League Cup Final Of The Day: Manchester City vs Newcastle United, 1976
Make no mistake about it. While they were no great shakes in the FA Cup at the same time, Manchester City liked the League Cup during the early to mid 1970s. They won the competition in 1970 against West Bromwich Albion and were runners-up to Wolverhampton Wanderers, after all. In 1976, they found their way back to the final of the competition after beating Norwich City, Nottingham Forest, Manchester United, Mansfield Town and Middlesbrough to reach Wembley. Their opponents were Newcastle United. Newcastle had reached the FA Cup Final two years earlier before being casually brushed aside by Liverpool. Bit part actors as Bill Shankly drew the curtain on a career that had transformed their opposition.
To reach the League Cup final of 1976, Newcastle had beaten Southport, Bristol Rovers, Queens Park Rangers, Notts County and Tottenham Hotspur. Going into the match, City were the narrow favourites to win. They were in seventh place in the First Division while Newcastle were in fourteenth place in the table. The match would become best remembered for some most unlikely acrobatics from a Manchester City player, one of the greatest goals ever to win a Wembley cup final in any competition, ever. Forty years on, Manchester City are back at Wembley again in the same competition against Liverpool on Sunday. It’s a sign of the change of times that this season the competition is the smallest cog in the wheel that represents the rest of their season. Commentary comes from Brian Moore.
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