The EFL Cup, referred to as the League Cup, is a season-wide knockout football competition in England’s men’s domestic football. Due to sponsorship reasons, it is currently known as the Carabao Cup.

The tournament is organised by the English Football League (EFL). The tournament is open to all clubs in the top four divisions of the English football league system, featuring 92 teams including Premier League, EFL Championship, League One and League Two clubs.

First held in 1960-61, the English League Cup is played over rounds, with single-leg ties until the semi-finals. While the semis are two-legged affairs, the final is a one-match title decider.

Liverpool are the reigning EFL Cup champions after beating Chelsea in the final of the 2021-22 edition at the Wembley Stadium in London. 

Who was the first EFL Cup winner?

Aston Villa were the inaugural champions of the EFL Cup. Villa beat Rotherham United 3-2 on aggregate in the then two-legged final. Peter McParland scored in extra-time of the second leg to seal the cup.

While the first leg was held at the Millmoor Ground, the title was decided at Villa Park.

Who has won the most EFL Cup titles?

Liverpool have won the most EFL Cup titles. The Reds have been crowned champions on nine occasions, while they also have four runner-up finishes in the tournament.

The first Liverpool success in the League Cup was in the 1980-81 season, when they beat West Ham United at Villa Park in Birmingham. The Reds’ legend Alan Hansen scored the winner in the replay to win the final 2-1.

Meanwhile, Manchester City are five-time EFL Cup winners, followed by Aston Villa, Chelsea, and Manchester United who have won it four times, each.

Who has won the most consecutive EFL Cup titles?

Liverpool and Manchester City have won the most consecutive EFL Cup titles. Both teams lifted the trophy on four consecutive occasions.

After Liverpool’s first title in the 1980-81 season, the Reds went on to win the League Cup in the 1981-82, 1982-83 and 1983-84 editions. They famously beat city-rivals Everton in an all-Merseyside final in 1984 at Wembley.

Manchester City, on the other hand, swept the EFL Cup for four seasons between 2017-18 and 2020-21. In fact, they also won the tournament in 2015-16, making it five EFL Cup crowns in six seasons. 

EFL Cup winners list

Season

Winners

1960-61

Aston Villa

1961-62

Norwich City

1962-63

Birmingham City

1963-64

Leicester City

1964-65

Chelsea

1965-66

West Bromwich Albion

1966-67

Queens Park Rangers

1967-68

Leeds United

1968-69

Swindon Town

1969-70

Manchester City

1970-71

Tottenham

1971-72

Stoke City

1972-73

Tottenham

1973-74

Wolves

1974-75

Aston Villa

1975-76

Manchester City

1976-77

Aston Villa

1977-78

Nottingham Forest

1978-79

Nottingham Forest

1979-80

Wolves

1980-81

Liverpool

1981-82

Liverpool

1982-83

Liverpool

1983-84

Liverpool

1984-85

Norwich City

1985-86

Oxford United

1986-87

Arsenal

1987-88

Luton Town

1988-89

Nottingham Forest

1989-90

Nottingham Forest

1990-91

Sheffield Wednesday

1991-92

Manchester United

1992-93

Arsenal

1993-94

Aston Villa

1994-95

Liverpool

1995-96

Aston Villa

1996-97

Leicester City

1997-98

Chelsea

1998-99

Tottenham

1999-00

Leicester City

2000-01

Liverpool

2001-02

Blackburn Rovers

2002-03

Liverpool

2003-04

Middlesbrough FC

2004-05

Chelsea

2005-06

Manchester United

2006-07

Chelsea

2007-08

Tottenham

2008-09

Manchester United

2009-10

Manchester United

2010-11

Birmingham City

2011-12

Liverpool

2012-13

Swansea

2013-14

Manchester City

2014-15

Chelsea

2015-16

Manchester City

2016-17

Manchester United

2017-18

Manchester City

2018-19

Manchester City

2019-20

Manchester City

2020-21

Manchester City

2021-22

Liverpool

2022-23

TBD

 

Photo credits: Alamy