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2009 Football League Cup Final

The 2009 Football League Cup Final was the final match of the 2008–09 Football League Cup, the 49th season of the Football League Cup, a football competition for the 92 teams in the Premier League and The Football League. The match was played at Wembley Stadium on 1 March 2009, and was contested by Tottenham Hotspur, who won the competition in 2008, and Manchester United,[3] who last won the competition in 2006. The two joint-top goalscorers played for each of the finalists. Roman Pavlyuchenko of Tottenham Hotspur, who scored in every match in which he played in the tournament up to the final, and Manchester United's Carlos Tevez; both players had six goals each.

2009 Football League Cup Final
2009 League Cup Final.jpg
Event2008–09 Football League Cup
After extra time
Manchester United won 4–1 on penalties
Date1 March 2009
VenueWembley Stadium, London
Man of the MatchBen Foster (Manchester United)[1]
RefereeChris Foy (Merseyside)
WeatherMostly cloudy
11 °C (52 °F)[2]

Manchester United won 4–1 on penalties, after the match ended as a goalless draw in normal time. United converted all four of their penalties, while Tottenham missed two of their three. It was only the second time that the League Cup Final had been decided by a penalty shootout.[4]

The man of the match was Manchester United goalkeeper Ben Foster, who became the first goalkeeper since Jerzy Dudek in 2003 to win the Alan Hardaker Award.[5]

Retrospectively, the result of this game would have significant implications for the following season's UEFA Europa League. In winning the tournament, the qualifying spot for the League Cup went to the seventh-placed team in the Premier League by default, as Manchester United would later win the League and therefore qualified for the UEFA Champions League. Fulham, who finished seventh in the league, went on to progress to the final of the 2009–10 Europa League. Had Tottenham won the League Cup, they would have qualified in Fulham's place.

Road to WembleyEdit

Manchester United Round Tottenham Hotspur
Opponent Result Opponent Result
Middlesbrough (H) 3–1 Third round[6] Newcastle United (A) 2–1
Queens Park Rangers (H) 1–0 Fourth round Liverpool (H) 4–2
Blackburn Rovers (H) 5–3 Fifth round Watford (A) 2–1
Derby County 0–1 (A) Semi-final Burnley 4–1 (H)
4–2 (H) 2–3 (A)
Manchester United won 4–3 on aggregate Tottenham Hotspur won 6–4 on aggregate


Team selectionEdit

Sir Alex Ferguson promised before the game that he would give places in the Manchester United starting line-up to the young players who had played a part in getting them to the final, with Darron Gibson in the centre of midfield and Danny Welbeck up front.[7] He also said he would make several changes from the team that drew away to Internazionale in the Champions League earlier in the week, citing the need to rotate players in the modern game.[7] Goalkeeper Ben Foster, who had played in the fifth round against Blackburn Rovers and the second leg of the semi-final against Derby County, expressed a desire to play in the final as a way of making up for an injury-beset previous 12 months.[8]

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp named Heurelho Gomes as his goalkeeper for the final, despite the Brazilian having made several high-profile errors, as the club's number-one 'keeper, Carlo Cudicini, was cup-tied; Cudicini was signed from Chelsea during the January transfer window and had appeared for the Blues in the League Cup earlier in the season.[9] Defender Jonathan Woodgate, who scored the winning goal in the 2008 final, suffered a head wound in a 2–1 win over Hull City the week before the game; he declared himself fit the next day, but was ultimately left out of the squad.[10] Striker Roman Pavlyuchenko, however, was selected for the game, despite his earlier fears that he might miss out if Redknapp opted to play Darren Bent as a lone striker;[11] in the end, Pavlyuchenko and Bent started together up front.


Manchester United
Tottenham Hotspur
GK 12   Ben Foster
RB 22   John O'Shea   57'   76'
CB 5   Rio Ferdinand (c)
CB 23   Jonny Evans
LB 3   Patrice Evra
RM 7   Cristiano Ronaldo   67'
CM 28   Darron Gibson   91'
CM 18   Paul Scholes   108'
LM 17   Nani
CF 19   Danny Welbeck   56'
CF 32   Carlos Tevez
GK 29   Tomasz Kuszczak
DF 15   Nemanja Vidić   76'
DF 42   Richard Eckersley
MF 8   Anderson   56'
MF 11   Ryan Giggs   91'
MF 13   Park Ji-sung
MF 34   Rodrigo Possebon
  Sir Alex Ferguson
GK 1   Heurelho Gomes
RB 22   Vedran Ćorluka
CB 20   Michael Dawson
CB 26   Ledley King (c)
LB 32   Benoît Assou-Ekotto
RM 7   Aaron Lennon   102'
CM 8   Jermaine Jenas   98'
CM 4   Didier Zokora
LM 14   Luka Modrić
CF 10   Darren Bent
CF 9   Roman Pavlyuchenko   65'
GK 27   Ben Alnwick
DF 3   Gareth Bale   98'
DF 16   Chris Gunter
MF 5   David Bentley   102'
MF 6   Tom Huddlestone
MF 19   Adel Taarabt
MF 24   Jamie O'Hara   65'
  Harry Redknapp

Match officials

Man of the match

Match rules

  • 90 minutes.
  • 30 minutes of extra-time if necessary.
  • Penalty shoot-out if scores still level.
  • Seven named substitutes.
  • Maximum of three substitutions.


Statistic Manchester United Tottenham Hotspur
Total shots 23 12
Shots on target 10 7
Ball possession 53% 47%
Corner kicks 9 4
Fouls committed 12 16
Offsides 2 2
Yellow cards 3 0
Red cards 0 0

Source: ESPN[13]


  1. ^ a b "Alan Hardaker Trophy Winners". The Football League. 26 February 2012. Archived from the original on 21 April 2012. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Burnley face holders Spurs in cup". BBC Sport. 6 December 2008. Retrieved 7 January 2009.
  4. ^ "Man Utd 0–0 Tottenham (aet)". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 1 March 2009. Retrieved 21 September 2009.
  5. ^ "Carling Cup Final report". 1 March 2009. Retrieved 1 March 2009.
  6. ^ Clubs competing in UEFA competitions receive a bye to the third round
  7. ^ a b Taylor, Daniel (28 February 2009). "Fergie will continue to draw from the fountain of youth". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
  8. ^ Lynch, Robin (27 February 2009). "Foster dreams of Wembley ending to injury nightmare". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
  9. ^ Hytner, David (23 February 2009). "Redknapp puts his faith in Gomes for Carling Cup final". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
  10. ^ "Woodgate declares himself fit for Carling Cup final". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. 24 February 2009. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
  11. ^ Hytner, David (24 February 2009). "Pavlyuchenko concerned about starting for Spurs in the Carling Cup final". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
  12. ^ "Officials named for Carling Cup Final". The Football League. 26 January 2009. Archived from the original on 31 January 2009. Retrieved 30 January 2009.
  13. ^ "Spurs suffer Wembley woe". ESPNsoccernet. ESPN Inc. 1 March 2009. Retrieved 8 May 2012.