League Cup final heroes

As Chelsea prepare to face Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final this weekend, we look back at the players who played a key role in our previous five victories in the competition.

1965 – Eddie McCreadie

Eddie McCreadie scored only five goals in 410 games for Chelsea but it included a magnificent solo effort in the 1965 final against Leicester City. With only nine minutes left in the first leg at Stamford Bridge, the Scot gathered the ball on the edge of his own box and embarked on an amazing 80-yard dribble which took him past several Foxes before he slotted past England goalkeeper Gordon Banks to give the Blues a 3-2 lead. A 0-0 draw in the second leg at Leicester meant that McCreadie’s strike was the winner as the Blues lifted the League Cup for the first time.

1998 – Dennis Wise

Chelsea captain Dennis Wise was at the centre of everything for the Blues in the 1998 final as he was named Man of the Match in our 2-0 win against Middlesbrough. His most important contribution came five minutes into extra-time when he initially mis-controlled Gianfranco Zola’s pass near the right touch-line but recovered just in time to hook the ball back to the centre of the Boro box where Frank Sinclair met his cross with a firm header past Mark Schwarzer to break the deadlock.

2005 – Mateja Kezman

Serbian striker Mateja Kezman struggled in his lone season with the Blues in 2004/05, scoring only seven goals in 41 appearances, but he came up big in the League Cup final against Liverpool. With the Blues leading 2-1 in extra-time, Eidur Gudjohnsen’s cut-back was parried on the goal-line by Reds goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek with the ball looping into the air for Kezman to meet it with a karate-like kick which turned it just over the goal-line for the decisive goal in our 3-2 victory.

2007 – Didier Drogba

Having scored in our 2005 League Cup final win, Didier Drogba was at it again two years later as we came from behind to beat Arsenal. After Theo Walcott had given the Gunners an early lead, the Ivorian gathered Michael Ballack’s lofted pass over the top of the defence to level the score in the 20th minute. Then with six minutes left in regulation time, he got the winner, rising majestically above the Arsenal defence to head Arjen Robben’s cross from the left into the bottom corner of the net.

2015 – John Terry

At the age of 34, John Terry enjoyed a magnificent campaign in 2014/15, playing every minute of our Premier League-winning campaign and being named Man of the Match in our 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the League Cup final. In addition to his towering performance in the centre of defence at Wembley that afternoon, the captain also scored Chelsea’s crucial opening goal just before half-time, firing home from eight yards after Willian’s free-kick had been played back to him by Kurt Zouma.

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