- match commentary
- English Capital One Cup
- 22 January 2013, 7:45pm
- Villa Park
- Attendance: 40,193
Bradford City have booked their place in the Capital One Cup final at Wembley after claiming a shock 4-3 aggregate victory over Aston Villa.
The League Two club, who become the first fourth-tier side to reach the League Cup final for 51 years, were put to the sword in a 2-1 defeat at Villa Park, but came through the test, with James Hanson nodding home from a Gary Jones corner after Christian Benteke had crowned a dominant opening half from Villa.
The hosts threatened a late revival as Andreas Weimann grabbed a last-gasp strike but Phil Parkinson's men held on to seal their spot in the final against either Swansea or Chelsea and pile more pressure on under-fire Villa boss Paul Lambert.
Trailing 3-1 from the first leg at Valley Parade, Villa had enough opportunities in the opening half-hour to have at least got back on level terms, and the first half-chance fell to Benteke, who climbed above the Bradford defence to meet a cross from N'Zogbia but he directed his header wide. Another menacing centre from N'Zogbia was headed back across goal by Benteke towards Matt Lowton although he could not keep his header down. But Villa's vulnerability at set-pieces in recent weeks was again highlighted when Hanson headed wide from a Jones free-kick when he should have at least hit the target.
N'Zogbia was supplying a string of dangerous balls across the Bradford box and Benteke sent another header straight at Bantams keeper Matt Duke while Fabian Delph, who had been fortunate not to be booked for a reckless early challenge, was then only inches too high with a powerful 20-yard drive. Villa defender Ciaran Clark became the first player to be booked for a challenge on Hanson. Then after 24 minutes Villa Park erupted as Benteke gave the home side lead. Left-back Joe Bennett curled the ball in from the flank and the Belgian was first to react as he prodded the ball past Duke.
Stephen Ireland also had the ball in the net shortly afterwards but he had strayed offside. N'Zogbia continued to ask questions of the Bradford defence and Duke had to be alert to turn over a fierce long range effort. He also reacted sharply to tip Ireland's chip over the bar. The game followed a similar pattern at the start of the second period with Benteke failing to make full contact on a header from Lowton's centre.
But after 55 minutes Villa's Achilles' heel at set-pieces again proved their undoing as Hanson restored Bradford's two-goal aggregate lead, the striker getting in front of Ron Vlaar to head home Jones' corner and send the 6,500 Bradford fans wild. Lambert responded by introducing record signing Darren Bent and he set up a low chance for Ireland who stabbed the ball wide at the near post but Bradford substitute Gary Thompson came within inches of making a spectacular entry as his shot thumped against the bar. The Villa boss brought on a fourth striker in Andreas Weimann and he put Villa ahead on the night after Benteke's flick-on, but Bradford survived the final few minutes to book their place in next month's Wembley final. match commentary
FULL-TIME: BRADFORD ARE GOING TO WEMBLEY!They've only gone and done it! Incredible scenes at Villa Park as Bradford become only the second fourth-tier club to reach a League Cup final in the history of the competition. They survived a Villa onslaught in the first half, but held on and Hanson's crucial second-half goal has booked the Bantams' spot at Wembley. Incredible. Just incredible.
90+2 mins:Delph, you silly boy. Thompson tries to run the ball into the corner and is taken out by a wild tackle. Delph is booked and Bradford have a free-kick.
90+1 min:A Villa corner is whipped into the middle but it flicks off a head and runs wide.
90 mins:FOUR minutes added on. Tents are up inside the Bradford box.
89 mins: VILLA ARE STILL IN THIS!Route-one goal for Villa. Given's long punt is flicked on by Bent. Weimann gets in behind the defence, rounds Duke and sidefoots the ball into the empty net. It's not over just yet!
87 mins:Parkinson makes his second change as Turgott replaces Wells.
86 mins:Bradford are on the brink. Villa have resorted to pumping the ball long into the box but it's not happening.
84 mins:Bradford force another corner. Usually this would be held up, but, with Hanson in the middle, Jones decides to whip in the set-piece. This time, though, Vlaar does his job.
82 mins:N'Zogbia is booked for catching Doyle with his studs. Tick tock.
80 mins:Vlaar blocks a Wells shot to concede a corner. Hanson is again the target and gets his head to the set-piece, but the Bantams goalscorer is penalised for a push.
78 mins:How slow is that clock ticking, Bradford fans?! Weimann whacks a cross straight behind, leading to loud groans from the Villa fans.
76 mins:Bradford are now camped inside their own half as McArdle clears a cross which was again aimed for Benteke. Villa dominated the first half and could have had two or three, but since the break Bradford have been the better side.
74 mins:At the other end, Weimann fires a low ball across the face of the six-yard box, but it runs all the way through and is cleared by Bradford.
73 mins:Bradford hit the bar! Villa have fallen apart since Hanson's goal. Darby gallops into acres of space down the right and cuts the ball into the path of Thompson, whose first-time strike from 15 yards cannons off the crossbar. Desperately unlucky. That could have been his first touch.
71 mins:Both sides make a sub as Weimann replaces Bennett and Thompson comes on for Hines.
70 mins:Delph lines up a shot from 25 yards, but his effort clips the heel of his team-mate Agbonlahor and deflects wide. It's all going Bradford's way now.
67 mins:Danger inside the Bradford box as Bent plays a low cross towards the near post, but Ireland stabs his shot into the side netting.
63 mins:WHAT a chance for Hanson to head the Bantams to Wembley! The big No.9 should be celebrating his second goal as he rises unmarked inside the six-yard box to meet Doyle's cross, but the striker mistimes his header and the ball bounces wide off his shoulder. Clark was in front of Hanson and may have got a slight nick on the ball to put his opponent off, but the Bradford man should have still buried it. Surely that would have been the final nail in Villa's coffin.
62 mins:Lambert sends an SOS out to Bent as the out-of-favour striker replaces Bannan.
60 mins:Bradford are now playing with some swagger as Hines forces a low save out of Given with a strike from 20 yards.
57 mins:What a bullet of a header that was from Hanson. Villa must now score twice to deny the Bantams a trip to Wembley. Bradford's fans are singing, "You're getting sacked in the morning" to Villa boss Lambert.
55 mins: HANSON HEADS IN - THE BRADFORD DREAM IS ALIVE!Where has this come from?! Benteke clears a corner behind, but from Jones's second delivery, Hanson climbs above Vlaar and powers his header past Given from six yards out. Bradford restore their two-goal advantage.
52 mins:Hines races down Bradford's right towards the Villa box. He's having his shirt tugged but the officials don't spot the infringement and the free-kick goes Villa's way when Hines is adjudged to have fouled Delph. That's harsh on the League Two side.
49 mins:Nervy clearance from Good! The left-back on loan from Newcastle attempts to clear Benteke's knock-down at the far post and slices the ball straight into the arms of his keeper. Villa have the cheek to appeal for a back-pass but Good obviously didn't mean it.
47 mins:Up he goes again. Benteke leaps above McArdle as he attacks Lowton's cross, but the Belgian doesn't make a proper connection and glances his header away from goal.
46 mins:Villa restart the game, looking to pick up from where they left off before the break. No subs.
HALF-TIME:Villa have been relentless from the get-go. They were rewarded with an early-ish goal from Benteke, but despite piling an avalanche of pressure on Bradford, they haven't been able to level the tie on aggregate. The League Two side are still hanging in there and are 'only' 45 minutes away from Wembley. Join us for the second half soon.
45 mins:Close from Wells! Bradford have barely been in the final third but against the run of play, Wells curls a brilliant effort just wide from 25 yards. Given was beaten. One minute added on.
44 mins:N'Zogbia, who has been excellent in this half, carries the ball forward and finds Ireland, who chips a cross towards the back post. McArdle misses his header and Benteke rushes in, but the ball bounces off the Belgian's side and falls the wrong side of the post.
41 mins:Bradford are soaking up so much pressure as Ireland attacks down the right, but Atkinson stays with him and clears. Rick from Kingswinford says, "One-way traffic, it's just a matter of time."
38 mins:Ireland is picked out in space on the edge of the box and arrows a strike high towards the centre of the goal but Duke flicks the ball over. From the corner, Benteke again outjumps the defence but sends his header wide.
35 mins:Bit of a breather for the visitors as Doyle wins a free-kick. The ball is pumped long into the Villa box but Clark clears. Karl from Alloa says, "Come on Bradford. I'm a Leeds fan and know how much City fans hate us, but I really hope you go through tonight!"
32 mins:Superb one-handed save by Duke! He had a storming first leg in the Bradford goal and makes another fantastic stop in this tie as he tips over N'Zogbia's swerving 25-yard strike. The Bantams then survive a couple of corners but there's no doubt they are hanging on.
30 mins:Villa smell blood as they launch another attack, but N'Zogbia's dink into the box is hacked away.
27 mins:So Bradford still lead on aggregate but the way Villa have started, that advantage will be wiped out very soon. Bennett, who made the goal, sets off on a mazy run and plays in Ireland, but the midfielder is offside as he strokes the ball past Duke.
24 mins: VILLA PULL ONE BACK!There have been plenty of warning signs for Bradford and this time they are punished by BENTEKE. Bennett whips in a teasing ball from about 40 yards out and Benteke gets in front of the defence to delicately volley past Duke with his outstretched left boot. Quality finish.
22 mins:Phil Dowd dishes out the first yellow card after Clark clips Hanson from behind. That was nothing compared to Delph's challenge inside the opening minute.
19 mins:Petrov's name is being cheered by both sets of fans as we enter the 19th minute (the Bulgarian's squad number). And Agbonlahor almost increases the volume as he turns sharply inside the box and whacks a low shot on target which Duke handles well.
17 mins:Former Leeds midfielder Delph isn't far off target as he glides forward and fires a rocket just over from 25 yards.
16 mins:N'Zogbia to Benteke. Again. The Frenchman picks out his team-mate with a curling cross, but Benteke heads straight at Duke from six yards. That's the third header he's won inside the Bradford box. N'Zogbia is being afforded too much time on the ball down Villa's right side.
13 mins:Villa have started very well and are playing with a fast tempo. They've enjoyed 75% of possession so far. It's going to be a long night for Bradford, but the West Yorkshire side will threaten from set-pieces and have already been given a few cheap free-kicks.
11 mins:Bradford win a free-kick in a useful area near the Villa corner. Jones whips the ball into the centre but Hanson can't direct his header goalwards.
9 mins:Benteke is causing plenty of problems for the visitors. This time it's with his feet as he skips past Good and fires a dangerous cross into the middle, but McArdle makes a crucial clearance under pressure from Agbonlahor.
6 mins:For the second time in a few minutes, Benteke climbs above the Bantams defence to meet N'Zogbia's cross. The striker nods the ball towards the far post, but Lowton can't control his header which flies over from close range.
3 mins:Headed chance for Benteke as he rises to meet N'Zogbia's right-wing cross, but the Belgian plants his effort a foot wide. Duke was very confident the ball was going off target.
1 min:Stupid tackle by Bradford-born Delph as he flattens Hines with a scissor tackle on the touchline. He's lucky to escape a yellow card. Villa clear the free-kick.
0 mins:The League Two side, wearing their gold and black strip, get the second leg underway. "No way Bradford can beat another Prem club, come on Villa," says Sue from Dudley.
1942:The players are greeted to a deafening roar at Villa Park. I can't remember the last time I was this excited for a League Cup game and I'm a neutral. Simon says, "Huge City fan, if we score tonight i believe we'll get through. COME ON CITY!"
1940:Lots of you are confident Villa will overturn the two-goal deficit. "Easy Villa win tonight, won't need pens and we are gonna make Stan proud COYV, texts Jack." I think there's a few underestimating the Bantams.
1937:Plenty of predictions coming in. Leigh says, "Villa 4-0 Bradford early goal for Benteke and we should have too much for them." Lukas from London adds, "Bradford to get away goal but Villa to win 4-1." It's important to note that away goals only count in extra time.
1930:Notts County. Watford. Burton. Wigan. Arsenal...Villa? Bradford are bidding to become only the second fourth-tier club to participate in a League Cup final after Rochdale, who finished runners-up to Norwich in 1962, although back then many of the top sides did not take part. Will the Bantams add the West Midlanders to their League Cup hitlist?
1906:Villa make three changes from the side that drew against rivals West Brom on the weekend. Shay Given replaces Brad Guzan in goal, while Stephen Ireland and Barry Bannan come in for the injured Nathan Baker (hamstring) and Ashley Westwood who is cup-tied. Bradford boss Phil Parkinson has stuck with the same side that won the first leg in West Yorkshire.
1900:Welcome to our live coverage of the Capital One Cup semi-final second leg between Aston Villa and League Two outfit Bradford City. The Bantams boast a two-goal advantage heading into the game at Villa Park after stunning their Premier League opponents 3-1 at Valley Parade.