Liverpool are approaching the 10-year anniversary of their last League Cup Final victory against Cardiff City in 2012.

And later this week they have a chance to win the same competition for a record 9th time – and end a decade drought for a domestic cup trophy.

The Roy Hodgson era

A decade ago, Liverpool were a shadow of their former self.

Having not won a major trophy since a FA Cup victory against West Ham in 2006, the club were in dire straits.

In 2010, Liverpool looked at Fulham’s Roy Hodgson to became the new Liverpool manager.

After a dreadful spell at the club in the 2010-11 season, Hodgson was dismissed.

His brief tenure included a humiliating defeat to League 2 side Northampton Town in the third round of the League Cup.

The iconic club, who at this point had not won a league title for over 20 years, wanted to return to its former glory.

The return of the King

Who better to steer the club in the right direction, than reappointing the very man who won Liverpool their last league title, Kenny Dalglish.

Under Dalglish, the ship was steadied, guiding the side to a commendable 6th place finish.

The Anfield side galvanised, they wanted the opportunity to add more silverware to the trophy cabinet.

In the 2011-12, Dalglish guided Liverpool to the final of the League Cup against Cardiff City.

A roundhouse performance at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea, cemented Liverpool’s place in the semi-finals.

Maxi Rodriguez and Martin Kelly scored a five-minute brace in the second half.

This maintained Dalglish’s 13-game unbeaten run against the Blues as a manager.

The two-legged semi final against Man City was as dramatic as you would expect with an early penalty courtesy of Gerrard.

On the other hand, the second leg at Anfield was nail biting.

City took the lead twice thank to Nigel de Jong and Eden Dzeko.

Liverpool remained resilient and edged City, equalising via another penalty goal from Gerrard.

Craig Bellamy also got on the score sheet, to help hold on at Anfield.

The match finished 2-2 and 3-2 on aggregate, with Liverpool progressing to the final.

Their opponent was Cardiff City, who beat Championship counterparts Crystal Palace in the other semi final.

The 2012 League Cup final

On February 26, the stage was set. Wembley was bouncing with Scousers and Bluebirds relishing the opportunity for silverware.

Credit: Jon Candy
Creative Commons License:

Both sides had something in common, however.

Steven Gerrard’s younger cousin Anthony Gerrard was playing for Cardiff as a centre back.

This provided some family drama to the already intense final.

It was Cardiff’s first League Cup final, led by manager Malky Mackay.

Additionally, it was Liverpool’s first return to the final since their crushing defeat to Chelsea in 2005.

The game started off in an electrifying way, with the underdogs scoring first courtesy of a cool finish past Pepe Reina from Joe Mason.

Martin Skrtel levelled things on the hour mark with a close range finish from a corner to drag the tie into extra time.

Liverpool built on the momentum with Dirk Kuyt picking up a goal with an instinctive finish, with it looking like the game would be put to bed.

The Welsh didn’t give up as Ben Turner bundled in a goal with a scrappy affair in the six-yard box, clinging on to a penalty shoot out.

Both Gerrards missed from the spot, but it was Anthony Gerrard’s miss that ended the shootout with Liverpool winning their 8th League Cup.

Post 2012

The League Cup victory ended up being Liverpool’s last piece of silverware for seven years post Dalglish and Brendan Rodgers.

Credit: Sarah Skelton
Creative Common License:

It wasn’t until Jurgen Klopp became manager in 2015 that the club began its return to former glory.

With a Champions League and Premier League win in back to back seasons, Klopp will have his eyes on more silverware to add to his pedigree.

Now the stage is set, once again on Sunday (February 27) for the German manager to win his fifth trophy for the club.

Chelsea won’t be pushovers, just recently winning the Club World Cup.

The complicated history between the two sides thickens, with Chelsea beating them in the 2005 League Cup and 2012 FA Cup final.

It’s Klopp vs Tuchel – and the season’s first piece of silverware up for grabs.

(Featured image courtesy of Lewis Clarke under Creative Commonslicensing – resized and cropped)