Top 10 scorers in Carabao Cup history


The Carabao Cup, also known as the League Cup, is a domestic competition in England that involves teams from the Premier League down to League Two (the fourth tier). It was first introduced during the 1960-61 campaign, when Aston Villa became the inaugural winners after beating Rotherham United 3-2 on aggregate over two legs. Back then, each member of the cup-winning team would receive a tankard rather than the traditional medal.

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Nowadays, as well as a medal, teams automatically qualify for the Europa Conference League, so there is certainly an added incentive for teams to lift the trophy outside of the ‘big six’. Over the years, the competition has played host to a plethora of prolific goalscorers and today at GIVEMESPORT we’ve decided to produce a list of the ten all-time top scorers in League Cup history.

Top 10 scorers in Carabao Cup history

Rank

Player

Appearances

Goals

Trophies

1

Ian Rush

75

46

5

2

Robbie Fowler

44

33

2

3

Jermain Defoe

37

22

1

4

Sir Kenny Dalglish

50

21

4

5

Michael Owen

24

19

3

6

Alan Shearer

31

19

0

7

Frank Lampard

42

18

2

8

Jay Rodriguez

32

18

0

9

Nathan Ellington

20

18

0

10

Ian Wright

18

17

1

Stats according to Transfermarkt – Correct as of 08/02/2024

10 Ian Wright – 17

Arsenal

Ian Wright was Arsenal’s all-time top scorer for a time and remains second only behind the great Thierry Henry, so it’s no surprise to see the prolific front-man in the top 10 of this list too. The Gunners legend was the League Cup’s leading scorer (with five) during the 1992/93 campaign as his side defeated Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 in the final to lift the trophy for the second time in the club’s history. Although Wright didn’t score in the final, he did net in both semi-final legs against his former club Crystal Palace.

That same season, Arsenal also won the FA Cup and once again Wright topped the goalscoring charts, netting 10 times.

Arsenal’s all-time top scorers

Rank

Player

Goals

Appearances

1

Thierry Henry

228

377

2

Ian Wright

171

274

3

Robin van Persie

132

278

4

Dennis Bergkamp

120

422

5

Theo Walcott

108

397

Statistics according to Goal

9 Nathan Ellington – 18

Bristol Rovers, Wigan Athletic, West Bromwich Albion, Derby County

nathan-ellington-derby-county

Nathan Ellington has a very impressive record in the League Cup, netting 18 goals across just 20 appearances. The centre-forward scored with four different clubs and was crowned the competition’s joint-top scorer (with six) during the 2008/09 season. Despite Ellington’s prolific record in the cup that year, Derby County chose to send him back to Watford after his loan spell rather than taking the option to sign him on a permanent deal, with then manager Nigel Clough preferring the likes of Rob Hulse, Chris Porter and Luke Varney as his attacking options.

Ellington would retire in December 2013 after a brief spell with Southport. Across his 15-year career, the Bradford-born forward scored an admirable 132 goals across 481 appearances.

8 Jay Rodriguez – 18

Burnley, Southampton, West Bromwich Albion

jay-rodriguez-burnley

Jay Rodriguez joins the list thanks to his 18 goals in the competition across three different clubs. His best tally in a single season came during the 2011/12 campaign with his boyhood club Burnley as he fired in five goals in four outings, helping the Clarets reach the last 16. The former England international scored four in one game against Rochdale in the third round in 2021, with each of his strikes coming in the second half.

Now aged 34, Rodriguez still plies his trade in the Premier League with Burnley and has scored two goals whilst laying on one assist across seven starts. The experienced forward, who is out of contract in June 2024, is a valuable member of Vincent Kompany’s squad.

7 Frank Lampard – 18

West Ham United, Chelsea, Manchester City

frank-lampard-chelsea

Despite playing in midfield, Frank Lampard was very productive in front of goal and in the Carabao Cup, finding the back of the net on 18 occasions with three different clubs. The 106-cap England international scored his first goal in the competition during a 3-0 third-round victory against Aston Villa back in October 1997, while his last came in a 7-0 thrashing against Sheffield Wednesday over 17 years later, evincing his tremendous longevity.

Lampard won the competition twice throughout his career, both of which were with Chelsea. The west Londoners defeated Liverpool 3-2 in 2005 and Arsenal 2-1 in 2007, with the former West Ham midfielder starting both finals.

6 Alan Shearer – 19

Southampton, Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United

alan-shearer-newcastle-united

Alan Shearer, the Premier League’s all-time record goalscorer, scored 19 goals in the Carabao Cup but never won the competition. The Newcastle-born striker started his career at Southampton and scored his first League Cup goal in September 1990, bagging a brace in a 5-0 second-round 1st leg win against Rochdale. Shearer would go on to score a total of five goals in the competition that season, only one behind joint-top scorers Paul Gascoigne of Tottenham Hotspur and Mark Hughes of Manchester United.

The 63-cap England international retired in 2006 and was the first of two players to be inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame along with the aforementioned Arsenal legend, Thierry Henry. Shearer is widely regarded as one of the greatest strikers England have ever produced, while his legacy in the Carabao Cup is secure too.

5 Michael Owen – 19

Liverpool, Newcastle United, Manchester United

michael-owen-liverpool

Winner of the Ballon D’or award in 2001, Michael Owen was a pacey and prolific striker and for a time, one of the best players in the world. The former England international at his peak was unplayable and across his career, he netted 19 times in the Carabao Cup in just 24 appearances. Owen won the competition twice with Liverpool and was on the score-sheet in the 2003 final against Manchester United, as the Reds secured a memorable 2-0 victory.

He went on to win his third League Cup with United in 2010, netting the leveler in a 2-1 win against Martin O’Neill’s Aston Villa. It’s fair to say Owen has a rather fine history with the competition given his record in front of goal.

4 Sir Kenny Dalglish – 21

Liverpool

kenny-dalglish-liverpool

Widely considered one of the greatest players in the history of Liverpool football club, Sir Kenny Dalglish simply had to be on this list. The former Scotland international scored 21 goals in the League Cup throughout his glittering career, with only three players managing a greater tally. Dalglish was part of the Liverpool side that won the competition four times in a row, between 1981 and 1984.

He netted in a 2-1 victory against West Ham United in the 1981 final before turning provider the season after when his side beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-1. It was Dalglish’s sixth assist of the League Cup campaign that year, evincing his marvellous play-making ability.

3 Jermain Defoe – 22

West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur, Sunderland

jermain-defoe-tottenham-hotspur

Making the podium is Jermain Defoe, who scored 22 goals in the League Cup with three different teams. The London-born forward won the competition in 2008 with Tottenham Hotspur, though, he wasn’t actually contracted to the club at the time of the final. Weeks before, Defoe completed a £9m move to Portsmouth and would go on to score 18 goals in 36 appearances for Pompey before returning to the north Londoners less than a year later for a fee thought to be worth around £15m.

Remarkably, he received his winners medal 10 years after the final whilst at Bournemouth. The EFL presented the former England international with the medal after being made aware that he had not received it at the time.

2 Robbie Fowler – 33

Liverpool, Manchester City, Cardiff City

robbie-fowler-liverpool

Robbie Fowler’s record in the League Cup is absolutely astounding. The left-footed front-man bagged 33 goals in 44 appearances and turned provider on 16 occasions, taking his total goal contributions to a whopping 49. Fowler was crowned the competition’s top scorer during the 2000/01 campaign, as his Liverpool side acclaimed the club’s sixth League Cup title. The former England international netted a cracking half-volley goal to open the scoring in the final against Birmingham City and he also converted his spot-kick in the penalty shootout.

Fowler, a two-time winner of the competition, retired in 2012 having scored 248 goals across 571 appearances during his prolific 19-year career.

Robbie Fowler’s Career Stats

Team

Appearances

Goals

Assists

England

26

7

3

Liverpool

369

183

50

Manchester City

92

27

5

Leeds United

32

14

1

Perth Glory

28

9

0

North Qld Fury

26

9

4

Cardiff

16

6

1

Blackburn Rovers

6

0

1

Muangthong United

2

0

0

Statistics according to Transfermarkt

1 Ian Rush – 46

Liverpool and Newcastle United

ian-rush-liverpool

Topping the all-time Carabao Cup scoring charts is Liverpool legend Ian Rush, who netted 46 goals in the competition across 75 outings. The Welsh forward scored eight goals during the 1981/82 campaign, including one against Tottenham Hotspur in the final, as the Reds secured a 3-1 victory. Rush was a part of the Liverpool side that won the cup in four successive seasons under the stewardship of Bob Paisley and Joe Fagan.

The Chester FC academy graduate retired as Liverpool’s all-time record goalscorer and is considered one of the greatest strikers in the history of the sport. Rush now works as a club representative for the Reds.

Liverpool’s all-time top scorers

Rank

Player

Goals

Appearances

1

Ian Rush

346

660

2

Roger Hunt

285

492

3

Gordon Hodgson

241

377

4

Billy Liddell

228

534

5

Mohamed Salah

204

334

Statistics according to Goal – Correct as of 08/02/2024



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