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22 January 2013
• Villa Park, Birmingham
Referee: P. Dowd
• Attendance: 40193
C. Benteke 24'
A. Weimann 89'
Bradford City win Aggregate 4 - 3
J. Hanson 55'
Join Goal.com tomorrow night to find out who the League Two club will face at Wembley, when Michael Laudrup's Swansea defend their two-goal lead against Chelsea. Thanks and take care!
Villa join Wigan and Arsenal on the pile of Bradford's Premier League scalps in the Capital One Cup this season, with the League Two club due to face either Swansea or Chelsea in the final.
Hanson's goal proved decisive on the night, sandwiched between Benteke's opener and Weimann's late strike, sending Phil Parkinson's Bradford through to a Wembley League Cup final.
Unbelievable scenes from Villa Park as Bradford lose 2-1 on the night, but knock Aston Villa out of the League Cup with a 4-3 aggregate win.
90' + 5'
FULL TIME! And Bradford have made it to the Capital One Cup Final!
90' + 4'
The ball pinballs around the Bradford box but no-one can fashion a decent chance as the visitors hoof the ball clear.
90' + 2'
Yellow Card Fabian Delph
90' + 2'
Bradford now firmly on the back foot as Villa press for the aggregate equaliser. Delph earns himself a booking, and Bradford some time as he scythes through Thompson deep within the Villa half.
90' + 1'
Bent rises highest to meet a corner with his head, though can only drift the ball harmlessly wide of the far post.
The referee calls for four minutes injury time...
Assist Darren Bent
Goal Andreas Weimann
It's going to be a nervy closing few minutes for Bradford, with Villa finding themselves just a goal away from forcing extra-time.
All subtlety seems to have gone for Villa, who have been reduced to drilling long balls into the box. McHugh and McArdle are equal to it though and are in no way subject to the bullying Benteke as they were in the first half.
...though this time Vlaar gets the better of Hanson and flicks the ball out of danger with his head.
Again Bradford attack on the counter, as Darby strides into the Villa half unchallenged. An exchange with Wells sees the visitors win another corner...
Yellow Card Charles N'Zogbia
Bradford are now less than 10 minutes away from being the first fourth-tier side in the League Cup final since 1962.
Here's Nicholas McGee: "Three quarters of the crowd are silent at the moment, the only fans you can hear signing are the Bradford fans, who are witnessing their side in complete control at the moment."
The visitors look comfortable, as Bent and Agbonlahor are both called offside in quick succession after attempting to latch onto long balls pumped in behind the Bradford defence.
Agbonlahor's pace is causing problems though the same cannot be said for his delivery, after the Villa stalward pumps a rather meaningless ball into the opposition area. He would have been better served driving into the box.
Thompson rattles the bar for the visitors! Villa, now almost shapeless as they throw men forward to try get back into the game, find themselves subject to a swift Bradford counter and Darby's cut back finds Thompson, who steps onto the ball and bends a delightful effort against the crossbar.
The home side now have out-and-out attacking assets Agbonlahor, Bent, Benteke and Weimann on the field yet are finding it markedly more difficult to break down a side they were pillaging in the first half.
Lowton and Bent combine on the right side of the penalty area yet when the latter feeds the ball into Ireland, the midfielder can only sweep the ball across himself and into the side netting.
The shift in impetus here is remarkable, Bradford have been utterly rejuvenated by their equaliser, with the effectiveness and energy of their pressing forcing Villa into all sorts of mistakes that were absent before.
Darren Bent peels his tracksuit off on the sidelines, replacing Bannan as Lambert seeks to readdress the two-goal deficit his team once again finds themselves in.
Hanson misses a sitter to surely put the game beyond doubt. Hines swings a ball over from the right and the front-man finds himself in acres of space just outside the six-yard box, only to horribly misjudge his effort and head harmlessly wide.
The goal has coaxed some confidence out of the League Two club, who now find themselves just half an hour away from Wembley.
Here's Nicholas McGee: "Absolute chaos in the away end as James Hanson powered that one into the end. The Bantams are now within touching distance of Wembley and the visiting fans are now taunting Paul Lambert with chants of 'you're getting sacked in the morning."
Remarkable stuff at Villa Park, with Bradford's threat to the home side's goal basically non-existent before they won their first corner of the evening. Vlaar will find himself culpable for Hanson getting a free head on the ball, the defender had totally lost track of his man around the penalty spot.
Assist Gary Jones
Goal James Hanson
And Bradford win their first corner of the evening, quickly preceded by their second as Benteke heads straight out of play...
Hines does well to dispossess Bennett deep within his own half, though after the winger seems to have his shirt tugged after breaking free, the referee decides to penalise Hines for his own over-exuberance.
Captain Vlaar wins the discussion but probably sacrifices his chances at taking the next one, after rifling the ball pretty hopelessly into Bradford's wall.
Villa win a free kick about 30 yards from goal, as Vlaar, N'Zogbia, Bennett, Benteke and Delph all debate over who will strike it...
Paul Lambert's side have settled into the same pattern that defined the opening 45 minutes, enjoying leisurely possession before penetrating down the flanks. Lowton delivers from the right and Benteke can only get a glancing connection with the cross, certainly not enough to send the ball goalwards.
As Aston Villa kick off the second half.
They're back out and champing at the bit at Villa Park...
Nicholas McGee - our man at Villa Park - reckons the home fans can taste blood: "Half-time and you can sense the excitement growing among the home fans, they know their side have dominated proceedings and more goals appear to be in the offing if things continue in the same fashion in the second half. Bradford have been a sporadic threat - their best chance coming late in the opening period from Nakhi Wells - but Phil Parkinson will undoubtedly be pleased with the effort his side have shown from a defensive standpoint."
Bradford have been made to look every inch the League Two side by a Villa team who are relishing the chance to prove their quality against lesser opposition. Full-backs Lowton and Bennett are running riot down their respective flanks, while Ireland has orchestrated things in the middle and Benteke has gobbled up every ball into the penalty area.
After a half of almost relentless Villa pressure, Bradford may count themselves somewhat fortunate to still have an aggregate lead in this Capital One Cup semi-final. Phil Parkinson's side will be thankful of the opportunity to sit down, take stock and plan exactly how they are going to halt Aston Villa, who need just a goal to send themselves to Wembley.
And the referee blows for half-time!
Then down the other end Wells has his team's first effort on goal, firing wide of the far post with his left foot from just inside the area.
First up, Benteke almost profits from McArdle's poor decision-making, after the centre-half tries to flick away N'Zogbia's cross, only to nod onto the onrushing striker, who sees the ball rebound off him just inches wide.
Chances both ends...
Ireland has really come into the game now and is advancing beyond Agbonlahor and Benteke to excellent effect. Bradford are struggling to get to grips with both the movement and dynamism that Villa are playing with at the moment.
Duke is proving the difference between the two sides here, again saving fantastically to prevent Villa clawing back their two-goal aggregate deficit. Ireland picks the ball up on the edge of the box and sends a curling effort that looked as if it was going to dip just under the bar, though the Bradford keeper's fingertips were just about equal to the effort.
Any forays forward for Bradford have been characterised by a severe lack of quality, with their inability to keep hold of the ball a major source of frustration as they try to repel wave after wave of Villa attack. Hines shows a couple tidy stepovers but they lead down a cul-de-sac and the home side clear their lines.
The home side continue to enjoy a lengthy spell of sustained pressure, with Bradford camped into their own half. N'Zogbia skips in off the right touchline and lets rip with a rasping left-footed drive that Duke goes brilliantly to tip over the crossbar. That strike looked destined for the top corner.
And Villa almost go 2-0 up on the night after Bennett's mazy dribble through the heart of Bradford's midfield ends up at the feet of Ireland. The midfielder tucks home with assurance, before seeing his strike correctly disallowed for offside.
Bradford's response in the next few minutes will be key to how the rest of this second leg pans out. The visitors two goal aggregate lead has been halved by what was really quite a simple goal for Villa and they look to have stunned their lower league opposition in the opening 25 minutes.
Assist Joseph Bennett
Goal Christian Benteke
Bennett sends in a delightful ball from deep on the left and Benteke, who had got across his man with no problem whatsoever, tucks in with consummate ease with the side of his foot at the near post.
Yellow Card Ciaran Clark
Villa work a smart move up to Agbonlahor, who swivels well and drives a left-footed effort comfortably into Duke's body.
Here's Nicholas McGee's take on proceedings thus far: "Villa have dominated much of this contest so far, and the fans are really getting behind them. Still Bradford have stood up to the challenge well and their sprit was exemplified by Rory McArdle's heroic block to deny Gabriel Agbonlahor. Early signs suggest the Bantams may have to show alot of that if they are to progress."
N'Zogbia centres again for Benteke to power a header into the arms of Bradford keeper Duke. Get the feeling that this could be a recurring theme tonight.
This time it's Agbonlahor who gets in down the right though the pacy front man opts to cut back to no-one in particular, when firing the ball across goal would have perhaps been the smarter move.
After scoring three goals from set-pieces in the first-leg, it was always going to be the case that Bradford would test Villa with balls into the box at any opportunity. They'll have to do better than that though, with Hines sending in an outswinging free kick that was easily dealt with by the home side.
Villa are knocking... Benteke clips the ball around Good, goes the other way and cuts it back into the path of Agbonlahor, who is denied by a decent block from McArdle.
Benteke looks like he's going cause all sorts of problems for the Bradford back four this evening. Again the Belgian is sought in the box with a teased ball in from the right and though after he fires the ball back across the box with his head, Lowton cannot react quick enough and sends his effort on goal wildly over.
As I say that, Benteke has the game's first decent chance, rising impressively between two Bradford defenders to send a powerful header just wide of the far upright.
Bradford enjoy a nice piece of the ball in the games opening exchanges, with Hanson unlucky not to win a corner after a decent spell of possession for the visitors.
Fabian Delph has set the tone for the night with a wild lunging tackle on Hines in the opening minute. Lucky to escape a booking.
And it's Bradford to kick off...
Nicholas McGee, our man on the ground, is eagerly anticipating this one: "The atmosphere is beginning to build ahead of kick-off, the Villa fans attempt to ramp up the noise, but the travelling fans respond with taunts about Villa's current perilous Premier League position."
A couple of minutes until kick-off at a very icy-looking Villa Park.
For a bit of perspective, 60 places in the English football ladder separate the two clubs this evening.
Phil Parkinson and Bradford City welcome back top goalscorer James Hanson - who had missed the last two matches with a broken toe - right-back Stephen Darby and central midfielder Will Atkinson. Incidentally, it's the same team that featured in the first-leg 3-1 victory.
Paul Lambert predictably names a strong starting XI, with Christian Benteke partnered up front by Gabriel Agbonlahor. Fabian Delph recovers from the knock he picked up against West Brom at the weekend but no such luck for Nathan Baker, who misses out.
Bradford: Duke, McHugh, Darby, McArdle, Good, Atkinson, Doyle, Hines, Jones [c], Wells, Hanson. Subs: McLaughlin, Ravenhill, Reid, Thompson, Connell, Nelson, Turgott
Aston Villa: Given, Vlaar [c], Clark, Bennett, Lowton, Ireland, Delph, N'Zogbia, Agbonlahor, Bannan, Benteke. Subs: Guzan, Bent, Lichaj, Holman, Weimann, Stevens, Carruthers
Here are tonight's teams...
Though Bradford have just two wins in their last nine outings, Paul Lambert's Villa lay claim to a record arguably more disheartening, with one win in eight leaving them scrapping for their Premier League lives.
A famous 3-1 victory in the first leg at Valley Parade has left the Bantams 90 minutes away from a remarkable trip to Wembley, with the League Two club also on the cusp of rewriting the history books through potentially being the first fourth-tier finalist since 1962.
Evening all and welcome to Goal.com's coverage of the Capital One Cup semi-final second leg between Aston Villa and Bradford.
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