The League Cup - also known as the Capital One Cup for sponsorship reasons – enters its third round, where the Premier League clubs playing in European Competition come into the fray. Since managers of most top clubs use this tournament to give their second string sides a chance to assert themselves on the big stage, the League Cup provides an opportunity for most of the fringe clubs to cause an upset against their more superior opponents, thus giving their fans nights to cherish for a long, long time.This round sees defending champions Chelsea travel to League One Walsall, and Manchester United hosting Championship side Ipswich. A famous North-London derby also awaits us, with Arsenal facing off against Tottenham at White Hart Lane. Liverpool are at home to Carlisle United, while Manchester City travel to Premier League strugglers Sunderland.With most of the top clubs willing to rest a majority of first-team players for this round, Walsall, Ipswich and Carlisle will be hoping to sneak in through the back door and cause a surprise or two for their Premier League opponents.Here, we look at 5 such results in the Cup that stunned English football and sent the players, staff and fans of the ‘underdogs’ into delirium on those famous nights:
#1 Liverpool 2-2 Northampton Town (2-4 on penalties) - 3rd Round, 2010-11
When the draw for the 3rd round of the 2010 League Cup was made, not even the Northampton Town fans themselves would have been optimistic of getting anything out of the game when they were drawn against Premier League giants Liverpool at Anfield.
The side sitting 17th in League Two, however, capitalised against a wasteful Liverpool side missing most of their first-team players on the back of a draining defeat to Manchester United on the weekend. After going behind to Milan Jovanovic’s strike early in the first half, Northampton equalised in the 56th minute thanks to Billy McKay reacting quickest to a Kevin Thornton flick-on to score from close range. Northampton’s defence kept firm against immense Liverpool pressure to take the game into extra-time.
Anfield was stunned into silence in the 98th minute when Michael Jacobs smashed home a rebound from a blocked Kevin Thornton shot to give the Fourth Division side a lead. David Ngog, however restored parity to Roy Hodgson’s side with a 116th minute header from a Jonjo Shelvey corner.
Come penalty kicks, and both sides felt the tension of the shootout amidst massive rain when Northampton's Steve Guinan and Liverpool's Ngog missed their respective spot-kicks.
However, when Liverpool’s teenager Nathan Eccleston smashed his penalty against the crossbar, the responsibility fell to 23-year-old Abdul Osman to convert his spot-kick to cap a famous victory for the side from Northampton. He made no mistake, slotting his penalty home and sparking wild celebrations amongst his teammates and fans.