Which of the four remaining EFL Cup managers has the best semi-final record?by Simon Lillicrap / 25 January 2017, 15:23Tweet
Ahead of the semi-finals of the EFL Cup we look at some of the best last-four clashes in the competition and see which remaining manager has the best semi-final record.
We begin with a look back at some of the recent great League Cup semi-final tussles.
Man City v Everton (2016)
Last season’s two-legged tie between Everton and Manchester City was a cracker. Everton took a 2-1 lead from the first-leg to the Etihad after a feisty encounter at Goodison Park. They then shocked the home side as Ross Barkley scored an early goal putting them 3-1 up on aggregate. City hit back with a deflected Fernandinho effort before second half goals from De Bruyne and Aguero completed the comeback and sent them to Wembley.
Manuel Pellegrini’s City went on to beat Liverpool in the final on penalties. He won the League Cup twice in three years in charge of the Citizens.
Aston Villa v Bradford (2013)
After beating Arsenal in the quarter-finals, League One Bradford had made it all the way to the semi’s in 2013 where they came up against Aston Villa. They then proceeded to put on a storming first-leg performance at Valley Parade with goals from Nahki Wells, Rory McArdle putting them into a 2-0 lead. Andreis Weimman pulled one back before Carl Mchugh sent the Bantams fans wild with a late goal. They defended their lead courageously holding out for a 2-1 defeat at Villa Park for an aggregate 4-3 win.
Phil Parkinson had a good record of leading his side to cup shocks also beating Chelsea 4-2 at Stamford Bridge a few years later.
Arsenal v Wigan Athletic (2006)
Now the first-leg of this tie was not the most entertaining as Wigan battled to a 1-0 home win. But the second-leg was top notch in terms of drama. Arsenal, with a roaring Highbury crowd behind them, were on the front foot for the whole game. Thierry Henry found an equaliser in the 65th minute before Robin Van Persie scored a stunning free kick in extra time to put the Gunners through to the final. Or so they thought. Having offered nothing all game Wigan’s Jason Roberts popped up in the 119th minute to give the Latics a vital away goal and send the away end into a frenzy.
Paul Jewell’s career fizzled out after he left Wigan and this semi-final performance must rank as one of his career highlights.
We now turn our attention to the managers remaining in the competition and their respective semi-final records...
Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool)
We now turn our attention to the managers remaining in the competition and their semi-final record. Jurgen Klopp’s side has work to do but he will be confident of overturning the one goal deficit tonight. He has reached a cup final in each of his last five seasons as a manager and although his record in finals themselves is poor, his record of getting there is decent. Keep this in mind for tonight (Wednesday) though, his Liverpool side took penalties to beat Stoke City after a 1-1 draw on aggregate at this stage last season.
Jose Mourinho (Man Utd)
Jose Mourinho’s semi-final record in domestic competitons in England isn’t too bad, he has won the League Cup three times, but in the Champions League it is poor. Despite winning the Champions league twice he has fallen at the semi-final stage a staggering five times. With a 2-0 lead going into the second-leg Man United fans will be hoping his impressive League Cup form sees them to the final. One more League Cup win would put him level with Sir Alex Ferguson and Brian Clough as the tournament’s most successful manager.
Marco Silva (Hull)
If Marco Silva does complete a remarkable turnaround and win at Wembley he will be just the second Portuguese manager to win the League Cup after Mr Mourinho. He does have decent semi-final pedigree making the Greek Cup final last season and the Portuguese Cup final in the season prior. Hull City require a huge turnaround for him to make three successive cup finals.
Claude Puel (Southampton)
Claude Puel’s cup record is the worst of the remaining managers with only the Trophee des Champions in France with Monaco to his record, although that success did come way back in 2000. He is aiming to become the second French manager to win the competition after Gerard Houllier with Liverpool, and Southampton’s form in this tournament has been excellent, they are yet to concede a goal. His only game at Anfield resulted in a 2-1 win for his Lyon side in 2009.