Skip to main content

'Giant-killers' Bradford stun Aston Villa in League Cup

January 9, 2013 -- Updated 1604 GMT (0004 HKT)
Bradford's players celebrate after Carl McHugh (grounded) scores their third against Aston Villa
Bradford's players celebrate after Carl McHugh (grounded) scores their third against Aston Villa
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Fourth-tier Bradford City stun Premier League Aston Villa in League Cup
  • Bradford win the first leg 3-1 at their Valley Parade ground
  • The lowly team knocked out high-flying Arsenal in the previous round

(CNN) -- On the day that marks the birth of Elvis Presley perhaps it is fitting that lightning should strike twice.

Bradford City, currently in the fourth tier of English football, stunned Premier League Aston Villa with a 3-1 win in the first leg of their semifinal in the League Cup just weeks after toppling the mighty Arsenal.

The club are now just 90 minutes away from their first major final since they lifted the FA Cup back in 1911, if they can successfully negotiate the second leg at Villa Park on January 22.

Goals from Nehki Wells and Rory McArdle stunned the visitors before Andreas Weimann pulled a goal back for Villa but a late header from Carl McHugh restored City's two-goal cushion.

Read: Arsenal stunned by fourth tier Bradford City

Messi claims fourth Ballon d'Or
Exclusive: Boateng on racist abuse
Schmeichel: Spain has best national team
Lionel Messi breaks goal scoring record

Bradford are now on the verge of matching the achievement Rochdale, who were the last fourth division side to reach the League Cup final in 1962.

The League Cup, first contested in 1960, is regarded as the third competition in English football behind the Premier League and the FA Cup.

Villa are owned by Randy Lerner, the American businessman who recently sold the Cleveland Browns NFL franchise.

Even if Bradford don't make it to Wembley they will have two cup shocks to remember fondly after they disposed of a full-strength Arsenal team on penalties in the last eight.

Their manager Phil Parkinson told Sky Sports: "To beat Aston Villa 3-1 is outstanding achievement, we played so well.

"Villa came with an attacking line up but left space and I thought we passed the ball well. The lads were magnificent in all departments.

"We've got be respectful and do it all again so we don't get carried away but what a victory for us. We've got to go there and enjoy it in front of 40,000 fans, and 6,000 of ours, because the pressure will be on Villa.

"We want to go and put in a strong performance. If we do that we'll have a great chance of going to Wembley. This is a dream to be in the semifinals with the likes of Chelsea, Villa, Swansea and we've got take it. They'll have to really earn it if they get to the final."

A despondent Paul Lambert said his young Villa side weren't good enough to match their supposedly inferior opponents on the night.

"We knew what was coming, the set pieces, and we never defended them well at all," he said.

"It wasn't good enough. We had a lot of the game but you've got to be able to defend set pieces. Its happened year after year that so-called lesser teams beat bigger teams but we've got a chance to redeem this.

"I'm pretty sure we'll start as favorites but it's a big game for us now."

European champions Chelsea take on Swansea in the other semifinal first leg on Wednesday night.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
August 15, 2014 -- Updated 1151 GMT (1951 HKT)
Last season Jose Mourinho wrote off the title of hopes of his "little horse" -- but now he has a squad primed to dethrone Manchester City.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 1858 GMT (0258 HKT)
Luis Suarez will have to wait until late October to make his competitive Barcelona debut his ban for biting an opponent was partially upheld.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 1649 GMT (0049 HKT)
Can Louis van Gaal cut it at Manchester United? Will Bayern conquer all in Germany? Is this PSG's year to win the Champions League?
August 7, 2014 -- Updated 1012 GMT (1812 HKT)
It's been a difficult year for Barcelona on and off the pitch, and the signing of Luis Suarez has only increased the prospect of more controversy.
August 11, 2014 -- Updated 1435 GMT (2235 HKT)
Germany striker Miroslav Klose, who scored a total of 16 goals at four World Cup finals, has announced his retirement from international football.
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 1145 GMT (1945 HKT)
Cultural y Deportivo Leonesa line up in their tuxedo kit.
When celebrating an important anniversary, it's always good to look your best. At least that's theory for a Spanish football team's preseason tuxedo kit.
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1103 GMT (1903 HKT)
While many top European clubs are targeting the U.S. market, French football is setting its sights on expanding into Asia -- with China playing a key role.
July 27, 2014 -- Updated 1229 GMT (2029 HKT)
Major League Soccer has snared another big name from England with former Chelsea star Frank Lampard committing his future to New York City FC.
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 1656 GMT (0056 HKT)
Europe's top clubs have booked a summer holiday to the U.S. -- but this is business not pleasure as they look to cash in on the World Cup afterglow.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1828 GMT (0228 HKT)
Brazil's new coach Dunga won the World Cup as a player in 1994.
Former World Cup-winning captain Dunga is appointed coach of Brazil's national team for the second time, charged with restoring national pride.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1420 GMT (2220 HKT)
Colombia's World Cup star James Rodriguez continues Real Madrid's long tradition of signing "Galacticos."
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1007 GMT (1807 HKT)
Germany's World Cup-winning captain Philipp Lahm has decided to go out at the top by announcing his retirement from international football.
ADVERTISEMENT