Football

Cup win has Bradford dreaming of Europe

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Bradford will take a two-goal lead into the second leg of their League Cup semi-final after beating Premier League opponents Aston Villa 3-1 at Valley Parade.

Progression to Wembley and the final could even see the League Two side secure an unlikely European berth for next season.

Bradford started nervously as Villa pressed early on, with Christian Benteke testing keeper Matt Duke 13 minutes in, only to be denied by a smart save.

The breakthrough moment came in the 19th minute, when Nakhi Wells capitalised on commotion in the Bradford penalty box to finish coolly and put the underdogs 1-0 up.

Bradford continued to pile on the pressure in the second half, and while credit goes to Aston Villa for pulling a goal back through Andreas Weimann, it was Bradford’s never say die spirit that won them this game in stylish fashion with two further goals from Rory McArdle (77) and Carl McHugh (88).

The tie is fascinatingly poised, with the League Two side taking a two goal cushion with them to Villa Park, one would think they may be tempted into parking the bus and grinding out a passage to the final with a bore draw or taking their chances on a narrow defeat.

Anyone making such an assumption clearly hasn’t watched Bradford in this Capital One Cup campaign, where they have played adventurous and daring football to emphatically knock out high-flying Arsenal on penalties.

The chances are Bradford will fancy themselves away from home and will go out and attack their superior opposition; it is their way.

Another twist to Bradford’s startling cup run may come if they go through to the final and face Chelsea (who must defeat Swansea to get there themselves); they will have a very strong chance of qualifying for the Europa League!

It would be a thrilling turn of events, but for now all eyes are on the second leg of the semi-final, which will be played on Tuesday the 22nd of January.

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Topics:
Andreas Weimann
Football
League Cup
Premier League
Bradford City
Matt Duke
Aston Villa

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