The road to Wembley 2012
This was an epic journey. This is the story of the Carling Cup run that took Cardiff City to Wembley for the fourth time in five years; to their first League Cup Final appearance, and just a spot kick away from the ultimate prize.
With a renewed energy under Malky Mackay, the Bluebirds embarked on a memorable journey, overturning the likes of Crystal Palace, Blackburn Rovers, and Leicester City along the way to set up an enticing Wembley showdown with Liverpool.
Going into the final with nothing to lose City gave Liverpool the fight of their lives and delivered a performance to be proud of, missing out only to the lottery of penalties. Taking the lead inside 20 minutes, Joe Mason’s strike gave Cardiff hope, only for Skrtel to equalise midway through the second half to set up a nail biting round of extra time. All looked lost when Kuyt netted another for Liverpool but Cardiff were not finished yet as, with just minutes to spare, Ben Turner found the net, sending the travelling Cardiff support into raptures, and setting the scene for an epic penalty shootout.
Playing eight matches, over 870 minutes of pulsating football, and with three nail biting penalty shootouts, this was a pulsating journey filled with great goals and unforgettable memories and this programme delivers the very best action from each round plus extended highlights from the most exciting Wembley final seen in years.Season Review 2011/12
The 2011/12 season saw new manager Malky Mackay undertake a complete overhaul of the club and guide the team into the Play-offs and, for the first time in the Cardiff City’s history, the Carling Cup Final.
The Championship campaign saw Cardiff claim the spoils over Bristol City twice, do the double over eventual champions Reading, and achieve a Play-off position for the third successive season. Mackay's team showed bravery to battle through extra time cup ties and penalty shoot-outs and earned a place in history by securing the club's first ever League Cup Final which ultimately ended in a heart-breaking but heroic performance against eight time League Cup winners Liverpool.
Relive all the drama from an epic fifty-seven game season, featuring Whittingham’s sublime chip on an away trip to Reading, Hudson’s goal of the season effort, and Turner’s memorable strike at Wembley. With this and more, the 2011/12 season was full of drama and will be remembered as a memorable campaign from which to build.
“I’m so proud of them, the way they’ve opened themselves up to just playing together, being together as one unit, no egos and you saw that there today”
Malky Mackay post the Carling Cup Final
“We come to work each morning, determined and committed to better ourselves, the team and our game. We constantly strive to improve and we play for the Cardiff City shirt”
Cardiff City 2 - 1 Leeds Utd
The Premier League table toppers verses a recently promoted 2nd Division side - big bucks verses big hearts – this was the classic David verses Goliath scenario. Leeds United entered 2002 top of the Premier League, Cardiff over 50 places below them in the league, went into this 3rd Round FA Cup contest 10th in the 2nd Division – the 3rd tier of football at the time.
The atmosphere was electric at Ninian Park as the two teams entered the arena, Cardiff lead out by captain and talisman Graham Kavanagh and it was his goal after 20 minutes that brought parity to the contest and gave the Cardiff team, management and the fans renewed optimism.
The match was a tight contest even before Alan Smith was given his marching orders just before the break, and with the one man advantage Cardiff looked to take control of the contest, it brought with it 45 minutes of the most memorable football Ninian Park had seen in years.
The scenes of jubilation when Scott Young stabbed home the winner with minutes remaining will live long in the memory of every fan that packed into the famous old stadium that day.
This programme contains the full 90minutes of this epic and historic contest.
Ooh Aah Graham Kavanagh
Graham Kavanagh was at the heart of the Cardiff City team between 2001 and 2005. He was the captain and the catalyst who led the Bluebirds to Division 2 Play Off Final success and helped cement the clubs place in the 2nd tier of English football.
After a spell with league rivals Stoke City, Graham Kavanagh signed for City for a £1 million club record fee and his career at the club hit the ground running when he finished his first season at the club as top goalscorer.
This programme takes you on a journey through the Cardiff City career of a modern club legend through the eyes of former manager Lennie Lawrence, fellow club legend Robert Earnshaw and Kav himself.
Looking back at Kavanagh’s arrival at the club, his evolution as a player, the goals scored, the attributes he bought to a club on the rise, and an in depth retrospective review of the 2003 Play Off Final, the programme is packed with memories and also includes 40 minute highlights of that special day in 2003 when Cardiff City travelled to the Millennium Stadium and emerged victorious.
Source: Cardiff City Online