Just under eight months after Liverpool won in dramatic fashion over Birmingham, they bowed out in decidedly less impressive (and painfully pixelated) fashion in their first League Cup appearance of the 2001-2002 season, losing to Grimsby Town at Anfield. The following campaign thankfully brought much more success, and for the third time in three seasons, Liverpool found themselves in a cup final in Wales.
The meeting between Liverpool and Manchester United at the Millenium Stadium would be the eighth meeting between the clubs with actual silverware on the line---they'd met most recently in Cardiff in the 2001 Charity Shield, which Liverpool won 2-1 as part of an impressive run that saw them win five trophies in the 2001 calendar year; victories in the League Cup, FA Cup, and UEFA Cup rounded off the 2000-2001 campaign, and the 2001-2002 season opened with the Charity Shield win and a 3-2 defeat of Bayern Munich in the UEFA Super Cup in Monaco.
Steven Gerrard opened the scoring with an effort from distance that took a fortunate deflection off David Beckham and spun past Fabian Barthez, and Michael Owen killed it off wonderfully after Didi Hamann played him through on goal from the center circle. United would once again go on to the league title, their fourth in five seasons, but for Liverpool it was a record-setting seventh League Cup. It'd also turn out to be their last, as they fell to Chelsea in Cardiff two years later and haven't returned since.
Until Sunday, when they'll have another chance to make it eight.