|Referee Pat Partridge|
Start date March 18, 1978
|Champion Nottingham Forest F.C.|
|Venue Wembley Stadium, London|
Venue Old Trafford, Manchester
Event 1977–78 Football League Cup
Similar 1981 Football League C, 1982 Football League C, 1973 Football League C, 1980 Football League C, 1975 Football League C
The 1978 Football League Cup Final was the eighteenth League Cup final, and was contested between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. The initial match resulted in a 0–0 draw at Wembley Stadium on 18 March 1978. The replay was four days later at Old Trafford, and saw John Robertson score from the penalty spot after a foul by Phil Thompson on John O'Hare, which TV replays confirmed was actually outside the penalty area. Another refereeing decision caused further controversy when an equalising goal from Liverpool's Terry McDermott was ruled out for handball, despite TV replays again confirming that the decision was wrong, with McDermott controlling the ball not with his arm, but taking it cleanly on his chest before hammering a thunderbolt past future England goalkeeper Chris Woods. The contentious 1–0 score-line was enough to win the cup for Forest, who thus became the first club to achieve a League and League Cup double.
In the latter game, one of his last for Liverpool, stalwart Ian Callaghan received the only booking of his long and illustrious career for the Merseyside club, as the red mist descended, fuelled by the dubious refereeing decisions which had been made. Tommy Smith famously stated in an interview immediately after the game that the referee "should be shot".
Source for team line-ups:
Forest's route to the final included victories over First Division teams West Ham United, Aston Villa and Leeds United (beating the latter 7–3 on aggregate in the semi-final). They also beat city rivals Notts County.
Liverpool were drawn at home to First Division teams in their first 3 rounds, although they needed a replay to beat Coventry City. They then beat Third Division Wrexham in the quarter-final, before edging out Arsenal 2–1 on aggregate in the semi-final.