League Cup: Bradford in the Final!

23/01/2013 no comments »
League Cup: Bradford in the Final!

Bradford became the first 4th tier side to secure a place in the League Cup final at Wembley next month after beating Aston Villa 4-3 on aggregate after a 2-1 defeat at Villa Park.

Bradford entered the second leg at Villa Park with a 3:1 advantage, but faced a tough match at Villa Park. Villa pressured straight from the beginning and it took until the 24th minute until Benteke finally scored the lead for Villa with a beautiful flick past Duke. Villa kept running at Bradford. N’Zogbia and Ireland had two more great chances before the half-time – both saved by Duke.

Bradford, just like in the first leg, took advantage of their set pieces and Hanson equalized with a powerful header in the 55th minute and restored the two-goal aggregate lead. Villa was tired and missed confidence in the second half. Weimann scored the 2:1 for Villa, but it was too late. Bradford reached the League Cup final against Aston Villa with a 4-3 aggregate win.

For the first time, Bradford reached the final of a major competition since winning the FA Cup in 1911 and the first time a side from the fourth division has made the final since Rochdale in 1962.

Bradford manager Phil Parkinson said: “I think it’d take some doing for anyone to do this again. We had a really tough run. It wasn’t just the Premier League teams, we had tough games with Notts County and Watford too.”

On their way to the final, the League Two side won against Newcastle, Watford, Burton, Wigan, Arsenal and now Villa. Bradford City has been in administration twice since 2002, and had been expected to overspend on wages by £600,000 this season as they push for promotion to League One. However, they already earned around £1.3m from their quarter-final and semi-final matches.

Bradford will meet Swansea or Chelsea in the final on 24 February.

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