For the first time in five seasons, the League Cup will have a new winner, after Manchester City’s shock elimination last night at the Olympic Stadium.
City had won a remarkable 21 straight ties in this competition since the start of the 2017-18 season — that’s 23 wins (4 via penalty shootout) in 24 games, with the singular defeat coming in one of the semifinal legs (which return to a two-legged format this season unfortunately, after a welcome change to single elimination last season). One of those four penalty shootouts was against Chelsea of course, in the 2018-19 final.
But their luck finally ran out last night, and West Ham didn’t even need Kurt Zouma, who happily watched from the bench as his new teammates held off City for 90 scoreless minutes, then triumphed in the shootout by going a perfect five-for-five while Phil Foden slammed his effort wide of the net at the start of City’s procession.
Elsewhere on Wednesday, Liverpool’s B-team survived some poor finishing from Preston North End, Spurs eked past Burnley, Brentford took care of Stoke City, and Brighton faltered in the shootout after twice coming from behind against Leicester City.
The upshot of it all is that Chelsea and Liverpool — the two top Premier League teams right now — are the clear favorites remaining in this competition, which is now down to the last eight. Arsenal and Sunderland also advanced earlier this week, so they also go into the hat for the draw that will be held only on Saturday, as part of Soccer AM’s programming on Sky, around 10:30am local time. Because why not.
So, three wins to a trophy. Let’s get it!