After failing to capture the League Cup against Nottingham Forest when they made it to the finals for the first time in 1978, Liverpool would get their second chance three years later against a West Ham United side who at the time were plying their trade in Division Two. Despite the Hammers representing lower league opposition, they were hardly pushovers in a season that saw them finish first to return to the top flight and make it to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup as winners of the previous season's FA Cup.
As for Liverpool, they were coming off back to back Division One titles and, despite finishing fifth in the league that season, would take home their third European Cup two months later when they defeated Real Madrid in Paris. Lining up at Wembley against West Ham in March would be a familiar list of names from the club's glory days including Alan Kennedy, Graeme Souness, Alan Hansen, Kenny Dalglish, and four-time European Cup winner Phil Neal, but with Liverpool only able to manage a 1-1 draw a replay two weeks later at Villa Park on April first would be forced.
Things would begin badly for Liverpool in the replay, with West Ham scoring five minutes into the match. But midway through the first half Dalglish and Hansen would score at 25' and 28' minutes respectively and Liverpool would hang on to win their first League Cup by a 2-1 margin after a slow start to the tournament had almost led to them being dumped out by Bradford City in the second round. The victory at Villa Park gave Ian Rush his first trophy with Liverpool, and it would also be the game that saw goalkeeping legend Ray Clemence win his final one with the club on English soil before moving on to Tottenham for the remainder of his career.