Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Bradford on verge of Capital One cup final!

Bradford City stunned Aston Villa to take a stranglehold in their Capital One Cup semi-final, following the 3-1 victory at Valley Parade this evening.

Carl McHugh's 88th minute header ensured Bradford go to Villa Park with a two goal buffer and give them the ultimate chance of producing the unlikeliest of cup finalists.

Nekhi Wells gave Bradford the early goal a shock usually requires and as Villa missed a host of chances, the League Two side punished them as Rory McArdle's header made it 2-0. Andi Weimann pulled Villa back in the match; however the Bantams two goal lead was restored via McHugh.

A place in the final isn't guaranteed for Bradford, however Paul Lambert will be furious that his side appear to have blown an amazing opportunity for a date at Wembley.

As for Bradford, Phil Parkinson who was given the boot by both Hull and Charlton has masterminded an incredible achievement, and whatever happens in the return leg, this run will go down as one of the finest in living memory.

Parkinson has guided Bradford to 8th in League Two

Aston Villa actually came out the quicker, and with Charles N'Zogbia consistently finding space, an early goal for the Villains looked inevitable; however the usually reliable Christian Benteke couldn't convert two very presentable chances that fell his way.

Despite their slow start, very much against the run of play, Bradford opened the scoring through Wells.

Joe Bennett conceded the cheapest of corners, and despite dealing with the original dead ball, Zavon Hines was first to the cleared header, and his shot was deflected perfectly into the path of Bradford's leading goalscorer who beat Shay Given with an assured finish.

Nahki Wells
Wells gave Bradford the ideal platform 

Bradford nearly doubled their lead from another corner and Hanson was only denied by Fabian Delph's clearance off the line.

The League Two's greatest threat came from down the right, with the former West Ham winger Zavon Hines giving Bennett a torrid time. And one of his many deliveries nearly brought about a second goal, however Hanson headed into the ground over.

N'Zogbia was behind every good Villa did, and he created another chance for the Premier League side, but Gabriel Agbonlahor shot straight at Duke from in and around the penalty spot.

Villa again started the half the quicker, but a poor touch from Ciaran Clark meant the centre half couldn't get a shot away despite the freedom of the six-yard box.

On another evening Benteke could've had a hat-trick, however Duke produced his best save of the evening following a diving header from the Belgian international. 

Darren Bent arrived around the hour mark and was guilty of not leveling the tie, following a shocking miss! For the first time in the game Duke was at fault following a poor spillage from a N'Zogbia shot, and with the goal gaping, Bent headed over from all of two yards.

Incredibly Bradford scored a second through McArdle. Captain Gary Jones's corner was cleared back to him, and his delivery was perfect for the McArdle to show the £24million Bent how to head home!

Hanson who won pretty much ever header that was put in the penalty box from open play almost made it 3-0, but his effort clipped the bar and went out for a goal kick.

With time running out, Villa were in desperate need of a lifeline, and the in-form Weimann gave them exactly that! Benteke's knock down from a long ball was perfect for the Austrian who beat Duke to the ball before slotting it home to give Villa the goal they merited.

Amazingly the scoring hadn't ended, and McHugh scored Bradford's third of the evening, heading superbly home from another pinpoint Jones set piece.

The third goal stunned Lambert's side, and even when four minutes of extra time were signaled, Villa didn't look like reducing the arrears and for the majority of the overtime the ball was in the Villa half.

Few gave Bradford a chance of eliminating another Premier League side given the two legged factor, however come the return leg at Villa Park, the League Two side may even be slight favourites. 

No comments:

Post a Comment