Sunday will see Manchester City face off against Liverpool in this years League Cup Final. Eight time winners, Liverpool, faces Augsburg in the Europa League before Sundays game, while Manchester City, three time winners, have to travel to Kiev and back.
When it comes to Wembley trips though, Manchester City are only one of two sides, Arsenal being the other, to have played at the ‘Old Wembley Stadium in every decade of its existence, with the exception of the 1940's. Starting with the 1-0 FA Cup Final defeat to Bolton on April 24th 1926 through to our final visit, a year before it closed, in the Division Two playoff against Gillingham in 1999, the old Wembley and City's history have been intertwined.
Over the next few days, in build up to this seasons League Cup Final I want to look at Wembley matches involving City. Today I will choose one at the old Wembley, tomorrow one from the new Wembley, where Sundays game will take place. Finally, on Saturday, I will give you my favorite overall.
So, for the Old Wembley you could chose the Playoff Final, or the defeat to Spurs in 1981. FA Cup wins in 1956, 1969 or League Cup wins in 1970 or 76 could also feature but at least three of these are always pointed to at other sites. For me, historically, the 1934 FA Cup Final win against Portsmouth has to get a mention. The previous year had seen City reach the Cup Final only to be outdone by Everton 3-0.
Conditions were not the best for this particular game and both teams initially struggled. A wet pitch left our new goalkeeper, who had only made his debut months earlier, was unsure as to whether he should wear gloves or not, he opted not to. The man between the sticks for City in that game was none other than Frank Swift, who would later blame himself, and that decision for the opening goal.
At half time the side rallied around their keeper and came out all guns blazing in the second half. Ernie Toseland was outstanding for City who would have to wait until twenty minutes from time
for the equalizing goal, thanks to great build up play from Eric Brook.
It was one way traffic with City and with three minutes remaining Tilson scored the winning goal, keeping a half time promise to a young disheartened keeper. In front of King George, City were worthy winners and even the young Swift was able to redeem himself with a fantastic save while the score was still level. Over 60 years before the playoff final and almost 80 before Aguero secured City's first Premiership title, the blue half of Manchester were exciting crowds and leaving it until the final moments of a game before securing the success.