the fifth round of the then-Rumbelows Cup, despite falling behind to a Gary Speed effort. Clayton Blackmore, Andrei Kanchelskis and Giggs found the net and, a week later, Mark Hughes grabbed the only goal in the third round of the FA Cup. Leeds would have the last laugh, pipping United to the final Division One title after an exhausting run-in, but we did lift the League Cup trophy for the first time in our history, courtesy of Brian McClair's winner against Nottingham Forest.
The Merseysiders were a formidable side in the mid-1980s and they won the league and European Cup Winners' Cup in this season. In October of 1984, Alan Brazil scored the opener at Old Trafford but the home side ran out 2-1 victors in the League Cup with Graeme Sharp netting and ex-Toffee John Gidman conceding a late own goal. We had better fortune in the FA Cup final at Wembley, despite being reduced to 10 men when Kevin Moran was sent off. Norman Whiteside's extra-time curler beat keeper Neville Southall to land the silverware for Ron Atkinson's side.
United met the Gunners in both semi-finals in a terrific season under Atkinson, emerging victorious on the two fronts. In February, a 4-2 success was secured in the first leg of the League Cup last-four encounter at Highbury. Whiteside, Frank Stapleton and Steve Coppell (2) did the damage, with Tony Woodcock and Peter Nicholas saving some grace for the hosts by pulling two goals back late on. The Reds completed the task at Old Trafford, with Coppell on the scoresheet again and, after Raphael Meade levelled, Moran bagged a last-minute winner on the night, to clinch a 6-3 aggregate triumph. The FA Cup tie at Villa Park was a cracker as wonderful strikes by Bryan Robson and Whiteside overturned Woodcock's first-half effort.
United progressed in the League Cup after two tussles with Spurs, losing the away leg 2-1 but bagging a crucial strike through Mickey Thomas, after John Pratt and Glenn Hoddle notched for the home side at White Hart Lane. A 3-1 victory back in Manchester completed the turnaround, with Thomas again on the mark, along with Coppell and an own goal by Paul Miller. Gerry Armstrong netted for Tottenham. The Reds had two games against the north Londoners in the 1979 FA Cup run and drew them again in the third round a year later. A replay was required again, with Sammy McIlroy converting a penalty at White Hart Lane but Spurs won 1-0 at Old Trafford. Notably, Osvaldo Ardiles claimed all three of the capital club's goals against us across those four FA Cup ties spanning two years.
1971/72: STOKE CITY
There were seven games against the Potters in this one season so here is a brief summary of the five cup clashes! In the League Cup, the sides were deadlocked after 1-1 and 0-0 draws (Alan Gowling scoring our goal) before a 2-1 loss at the Victoria Ground, with George Best firing home. Best found the net again in the FA Cup at Old Trafford, earning a replay with an 85th-minute equaliser, after future Red Jimmy Greenhoff bagged a key goal for the visitors. Best netted yet again in the replay at Stoke but, like in the League Cup tie, City hit back to win 2-1. It was after extra-time on this occasion, with Terry Conroy grabbing the winner.
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