The 1981 Football League Cup Final was played on Saturday 14 March 1981 at Wembley Stadium between Liverpool and West Ham United, with both clubs appearing in their second League Cup finals.
The original game ended in a 1–1 draw after extra time with Alan Kennedy scoring for Liverpool and Ray Stewart equalising from the penalty spot for West Ham United. The game went to a replay played at Villa Park, Birmingham on Wednesday 1 April 1981 in which West Ham took the lead through a Paul Goddard goal, but Liverpool came from behind to win 2–1 with goals from Kenny Dalglish and Alan Hansen.
Road to Wembley
Liverpool started slowly and lost the first leg of their 2nd round game with Bradford City, before scoring four goals in the return leg at Anfield. They then scored a total of 12 goals in home ties against Swindon Town, Portsmouth and Birmingham City. In the semi-final they won their first leg at Manchester City, before a home draw allowed them to reach their second League Cup Final.
West Ham United
West Ham United played three Third Division sides in Burnley, Charlton Athletic and Barnsley to reach the quarter-final. Here, they beat First Division Tottenham Hotspur 1–0. In the semi-final they recovered from losing the first leg to Coventry City to win the tie 4–3 on aggregate.