Tuesday football as it happened

Live text commentary as Bradford defeat Arsenal in the Capital One Cup after a penalty shoot-out on a busy night of action.

11 December 2012 Last updated at 23:01

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As it happened

  1. 2258: 

    Arsenal's shock defeat by League Two's Bradford will dominate the headlines regardless of the achievements of Martin O'Neill and Paul Lambert. It's time to end this evening's live text commentary on a night full of goals and surprises. Thank you, as ever, for your contributions. Phil Dawkes will be in the live text hot seat on Wednesday evening to guide you through Swansea's League Cup quarter-final against Middlesbrough. Cheerio.


    Austin Bobmanuel on Twitter: "A drama-filled night. More confirmation on how not to run a top football club."

    Dave Payn on Twitter: "Re Sam (2246). Your argument gets blown out of the water when Wenger says he cannot fault the effort of the players."

    Alex Batt on Twitter: "Arsene Wenger's interview has made me more angry than the result. How can he take any positives? There aren't any."

  3. 2253: 

    The evening hasn't been all about Bradford City and Arsenal. No siree. Martin O'Neill celebrated a year in charge at Sunderland with a convincing victory over Reading, while Aston Villa reached their second League Cup semi-final in four years by beating Norwich City.


    Liam on 81111 on text: "As a proud Bradford City fan working in Finland, I caused something of a stir in the local sports bar this evening. Get in City!"

    Sam on 81111 on text: "I hate all these reactionary fans saying Wenger Out. Cup upsets happen. We'll start winning games and people will forget this. Fickle fans, fickle pundits.

    Dan in London on 81111 on text: "Why do people keep blaming Wenger? It wouldn't have made a difference if Dick Dastardly was in the dugout. That XI, simply put, had to win. The players are entirely to blame."

  5. 2246:  
    Mark Pougatch, BBC Radio 5 live

    "Football is an emotional business and people do overreact on here so I will only tell you what I saw here from Arsenal. So little pace, no width down the left, too many average players and no real understanding of playing for a club like Arsenal. Shocking.

    "Ivan Gazidis always said the fans would be the final arbiters of the manager. The same fans who pay the most in the country."

  6. 2244: 

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: "We started on the front foot, made a good start. They defended well and we all know what happened on the penalties. We had many, many chances and their keeper had a good game.

    "Whenever you go out it's not a good result for Arsenal. We lost on penalties to a team who played very well. I cannot fault the effort of my team - we gave everything for the 120 minutes and you have to give credit to Bradford. It's not a lack of quality - we couldn't convert our chances for different reasons,. This was a real cup game. We'll get over this, it's part of our job. We'll focus on the next game."

  7. 2241: 

    The cameras move to the Bradford dressing room and, unsurprisingly, there are a few nifty dance moves on display. Not quite Gangnam Style but a number of Bradford players gambolling on the seats.

    Mark Pougatch, BBC Radio 5 live

    "Congratulations to Bradford City. A merited win based upon skill, heart and passion."

  9. 2239: 

    Bradford City goalkeeper Matt Duke: "Is this really happening? The lads in front of me were tremendous and we made it hard for Arsenal. It's a big night for the club and it was great to see Valley Parade full tonight. The lads were superb. I was confident we'd do it in the penalty shoot-out. We've got some great takers and I was confident I'd save a couple."


    Opta tweets: "Bradford City have won more consecutive penalty shoot outs than any other English team in history."

  11. 2238: 

    Bradford City manager Phil Parkinson: "The lads were terrific tonight, the discipline was first class against such a talented team like Arsenal. The talk will be about the penalties but the overall performance was excellent tonight. The way the lads stuck at the task was a credit to them. The stadium was full, the atmosphere was incredible and we want to put the club back on the map again, these fans deserve it, the city deserves it."

  12. 2237: 

    Bradford fans making their way to the exits at a snails pace and who can blame them for wanting to remain in the stadium to savour their surprise victory. A cluster of fans still at full voice, singing about Wembley. Steady on, boys and girls.

  13. 2236: 

    Kaid Mohamed scores with six minutes left in extra-time to give Cheltenham a 2-1 victory against Hereford and a money-spinning home televised game against Everton in the third round of the FA Cup.

  14. 2235: 

    There's been drama in the FA Cup too. Southend goalkeeper Daniel Bentley is the Shrimpers' hero as his side beat Bury 3-2 in the penalty shootout after it finished 1-1 after extra-time.

    Bentley saved spot-kicks from David Worrall and Mark Hughes, while Troy Hewitt also blasted his effort wide.

    Bentley's saves spared Gavin Tomlin the embarrassment as the striker, who scored in the match, had a chance to win it but tried to be too clever with a dinked, weakly-struck penalty which Bury goalkeeper Trevor Carson easily saved.

    League Two Southend are now likely to face Brentford in the third round.

    However, that depends on the result of Bradford's appeal after they were thrown out of the competition for fielding an ineligible player during their win against Brentford in the second round.


    Gaurav on 81111 on text: "Two words about Arsenal: Wenger Out."

    Tom in Staines on 81111 on text: "I hope to wake up to news of Wenger's resignation."

    Adam from Watford on 81111 on text: "Surely that's time for Arsene. A virtually full-strength Arsenal couldn't raise themselves for this game. That is, despite the legend he is, down to him."

  16. 2232: 

    Prior to this tie, Arsenal had been knocked out of the League Cup by a club outside the top flight once in the last 22 seasons - You can now make that twice. It's going to be a long, bleak journey back to the capital for Arsene Wenger and his men, hopefully they won't encounter any Gunners fans on their way home.


    Aston Villa striker Andreas Weimann tweets: "Buzzing. Through to semis! Fans were unbelievable tonight! Up the Villa."


    Alex Brown on Twitter: "Probably be worth capping the Bradford City team for next World Cup given their penalty shootout record."

    Alex Wood on Twitter: "It's starting to become dark, dark days to be an Arsenal supporter."

    David Jones on Twitter: "OK we've all had a laugh, now spend some money."

  19. 2229: 

    So, there you have it. League Two's Bradford City - kings of the penalty shoot-out - are through to the semi-finals of the League Cup for the first time in their history.

  20. 2228: 

    The Bradford players and manager applaud their vociferous fans. Gary Jones embraces his boss Phil Parkinson and it's a wonderful joyous scene at Bradford, if you support the team from West Yorkshire that is.

    BBC Radio 5 live's Mark Lawrenson at Bradford v Arsenal

    "From Bradford's point of view it has been a magnificent effort. They made Arsenal hurry in every single department and played excellent football themselves. Arsenal's internationals came on and eventually got the equaliser, but this was such a fantastic effort from City. There is such a big gap between these two sides. They made Arsenal look extremely ordinary."

    Listen to tonight's action on 5 live right now.

  22. 2225: 

    The Bradford players race towards their goalkeeper Matt Duke and some fans have made their way to the pitch. Pandemonium at Bradford. A beaming Phil Parkinson recognises someone in the crowd and points in their direction.

  23. 2224: 

    The Arsenal defender hits the post and Bradford are through to the semi-finals of the League Cup!

  24. 2223: 
    MISSED PENALTY- Bradford 3-2 Arsenal - Thomas Vermaelen

    Sends the keeper the wrong way but hits the base of the post.

  25. 2222: 
    MISSED PENALTY- Bradford 3-2 Arsenal - Ritchie Jones

    The Arsenal keeper dives to his left to save a weak strike.

  26. 2222: 
    PENALTY- Bradford 3-2 Arsenal - Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

    Low and precise, the spot kick goes into the bottom corner.

  27. 2221: 
    PENALTY- Bradford 3-1 Arsenal - Alan Connell

    High and hard, Connell sends the keeper the wrong way.

  28. 2221: 
    PENALTY- Bradford 2-1 Arsenal - Jack Wilshere

    A very cool penalty by the England international, sending the keeper the wrong way.

  29. 2220: 
    MISSED PENALTY- Bradford 2-0 Arsenal - Stephen Darby

    A low save down to Wojciech Szczesny's right.

  30. 2220: 
    MISSED PENALTY- Bradford 2-0 Arsenal - Marouane Chamakh

    A low and hard strike that crashes off the base of the post to Matt Duke's right.

  31. 2219: 
    PENALTY- Bradford 2-0 Arsenal - Gary Jones

    The keeper dives the right way but cannot stop the ball.

  32. 2219: 
    MISSED PENALTY- Bradford 1-0 Arsenal - Santi Cazorla

    The Arsenal player strikes his spot kick to Matt Duke's left but the keeper makes a full-length save.

  33. 2218: 
    PENALTY- Bradford 1-0 Arsenal - Nathan Doyle

    Slots his spot kick beyond the Arsenal keeper.

  34. 2217: 

    Nathan Doyle heads towards the box. WE'RE SECONDS AWAY.


    Myles on Twitter: "Penalties. Yes, this is what the cup is about."

    Sanj on Twitter: "Come on Bradford. You've got pretty much the whole country rooting for you, including a fair few Arsenal fans methinks!"

    Aaron Plumridge on Twitter: "I find it unlikely Arsenal would have done penalty research on a League Two side. However Bradford may have. Advantage?"

  36. 2217: 

    Arsenal have won their last five penalty shoot-outs while Bradford have been successful in their last eight spot-kick deciders. The captains gather on the half-way line for the coin toss... Wojciech Szczesny adds some spit to his gloves.

  37. 2213: 

    Thirty seconds remaining. Arsenal adopt a siege mentality. Santi Cazorla's long-range shot ricochets off a phalanx of Bradford defenders and Matt Duke prevents the corner. We're heading for penalties.

  38. 2211: 

    Thunderous cheers around the stadium as the pendulum swings back in Bradford's way. The home fans get excited over a throw-in in the Arsenal half, but it comes to nothing. One minute left. Jack Wilshere prepares to take a free-kick. Oh my.


    Ash on Twitter: "No disrespect meant to Bradford but there are far more important matches for Arsenal to play the first XI. The Premier League, for a start."

    Nick Neill on Twitter: "To have only 11 shots on target from 26 is very poor. To have scored only one is a travesty. January is time for a striker."

    Mark G on Twitter: "Every touch Gervinho takes he looks like a newborn foal who hasn't figured out what legs are for yet."

    BBC Radio 5 live's Mark Lawrenson at Bradford v Arsenal

    "If it goes to penalties both ends are full of City fans, aren't they?"

    Listen to tonight's action on 5 live right now.

  41. 2211: 

    Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain dribbles from his own half, loses the ball but through sheer doggedness regains possession and his team are on the attack again. Arsenal eager to wrap this match up in extra-time and who can blame them as Bradford have won eight penalty shoot-outs on the trot this season.

    Mark Pougatch, BBC Radio 5 live

    "Oxo having a dip in form but he's young. He will return. Not so sure about some of the others..."

  43. 2208: 

    Temperatures rising on a crisp evening at Bradford. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Marouane Chamakh exchanging words after the Moroccan's pass goes awry. You need a bit of passion on an evening like this, though.

    Nigel Worthington, BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "There was a nice touch from Paul Lambert at the end, who came onto the pitch and shook all the Norwich players' hands. You've got to give the man respect - he's come back to his old club and got a fantastic result on the night. For such a young team you can see signs of confidence at Aston Villa, and tonight they passed the ball well and created chances, which they finished off. This will do Villa a lot of good."

  45. 2205: 

    Tomas Rosiky finds Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the right but the winger is wasteful in possession, failing to find a team-mate with a cross when he had plenty of time. Just over six minutes left at Bradford.

  46. 2203: 

    For all of Arsenal's polished midfield play, Bradford are holding on and seem intent on taking this match to penalties. Arsene Wenger pacing along on the sidelines after watching Santi Cazorla's long-range strike curl way off target.

  47. 2202: 

    Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill on his team's 3-0 win over Reading: "We're delighted with the win. It was important for us. We've not been able to win at home for some time. The performances have actually not been too bad against both Norwich and Chelsea but that is not what you want to be talking about. Tonight was a big one for us."

    BBC Radio 5 live's Mark Lawrenson at Bradford v Arsenal

    "Since Rosicky came on it's him and Cazorla in and around the Bradford area, all the time."

    Listen to tonight's action on 5 live right now.

  49. 2202: 

    We are getting closer to penalties in both of the FA Cup second round replays.

    Southend substitute Freddy Eastwood has two chances in the first half of extra-time but has a 15-yard shot saved by Bury goalkeeper Trevor Carson and also fires wide when well placed. 1-1 at Roots Hall.

    Non-league Hereford are also level 1-1 against League Two Cheltenham as Sam Clucas equalised for the Bulls after Shaun Harrad's first-half penalty for the Robins.

  50. 2200: 

    Santi Cazorla has found his zen, the Spaniard conducting from midfield. Arsenal's summer signing takes aim and his fizzing 25-yard strike hits the crossbar.

  51. 2159: 

    The players are given merely seconds to regain their breaths and as soon as Mike Dean blows his whistle to signal the start of the second-half of extra-time, Arsenal are on the attack and Marouane Chamakh is agonisingly close to converting Santi Cazorla's header.

  52. 2156: 

    Santi Cazorla takes a corner amid whistles from the home fans who are urging the referee to give their players a well-earned breather.

  53. 2153: 

    Blair Turgot, on the edge of the box, zig zags through the Arsenal defence but Thomas Vermaelen snatches the ball from the Bradford substitute's feet. The visitors dash towards the other end, Marouane Chamakh's cross from the right finds Kieran Gibbs, but the Englishman fails to keep his header on target. One minute of the first-half of extra-time remaining.

  54. 2151: 

    The velvet touches of Santi Cazorla and Tomas Rosicky ensuring Arsenal have a vice-like grip on this tie, at the moment at least. Nervous energy at a jam-packed Bradford as Arsenal earn a corner, but Matt Duke deals comfortably with the danger.


    Oli on 81111 on text: "Every Reading match I watch is just 90 minutes of depression."

    Patrick on 81111 on text: "That's Reading and QPR relegated."

    Dan in London on 81111 on text: "Couldn't agree more with all the comments at 2140. I'd much rather have seen our reserve team lose than this team scrape a win. Awful."

  56. 2149: 

    A lovely pass from Tomas Rosicky bisects the Bradford defence and sends Keiran Gibbs clear but the defender's first-time effort can only sting Matt Duke's palms, who pushes the ball away for an innocuous corner. Bradford failing to get a sniff.


    Sean Sonnekus on Twitter: "You can't win anything with kids? Not being funny, I'd back Lambert's Villa to win this cup. Some momentum behind them now."

    Ross Yell on Twitter: "Reading were shocking tonight. We aren't big spending but we need a saviour."

    Cina on Twitter: "The Arsenal board needs to start acting like dictators and stop being so gentle to Wenger. An unacceptable performance tonight."

  58. 2148: 

    Deft touches from Tomas Rosicky and crisp passing from the Premier League side ensuring they're camped in opposition territory. Jack Wilshere dribbles beyond a cluster of Bradford defenders, plays a neat one-two with Marouane Chamakh, but the England midfielder just runs out of space. Best chance so far for the Gunners in extra-time.

    Phil McNulty, BBC Sport Chief Football Writer

    "Relief for Sunderland and manager Martin O'Neill with a 3-0 win against Reading."

  60. 2143: 

    Four minutes of extra-time have elapsed at Bradford and Arsenal are monopolising possession in these early stages, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain providing the spark for the Gunners.

  61. 2144: 

    BBC Scotland's Alasdair Lamont at Fir Park, Motherwell: "Full-time: Motherwell 1-2 Aberdeen. Late drama as Michael Higdon scored an injury-time penalty following a Clark Robertson handball. But Stuart McCall's men were unable to create a further opportunity to force extra time and so Aberdeen progress to play Hibernian at Easter Road in the next round.

    Gary Lineker, Match of the Day presenter

    "Wilshere fascinates me too, but in an entirely different way."

    Phil Brown at Sunderland v Reading, BBC 5 live pundit

    "Brian McDermott will be very concerned. His team were very lacklustre and didn't threaten until the last 10 minutes. 3-0 is a deserved result, with Sunderland by far the better team. It was that early goal that was key, relieving the pressure on the team and the manager."

    Listen to tonight's action on 5 live right now.

  64. 2138: 

    We're heading for extra-time at both Roots Hall and Edgar Street. It is 1-1 in the Southend v Bury match and the same score at Hereford v Cheltenham.

    But Southend nearly stole a late winner when Gavin Tomlin, who scored earlier in the match, shot narrowly wide late on.

    We now have an extra 30 minutes action at both games and could have the lottery of penalties after that.


    Opta tweets: "Bradford City have won their last eight penalty shootouts in all competitions."


    Joe in Cambridge on 81111 on text: "Arsenal do not deserve that..."

    Charlotte in Kent on 81111 on text: "I'm an Arsenal fan but I have to say I feel sorry for Bradford. We don't deserve it go through in a million years!"

    Henry on 81111 on text: "When asked who I support, seem to have developed an apologetic tone when I say 'Arsenal'."

  67. 2140: 
    FULL-TIME- Norwich 1-4 Aston Villa

    Aston Villa progress to the semi-finals of the League Cup with a ruthless display against Norwich.

  68. 2139: 
    FULL-TIME- Sunderland 3-0 Reading

    Martin O'Neill's year in charge of Sunderland ends on a high note as his side record a fully-deserved win to lift them out of the bottom three. Reading's woes continue with a fifth straight defeat that leaves them in serious trouble at the bottom.

  69. 2138: 
    EXTRA TIME- Bradford 1-1 Arsenal

    Thomas Vermaelen's late header ensures the fat lady hasn't yet sung at Bradford. Seconds before the full-time whistle, Cazorla's free-kick has Matt Duke at full-stretch, palming the ball away to the flank. It's collected, played back in, and Cazorla has a carbon-copy effort which Duke again forces out and away.

  70. 2137: 
    GOAL- Sunderland 3-0 Reading - Stephane Sessegnon (90 mins)

    Stephane Sessegnon neatly controls a long ball, beating Adrian Mariappa for strength, before rounding Adam Federici to secure a vital three points for his team.

  71. 2136: 

    Final whistle at Caledonian Stadium. Inverness Caley Thistle move through to the fifth round of the Scottish Cup, where they will meet Kilmarnock at Rugby Park. Billy McKay opened the scoring in the Highland derby from the penalty spot after nine minutes. Former Caley Thistle midfielder Iain Vigurs equalised just before the break, but McKay struck again nine minutes into the second half. And, despite County pressure for much of the game thereafter, Inverness have the bragging rights in the Highlands and a place in the next round.

  72. 2135: 
    GOAL- Norwich 1-4 Aston Villa - Christian Benteke (90 mins)

    It's all but over at Carrow Road and it's a sweet return to his old haunt for Paul Lambert. Christian Benteke adds the fourth for Villa who are on their way to the semi-finals.

  73. 2134: 

    Sunderland keeper Simon Miognolet does superbly to deny Reading a late way back into the game at the Stadium of Light by clawing away Noel Hunt's close-range header from a corner.

  74. 2133: 

    Four added minutes at Bradford and can either side snatch a late winner to avoid the drama of extra time? Arsenal in the ascendancy.


    Dan Nugent on Twitter: "People can slag off Wenger but he isn't the one who keeps passing to the opposition."

    Elliott Marks on Twitter: "No wonder Walcott is fed up of being overlooked as a Striker when Gervinho continues to play like this!"

    Saqueeb Rajan on Twitter: "Here I was thinking it was O'Neill's job in danger at the start of play! Oh, Wenger..."

    BBC Radio 5 live's Mark Lawrenson at Bradford v Arsenal

    "Bradford were really slow out after the corner. Consequently the cross came in and Thomas Vermaelen had stolen just a yard at the far post. Arsenal have pinched an equaliser here."

    Listen to tonight's action on 5 live right now.

  77. 2131: 
    GOAL- Bradford 1-1 Arsenal - Thomas Vermaelen (88 mins)

    Thomas Vermaelen, two yards from goal, heads home Santi Cazorla's delicious cross for his first goal of the season and perhaps, perhaps, he's saved his side's bacon.

  78. 2130: 
    GOAL- Norwich 1-3 Aston Villa - Andreas Weimann (85 mins)

    Christian Benteke passes to Andreas Weimann and the Austrian has surely secured Villa's place in the semi-finals with four minutes or so remaining.

  79. 2128: 

    Substitute Tomas Rosicky and Gervinho combine down the left to create a chance for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain but the England midfielder loses his footing and his sliding effort is way off target. Deep breaths, Bradford fans. Five minutes remaining.

  80. 2126: 

    Craig Gardner is the latest Sunderland man to test Adam Federici with a shot from 22 yards that the Reading keeper dives to his left to gather.

  81. 2126: 

    Sunderland should have wrapped this game up by now. Stephane Sessegnon finds James McClean on the left of the box and he has time to pick his spot but fails to connect properly with his shot and Adam Federici is able to save.

    Gary Lineker, Match of the Day presenter

    "Gervinho fascinates me!"

  83. 2125: 

    Arsenal force only the second save of the night from Bradford keeper Matt Duke - Jack Wilshere collects the ball halfway inside the City half and powers in on goal, before unleashing a drive that Duke has to dive down and push past his left post.

  84. 2123: 
    GOAL- Norwich 1-2 Aston Villa - Andreas Weimann (79 mins)

    Substitute Andreas Weimann, who replaced the injured Darren Bent, converts Eric Lichaj's cross from 10 yards to edge his team closer to the semi-finals.

  85. 2122: 

    Arsenal are just over 10 minutes from being knocked out of the League Cup by League Two's Bradford City. Arsene Wenger's men haven't come close to equalising in the second half.

  86. 2122: 

    BBC Sport's Ged Scott at Hereford v Cheltenham in the FA Cup: "Hereford level with 20 minutes to go as Sam Clucas scrambles the ball in the at the far post . . . what a finale in store as the fog descends on Edgar Street to further shroud the potential outcome of this one. Now we've got a cup tie!"

    BBC Radio 5 live's Mark Lawrenson at Bradford v Arsenal

    "The final ball from Arsenal is not good, is it? Credit to Bradford City though - they are keeping them at arm's length, keeping them away from their goal, forcing them to play across the pitch, right to left and back again."

    Listen to tonight's action on 5 live right now.

  88. 2121: 

    Chances galore over at Carrow Road as Norwich's Robert Snodgrass is clean through but Anthony Pilkington overcooks his pass and seconds later Shay Given makes a reflex save at point-blank range from Grant Holt.


    Grahame Davis on Twitter: "I know I'm watching a Premier League side play a League Two side, but somewhat confused about which is which!"

    Matt Fallon on Twitter: "Before now I'd use an excuse that Arsenal can't spend enough to win. Now I see we're just rubbish with no passion. Load of rubbish."

  90. 2118: 

    Sunderland substitute Phil Bardsley is forced from the pitch with an injury and is replaced by fellow defender Titus Bramble. The former Manchester United man walks straight down the tunnel to receive treatment.

    Nigel Worthington, BBC Radio 5 live sports extra at Carrow Road

    "One thing that has impressed me about Villa is that they pass the way they are facing."

    There is full commentary on 5 live sports extra.

  92. 2117: 

    Bradford have kept clean sheets in only two of their last 12 League Cup ties so you'd presume a team comprising of the likes of Santi Cazorla and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain should be able to trim the deficit, although Bradford have been ahead for almost an hour in this match - and deservedly so.


    A 'horrified Arsenal fan' on 81111 on text: "Without a doubt the most shameful Arsenal performance I've ever seen this team play."

    Ed in Hull on 81111 on text: "Well this is a new low for me as Arsenal fan..."

    Brian from Birmingham on 81111 on text: "Richard (2059), you're right. They do need a change. Of manager."

  94. 2114: 

    It is Bradford who are huffing and puffing and Nahki Wells is proving to be a useful outlet. Although, just as I type that, Alex Oxlade-Chmberlain takes a shot from distance and the Gunners, all of a sudden, have fire in their bellies with Oxlade-Chamberlain causing havoc down the right.

  95. 2111: 

    Bury take the lead against Southend United at Roots Hall and it comes after a mistake from ex-Bury defender Ryan Cresswell.

    His loose pass is intercepted by Andy Bishop, who passes to Zac Thompson and the winger, on-loan from Leeds, dinks the ball over the advancing Daniel Bentley.

    But the Shrimpers equalise only four minutes later when Gavin Tomlin heads in at the near post following a cross from Sean Clohessy.

    In the other FA Cup second round replay, Hereford are still 1-0 behind in their home game against Cheltenham.

    BBC Radio 5 live's Mark Lawrenson at Bradford v Arsenal

    "So Arsenal have now tried 14 players against this Bradford City side and they are still 1-0 down..."

    Listen to tonight's action on 5 live right now.


    Paul Wilkinson on Twitter: "I'm a Tottenham fan who lived in Bradford for more than seven years. Guess where my sympathies lie tonight?"

    Andy Gee on Twitter: "Wilshere has give the ball away more times in this match than Xavi and Iniesta have in about five seasons. Overrated."

    Niall McCaffrey on Twitter: "Re Richard from Belfast (2101): To be fair to Reading they haven't spent tens of millions like QPR have..."

  98. 2110: 

    Arsenal's passes going astray in midfield and with 25 minutes of normal time remaining Bradford are forcing the visitors onto the back foot. The hosts enjoying the better of the possession and chances and going toe-to-toe against their Champions League opponents.

  99. 2107: 

    BBC Scotland's Alasdair Lamont at Fir Park, Motherwell: "Motherwell 0-2 Aberdeen - the away side are utterly dominant now and having missed a couple of decent chances since the first goal went in, they eventually grab a second. Again Jonny Hayes provides the ammunition and this time Joe Shaughnessy is arriving at the back post for a tap-in."

  100. 2106: 

    Arsene Wenger, draped in his long quilted jacket, looking on from the sidelines. No emotion from the Frenchman. His opposite number, Phil Parkinson, on the other hand, puffing out his cheeks and unable to stand still. Aaron Ramsey seems to have recovered from a knock to his hooter and is back on the pitch.

    BBC Radio 5 live's Mark Lawrenson at Bradford v Arsenal

    "It's coming for Arsenal, it really is coming. If it's not a goal chances are on the way and they're closing in on City's goal. And Bradford are starting to look a little leggy, like they are expecting what's coming to happen."

    Listen to tonight's action on 5 live right now.

  102. 2104: 

    BBC Sport's Chris Osborne at Carrow Road: "There must be something in this icy Norfolk mist tonight. Both teams are legging it around like Duracell bunnies. It really is a belter to watch. Not sure we could cope with extra time mind."

  103. 2103: 

    Francis Coquelin's evening is over and he's replaced by Moroccan striker Marouane Chamakh.

  104. 2103: 

    Norwich's Grant Holt charges down Shay Given's clearance, but the big striker's resulting effort can only ripple the side-netting.

  105. 2101: 

    Arsenal, spurred on by Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey, surging forward in search of the equaliser but Bradford's defence holding strong. Gervinho sets Francis Coquelin free down the right but there is no-one in an Arsenal shirt inside the box to pounce on his low cross.

    Phil Brown at Sunderland v Reading, BBC 5 live pundit

    "Reading are desperate for a goal and have started showing the first elements of quality. The third goal either kills this or makes this interesting."

    Listen to tonight's action on 5 live right now.


    Richard in Edinburgh on 81111 on text: "Arsenal desperately need something to change if they are to get back into this..."

    Mark, a Sunderland supporter, on 81111 on text: "Stick with Martin O'Neill, he'll get us out of trouble."

    Richard from Belfast on 81111 on text: "All the talk has been about QPR's poor start to the season but Reading have been equally as woeful and will be relegated."

  108. 2059: 

    Sunderland keeper Simon Mignolet is drawn into action to palm away a Nicky Shorey 20-yard free-kick, awarded for a foul by Danny Rose on Jobi McAnuff that resulted in a booking for the Black Cats defender.

  109. 2056: 

    Groans of despair for Aston Villa fans. Christian Benteke places the ball in the Norwich net but it matters little as it's ruled offside. The Villa striker's shot follows Norwich's Steve Morison's effort which was also disallowed. Two goals ruled out in a space of a minute. Oh the drama.

  110. 2056: 

    A lovely 22-yard curling drive from Billy McKay puts Inverness Caley Thistle ahead again against Ross County. That's his second of the night and 13th of the season. Rory Fallon lashes home the opener for Aberdeen against Motherwell at Fir Park following a break and cross from Niall McGinn.

  111. 2056: 

    Nahki Wells proving a tricky customer to defend against. The Bradford man's pace proving a problem for the Arsenal defence and he earns his team a corner, although it comes to nothing, as corners sometimes do.

    BBC Radio 5 live's Mark Lawrenson at Bradford v Arsenal

    "I do sense a little more urgency from Arsenal. Alright they haven't created a chance yet, but there is more intent in their play."

    Listen to tonight's action on 5 live right now.

  113. 2052: 

    Bradford have started as brightly as a bumper pack of twinkling fairy lights, but the visiting fans are still in full voice, declaring their love for their team. Over at Norwich, Canaries striker Steve Morison directs Robert Snodgrass's header over the bar and the Welshman misses another chance seconds later, dinking his effort over.


    Abbasali on Twitter: "Come on Bradford!"

    Ben O'Malley on Twitter: "How much did Gervinho cost Arsenal? Think they saw you coming Arsene."

    Luca Salfi on Twitter: "Feed the Nahk and he will score!"

  115. 2050: 

    Martin O'Neill decides to swap Adam Johnson for Phil Bardsley and I might as well tell you that the second half has started at Carrow Road.

  116. 2048: 

    We're under way at Bradford. Up and running at the Stadium of Light and nearly set at Norwich...

  117. 2046: 

    A number of pessimistic tweets from Arsenal FANS but don't fret, just remember Reading (when the Gunners came from 4-0 down to produce one of the greatest comebacks to take their place in the quarter-finals). Wenger is probably telling his team to Remember Reading as I type. Maybe.

  118. 2044: 

    Shaun Harrad's injury-time penalty has put League Two Cheltenham 45 minutes away from a home televised game against Everton in the third round of the FA Cup.

    The Robins lead 1-0 away at non-league Hereford United, while Southend's match against Bury is goalless at the break.

    There have only been a few chances at Roots Hall but the hosts had goalkeeper Daniel Bentley to thank for keeping it level as he produced a fine save to stop Matt Doherty's long-range strike.


    Kieran on Twitter: "Wikipedia says Gervinho "is known for his pace and finishing". Did he write that himself?"

    Ben Seal on Twitter: "Fair play to Arsenal for fielding a full strength squad, but this is shocking! Bradford have been blinding to be fair."

    Mohammed Hamid on Twitter: "Reading are getting relegated this season."

  120. 2039:  
    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra Nigel Worthington at Carrow Road:

    "The last 10 minutes of the half was more settled following a manic opening 35. The teams had to get their breaths back."

    There is full commentary on 5 live sports extra.

  121. 2038: 

    BBC Sport's Ged Scott at Hereford v Cheltenham in the FA Cup: "Cheltenham go 1-0 up on the stroke of half-time from the penalty spot. Jermaine McGlashan controversially goes down under a challenge from Andy Gallinagh and Shaun Harrad blasts home from 12 yards. Ironically, it comes just seconds after visiting keeper Scott Brown brilliantly denies Sam Clucas at the other end. The half-time whistle blows to boos and loud chants of 'Cheat, cheat, cheat'."

  122. 2037: 

    BBC Scotland's Alasdair Lamont at Fir Park, Motherwell: "There hasn't been a great deal in this match to warm the cockles of the spectators' hearts, but Aberdeen came more into the game as the half wore on. Twice they forced the Motherwell keeper Darren Randolph to save well, firstly from a Jonny Hayes long-range strike and then from a Rory Fallon header. With the temperature five degrees below zero, I'm surely not alone in praying this doesn't go to extra-time!"


    Sham Gallagher on Twitter: "For a strong Arsenal team they are playing very poorly. I thought the goal would wake up Arsenal. A shocking display."

    James Chandler on Twitter: "Dot Cotton has more technical ability than Gervinho."

    Tom Seagrim on Twitter: "Lucky for Arsenal's sake, There is no chance they'll run into Bradford in the knockout stages of the Champions League..."

  124. 2035: 

    Ross County are deservedly back on level terms at Caledonian Stadium despite Highland rivals Inverness having taken a ninth-minute lead. Former Caley Thistle defender Ross Tokely conceded the penalty that was scored by Billy McKay. But County, who were denied a victory in the first game at Victoria Park by a stoppage-time equaliser, are back on level terms following a superb looping half-volley from another former Inverness player, Iain Vigurs. Meanwhile, it's been a tactical battle in the other Scottish Cup replay at Fir Park, where Motherwell and Aberdeen remain goalless.

    BBC Radio 5 live's Mark Lawrenson at Bradford v Arsenal

    "They have been absolutely outstanding, Bradford City. They have given absolutely everything, the manager couldn't have asked for any more. They have been extremely competitive. Apart from the odd glimpse from the Gunners, Bradford have made Arsenal look very ordinary."

  126. 2033: 
    HALF-TIME- Norwich 1-1 Aston Villa

    BBC Sport's Chris Osborne reports from Carrow Road: "The half-time whistle here gives us all a chance to catch our breathes after a frantic first half. On top of goals from Steve Morison and Brett Holman, Norwich keeper Mark Bunn has pulled off three super saves from the Australian, Matthew Lowton and Eric Lichaj. At the other end, Morison failed to poke in from just two yards out. It has been non-stop. The Canaries fans have had little chance to give Villa boss Paul Lambert stick, even if they wanted to."

  127. 2033: 
    HALF-TIME- Sunderland 2-0 Reading

    Sunderland hold a firm grip on this game following the kind of positive display seen all too rarely from the home side in this ground of late. It is 2-0 but it could have been more. Reading have barely troubled home keeper Simon Mignolet.

  128. 2033: 
    HALF-TIME- Bradford 1-0 Arsenal

    The referee's whistle signals the end of the half at Valley Parade and a glum Arsene Wenger trudges off the pitch.

  129. 2030: 

    We're approaching half-time at Valley Parade and it's end-to-end stuff as Nahki Wells takes aim from distance and comes close to doubling his team's advantage.

    BBC Radio 5 live's Mark Lawrenson at Bradford v Arsenal

    "I just wonder whether the icy surface may have quickened the ball up a little bit. Maybe I'm being kind to Gervinho. We could see where it was going from up here. I don't know how he didn't get anything on it. That's a big break for Bradford, that..."

    Listen to tonight's action on 5 live right now.

  131. 2030: 

    Oh that's close! Gervinho seems clear on goal but the sliding striker, from two yards out, fails to connect with Kieran Gibbs's cross.

  132. 2030: 

    Sunderland continue to dominate at the Stadium of Light. Steven Fletcher goes close to scoring his second of the game but his header from a corner just clears the crossbar.

  133. 2030: 

    Norwich's Grant Holt finds fellow forward Steve Morison. His shot is well saved by the diving Villa keeper Shay Given. It has been a pulsating first half at Carrow Road.

  134. 2028: 

    Iain Vigurs scores a sensational equaliser for Ross County with a side-footed 25-yard half-volley over Inverness goalkeeper Antonio Reguero and in off the underside of the crossbar.

    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra Nigel Worthington at Carrow Road:

    "It's interesting that Norwich are defending a little bit higher up, now that Darren Bent has come off."

    There is full commentary on 5 live sports extra.

  136. 2029: 

    Arsenal's Santi Cazorla takes a shot from distance but it whizzes off target. Arsenal beginning to bite in the final third. At Carrow Road, Brett Holman's low effort is comfortably saved by Norwich goalie Mark Bunn.

  137. 2028: 

    BBC Sport's Ged Scott at Hereford v Cheltenham in the FA Cup: "Maybe it's the tenseness of the occasion, knowing the size of the prize at stake, or just so many potential hypothermia sufferers silenced by the freezing cold sub-zero temperature, but neither the crowd nor the game have come to life at Edgar Street yet."

  138. 2025: 

    Everton manager David Moyes is at Edgar Street as the Toffees play the winner of the Hereford v Cheltenham FA Cup second round replay.

    But it's goalless so far, with the best chance of the game falling to Hereford's Sam Clucas, but his effort is saved by Cheltenham goalkeeper Scott Brown.

    We are also still waiting for the first goal in the other FA Cup second round replay as it goalless between Southend and Bury.

    Southend's Gavin Tomlin hit a low shot from the edge of the area which was blocked by Bury goalkeeper Trevor Carson in a rare opportunity.

    Mark Lawrenson, BBC Radio 5 live

    "Francis Coquelin's shot skidded off the turf and the keeper was completely beaten. That is the first time Arsenal have got in the Bradford box and created a shooting opportunity."

    Listen to tonight's action on 5 live right now.

  140. 2024: 

    Francis Coquelin embarks on a sinuous run towards the edge of the box and comes close to scoring his first goal for the Gunners, his venomous drive hitting the bottom of the post.

  141. 2022: 

    Arsenal slowly gaining control of their League Cup contest but Nahiki Wells's pace on the right is always an option for Bradford, forcing the Gunners to retreat back towards their goal. The Arsenal midfield starting to spray the ball around nicely and teasing the Bradford defence on the edge of the box.


    Lee Lee on Twitter: "Bradford City have scored too early - so often it takes conceding a goal to wake Arsenal up."

    Ruridh Allen on Twitter: "Why does Arsene persist with Gervinho up front? He has got about as much composure as a moth in a garden of lightbulbs."

    Wayne Maw on Twitter: "Missing: one slick, high-tempo passing game. Went missing four months ago. If spotted, please contact Arsenal FC."

  143. 2020: 

    Darren Bent is forced from the field with what looks like a hamstring injury and Aston Villa's striker is replaced by Andreas Weimann. The club's record striker hasn't had long to impress his boss.

    Nigel Worthington, BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "Young Matt Lowton of Villa is getting forward like a right-winger. Between Steve Morison, Grant Holt and Anthony Pilkington - if they get into the left-back position then they could take advantage."

    There is full commentary on 5 live sports extra.

    BBC 5 live pundit Phil Brown at the Stadium of Light:

    "2-0 to Sunderland is fully-deserved. They are playing with such invention, with two wingers on the pitch."

    Listen to tonight's action on 5 live right now.


    Opta tweets: "Arsenal have conceded a League Cup goal to a fourth tier side for only the sixth time in their history."

  147. 2014: 
    GOAL- Sunderland 2-0 Reading - Steven Fletcher (28 mins)

    Full-back Danny Rose picks the ball up from about 25 yards, crosses low for Steven Fletcher to clip into the net with a wonderful back heel.

  148. 2013: 

    Norwich keeper Mark Bunn makes successive saves from Brett Holman, Christian Benteke and Darren Bent over a matter of seconds. At Valley Parade, Arsenal engineer a swift counter-attack and Rory McArdle concedes a foul on the edge of the box. Danger.

  149. 2011: 

    BBC Scotland's Alasdair Lamont at Fir Park, Motherwell: "Twenty minutes played here and the home side have had the better chances and are dominating possession. Michael Higdon should have scored but sent a header just over the bar. Before that Jamie Langfield saved well from Stuart Carswell. Motherwell are certainly dealing better with the slick and slippery playing surface."

    Mark Lawrenson, BBC Radio 5 live

    "Arsenal are just too narrow. They are not making the pitch big enough at the moment, and Mr Wenger is not happy in front of us. Bradford have given as good as they've got, and Arsenal look neat and tidy on the ball but have no cutting edge."

    Listen to tonight's action on 5 live right now.

  151. 2010: 

    Have Arsenal managed to calm to storm? No. The towering James Hanson is causing the Arsenal defence all sorts of problems and the Bradford striker earns his team a corner. The Londoners deal with the situation but it's far from pretty. Arsenal's creative forces of Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla unable to stamp their authority on the match.

  152. 2011: 

    BBC Sport's Ged Scott at Hereford v Cheltenham in the FA Cup: "Hardly surprisingly, with a north Gloucestershire side visiting Herefordshire's top club, the freezing cold December air outside Edgar Street before kick-off was somewhat thick with rustic accents.

    "Hereford top scorer Ryan Bowman was the Bulls' hero here in their last home FA Cup tie last month when his brace buried Shrewsbury Town, but his interest in this contest ended after just 15 minutes when he limped off after treatment to be replaced by Phil Marsh."

  153. 2008: 

    It has quietened down at the Stadium of Light where Reading have come into the game a bit more. However, the Royals are rarely threatening the home goal. At the other end, Stephane Sessegnon goes close to making it 2-0 with a rasping 20-yard shot that fizzes past the post.

  154. 2007: 
    GOAL- Norwich 1-1 Aston Villa - Brett Holman (21 mins)

    A long ball forward is knocked down into the path of Brett Holman, who smashes the ball into the net from 20 yards with a first-time effort.


    Michael Cowlishaw on Twitter: "What a goal! Well done to Bradford!"

    Salman Farishta on Twitter: "This is probably the lowest we've sunk. Full, experienced starting 11 and we concede in the first 15 minutes. Unbelievable..."

    Paul Thompson on Twitter: "Arsenal undone in the air yet again. If Wenger loses this game with a full-strength side, surely it's time to say au revoir?"

  156. 2005: 
    GOAL- Norwich 1-0 Aston Villa - Steve Morison (19 mins)

    Steve Morison puts Norwich ahead after collecting a ball through the centre and slotting the ball past Shay Given. Neat finish.

    Mark Lawrenson, BBC Radio 5 live

    "When the ball was delivered there it was really good. Everybody went for it. Nobody from Arsenal got a touch until Wojciech Szczesny helped it into the roof of the net. Nothing he could do about it. When the ball came in you really didn't fancy Arsenal to deal with it. Fair play to Bradford getting the lead, but don't start backing off and giving room to Arsenal. Now Bradford's fans are telling Arsene Wenger he's getting sacked in the morning!"

    Listen to tonight's action on 5 live right now.

  158. 2002: 
    GOAL- Bradford 1-0 Arsenal - Garry Thompson (16 mins)

    Nifty footwork from Nahki Wells. He gets the better of Thomas Vermaelen and earns his team a free-kick in a dangerous position wide right. And, oh, what danger it is. Garry Thompson volleys home a perfect delivery to the back post and a swell of noise erupts around Valley Parade.


    Dom in Inverness on 81111 on text: "I'm disappointed Wenger didn't play a couple of kids tonight. But I suppose we need to get a winning streak together..."

    Matt from York on 81111 on text: "Can't help feeling this icy pitch and Wilshere's injury problems are a bad combination. Hope I'm wrong and it shows how strong he is getting."

    Tim in Bristol on 81111 on text: "Could the ghost of Villa's past show them what they've been missing? Bent to win it."

  160. 1959: 

    Bradford hustling and scurrying around the pitch like wide-eyed apprentices eager to please on their big night. The League Two side coping with Jack Wilshere and co at the moment. At Norwich, Villa midfielder Fabian Delph strikes from distance, but Paul Lambert's men fail to make the most of the resulting corner.

    Mark Pougatch, BBC Radio 5 live

    "Bradford joint chair Mark Lawn told 5 live Sport that half of the club's deficit will be wiped out by the revenue from tonight's game."

  162. 1956: 

    Reading have been firmly on the back foot at Sunderland but have a great opportunity to equalise but Alex Pearce can only side-foot wide from eight yards out after a free-kick had found him in space in the box.

  163. 1956: 

    Norwich's Grant Holt needs the magic sponge, looks like a knee problem, but the striker is back on his feet and seems in fine fettle. Over in Bradford, it's as you expect. Bradford pressurising their celebrated opponents, although Gervinho earns his team a corner and the unmarked Thomas Vermaelen heads high from about six yards for Arsenal's first chance of the match.

    Mark Lawrenson, BBC Radio 5 live

    "Bradford have won every header so far..."

    Listen to tonight's action on 5 live right now.


    Thomas Rowden on Twitter: "What an atmosphere at Bradford!"

    Tom Jessamine on Twitter: "Bradford arsenal has the possibility of a cracking cup tie tonight!"

    Dale Wright on Twitter: "So what do you call it if you play the ball through an opponents megging-wearing legs (1912)? A meg-meg? A double-meg? Confused..."

  166. 1954: 

    Billy McKay fires Inverness into an early lead from the penalty spot against Ross County after former Caley Thistle defender Ross Tokely bundles over Josh Meekings.

  167. 1951: 

    Sunderland come close to making it 2-0 at the Stadium of Light as Sebastian Larsson is given a sight of goal from 22 yards but Adam Federici does well to palm his shot behind. Minutes later Adam Johnson fires a shot into the side-netting. Sunderland are tormenting their visitors at the moment.

    Phil Brown, BBC 5 live pundit

    "A perfect tonic. Absolutely what Sunderland and Martin O'Neill needed. It's not a massive crowd but it was a great strike by James McClean and they go a deserved goal up."

    Listen to tonight's action on 5 live right now.

  169. 1948: 
    GOAL- Sunderland 1-0 Reading - James McClean (3 mins)

    Sunderland start brightly and are rewarded when James McClean smashes in on the turn from 18 yards after Adam Federici had punched out a corner to the edge of the box.

  170. 1948: 

    Aston Villa are out of the blocks at Carrow Road. Forgotten man Darren Bent is put through by Brent Holman but goalie Mark Bunn is alert to the danger. That comes moments after Norwich hit the woodwork through Grant Holt.

  171. 1946: 

    Gervinho gets the match under way at Valley Parade which means all League Cup ties, plus Sunderland's Premier League match against Reading, are up and running.

    Mark Lawrenson, BBC Radio 5 live

    "I'm just looking at Bradford's lads - there are five with short sleeved shirts on!"

    Listen to all the build-up to tonight's action on 5 live right now.

    Phil Brown, BBC Radio 5 live

    "I was looking in the programme notes and Martin O'Neill has mentioned that proverbial mountain to climb. They keep shooting themselves in the foot and going a goal behind, That is key - if they can get a goal ahead they will get the crowd on their side. But I understand why he's under pressure. I've watched Sunderland a couple of times this season and Steven Fletcher needs a little more support. He's spending too much time too deep for me."

    Listen to all the build-up to tonight's action on 5 live right now.

  174. 1943: 

    Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger gives each of his players a firm handshake before they head out onto the Valley Parade pitch. In the north east, the players are limbering up on what is a chilly evening. Perhaps the frosty weather explains why there are so few fans at the Stadium of Light. You can almost hear a spectator blink (sort of).

    By the way, if you refresh your page Midweek Final Score will magically appear on your page. Just like that.

  175. 1941: 

    BBC Sport's Chris Osborne reporting from Carrow Road: "The best outfit on this bitterly cold night at Carrow Road is probably one of the mascot costumes. And indeed Norwich are not short of mascots - Captain Canary, Splat the Cat and the Aviva Lemur. I've been assured it's a lemur anyway. Looks more racoony to me."

  176. 1940: 

    Two Scottish Cup fourth-round replays have beaten the big freeze and both involve Scottish Premier League teams. Fans at Caledonian Stadium will be hoping to be warmed up by the kind of six-goal thriller between Inverness Caley Thistle and Ross County that forced the two Highland rivals to do battle again. Inverness, the highest scorers in the SPL and sitting second behind Celtic, are the form side and Terry Butcher not surprisingly leaves them unchanged. County boss Derek Adams replaces striker Gary Glen with midfielder Stuart Kettlewell in a more conservative line-up after their 3-2 defeat by Motherwell on Saturday. Well are the hosts down the road at Fir Park, where their former manager, Craig Brown, again faces up to the side managed by Stuart McCall after their 1-1 draw at Pittodrie.

  177. 1939: 

    BBC Scotland's Alasdair Lamont at Fir Park, Motherwell: "Sub-zero temperatures here in Lanarkshire, with a veil of frost on the pitch for the Scottish Cup fourth-round replay. The original tie was a dour affair, but for a 10-minute spell at the outset in which Aberdeen threatened to steamroller their visitors and another 10-minute period at the end, which brought the game's two goals. Both sides are capable, though, of producing decent quality attacking play. The prize that awaits tonight's winner is an away tie with Hibernian."

  178. 1939: 

    Bradford boss Phil Parkinson: "We've had a great run in the competition and this is a bonus night for us."

    Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger on selecting a strong side: "This is difficult place to come and we don't play until Monday so there is plenty of recovery time. We have a good opportunity to get to the semi-final stage and we want to take it."

  179. 1937: 
    Bradford v Arsenal (1945 GMT)

    Bradford are unchanged from the side that started in the 1-0 victory over Torquay at the weekend.

    Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger recalls Francis Coquelin, Aaron Ramsey and Lukas Podolski. England midfielder Jack Wilshere is also included in what is a strong starting XI. Have we made it clear enough that it's a strong Arsenal line-up?


    Tim in Leicester on 81111 on text: "Bent playing! It must be like finding a £20 note long forgotten stuffed into last years Christmas suit. But will it be used wisely or frittered away?"

    Ben from Sunderland on 81111 on text: "Gutted that Connor Wickham has been dropped tonight. He was possibly our man of the match against Chelsea. Should have made room for him and Fletcher."

    Matt in Oxford on 81111 on text: "Finally Wenger seems to have realised that we're in absolutely no position to turn our noses up at the League Cup. It's about time."

  181. 1934: 

    Let's not forget about the good old FA Cup because there are two second-round replays taking place tonight.

    Hereford United, 11th in the Blue Square Bet Premier, entertain League Two side Cheltenham after they drew 1-1 at Whaddon Road, with a home televised tie against Everton awaiting the winners. In the other game to survive the weather, Southend from League Two will be hoping to cause a shock when they entertain League One team Bury at Roots Hall.

    But the weather has claimed two scalps as frozen pitches have caused the Notts County v Rotherham and Barrow v Macclesfield games to be cancelled.

    It is the second time the Barrow v Macclesfield game has been postponed and means Championship leaders Cardiff City are still waiting to find out who their third round opponents will be. I'm not sure how Cardiff are coping.

    Nigel Worthington, BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "A new manager came in at the start of the season for Norwich, he had to get settled in, and for the first seven games they found life difficult. But Chris Hughton got to work with his coaches and they've got their rewards for that with a fantastic run. I've seen them a number of times this season and they are very organised and solid. All round, things are looking very good at this moment in time for Norwich."

    Listen to all the build-up to tonight's action on 5 live sports extra right now.

  183. 1930: 

    Norwich, though, are in tip-top form and victory at Swansea over the weekend, their first away win of the season, extended the club's unbeaten league run to nine games. But - and this next stat is for you Aston Villa fans - Villa have won all four previous League Cup ties against Norwich, including the 1975 final.

  184. 1927: 

    If we turn our attention to Carrow Road, Paul Lambert is bracing himself for a hostile reception as he returns to the club with whom he won back-to-back promotions.

    "Listen, I was at a club for eight years that half the city hated. I still get it to this day when I get home," says the Aston Villa boss. "When you have been involved in that, then you can handle anything." When you put it like that a Tuesday trip to Norfolk isn't all that bad.


    Gareth Murray on Twitter: "I think Wenger's strong selection has been influenced by the fact that the Arsenal don't play again until Monday."

    John Smitt on Twitter: "Good to see some of these lesser-known Villa players in the Cup team. Who is this Darren Bent chap?"

    Rachel T on Twitter: "To bring this cup competition truly to life we need another Delia Smith rant. She has been too quiet. Let's be 'aving you!"

  186. 1924: 

    If you're a fan of quirky stats then how about this: Bradford have yet to lose a cup tie this season and boast an English record of winning their last eight penalty shootouts. That's all I have to say on unusual Bradford stats. For now.

    Mark Lawrenson, BBC Radio 5 live

    "It is a very strong Arsenal team. My proviso would be that the Valley Parade pitch in front of me is slowly turning white - it's obviously freezing. If it gets a little crusty, and every Arsenal player needs to take a second touch and not a third, it gives Bradford more of a chance. But if you're Arsenal, why not try to win every cup competition that you're in? We're in December, and the Arsenal players haven't played that much football. Just go out and win some games."

    Listen to all the build-up to tonight's action on 5 live right now.

  188. 1922: 

    Bradford: Duke, Darby, McHugh, McArdle, Meredith, Thompson, Doyle, Gary Jones, Atkinson, Hanson, Wells. Subs: McLaughlin, Ravenhill, Ritchie Jones, Connell, Hines, Turgott, Good.

    Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Cazorla, Ramsey, Wilshere, Podolski, Coquelin, Gervinho. Subs: Mannone, Rosicky, Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Squillaci, Jenkinson, Chamakh.

    Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Former Bradford player and manager Stuart McCall on 5 live Sport: "Bradford thoroughly deserve this attention tonight. It'll be a full house - 23,000. The support there is so great, so loyal and they've stuck by their team. They deserve nights like tonight. The temperature is dropping and the pitch is getting harder and slipper. That could just give Bradford the edge."

    Listen to all the build-up to tonight's action on 5 live right now.

  190. 1918: 

    Victory, regardless of whether a jolly good time is had by all in Yorkshire, is Arsene Wenger's main priority for Arsenal. The Frenchman has selected a strong team as he displays a determination to win a competition that no-one used to care one jot about. "Arsene never underestimates the opposition," Martin Keown told BBC Sport ahead of this tussle. "It is almost unthinkable that Arsenal will lose."

  191. 1915: 
    LINE-UPS- Sunderland v Reading (1945 GMT)

    Sunderland: Mignolet, Gardner, O'Shea, Cuellar, Colback, Johnson, Rose, Larsson, McClean, Sessegnon, Fletcher. Subs: Westwood, Bardsley, Campbell, Wickham, Kilgallon, Vaughan, Bramble.

    Reading: Federici, Cummings, Pearce, Mariappa, Shorey, McCleary, Tabb, Leigertwood, McAnuff, Hunt, Le Fondre. Subs: Taylor, Gunter, Gorkss, Harte, Gunnarsson, Obita, Samuel.

    Referee: Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire)

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Former Bradford winger Jamie Lawrence on 5 live Breakfast this morning: "It'll be great to see Valley Parade sold out. It's a long time since it was sold out, when were we in the Premier League. Valley Parade on a night like tonight is really bouncing. It's like the 12th man for Bradford. I want to get my boots on and get out there! But look out the window now - it's freezing out there. An upset could happen tonight..."

    Listen to all the build-up to tonight's action on 5 live right now.


    Chris Johnson on Twitter: "Exciting to see Bent and Benteke start, but worried about midfield. El Ahmadi, Delph, Holman - industry but no creativity."

    Harry Farrow on Twitter: "Good to see a strong line up against Bradford. After a bad run you've got to keep the wins going regardless."

    Joshua Tordoff on Twitter: "Arsenal playing the majority of their first team would make a Bradford City victory even more glorious."

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Fashion journalist Nadine Merabi on 5 live Breakfast this morning: "Meggings (1853) have been a hit in America - a lot of celebrities wear them, like Justin Bieber and Russell Brand. There's absolutely an age cut-off point, just like normal leggings. But I'm not a huge fan..."

  195. 1912: 
    LINE-UPS- Norwich v Aston Villa (1945 GMT)

    Norwich: Bunn, Martin, Barnett, Bassong, Tierney, Snodgrass, Howson, Johnson, Pilkington, Holt, Morison. Subs: Rudd, Turner, Jackson, Fox, Elliott Bennett, Garrido, Francomb.

    Aston Villa: Given, Clark, Herd, Baker, Lowton, El Ahmadi, Delph, Holman, Lichaj, Benteke, Bent. Subs: Guzan, N'Zogbia, Agbonlahor, Albrighton, Bannan, Weimann, Williams.

    Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)

    Mark Pougatch, BBC Radio 5 live

    "A cold, crisp evening with a little crust on the Valley Parade pitch. Arsenal are in town. Mark Lawrenson, thrice a League Cup winner, is with us."


    Ben in Leicester on 81111 on text: "Think it's fair to say Wenger is going for it. Strong team out tonight."

    Ryan from Surrey on 81111 on text: "Re 1830: That's the first time I've ever seen the word 'quagmire' being used in a non-Family Guy context!"

  198. 1911: 
    Norwich v Aston Villa (1945 GMT)

    Norwich boss Chris Hughton makes three changes. Marc Tierney and Leon Barnett come into the back four at Steven Whittaker and Javier Garrido's expense. Wes Hoolahan does not feature in the squad at all with Steve Morison taking his place.

    For Aston Villa, Paul Lambert hands a first start to Darren Bent in six weeks. He will play alongside Christian Benteke with Gabriel Agbonlahor the one to miss out. Brad Guzan is replaced in goal by Shay Given, while Fabian Delph and Karim El Ahmadi replace Barry Bannan and Ashley Westwood in midfield.

  199. 1910: 

    Talking of a team on a limited budget... (seamless)... Bradford are competing in the quarter-finals of the League Cup for the third time in their history and are expecting their biggest attendance at Valley Parade for more than 50 years as Arsenal stroll into town.

    "We have to use the passion of our crowd," urges Bantams manager Phil Parkinson ahead of his team's first League Cup meeting against the Gunners. "We've got the utmost respect for them as a club as we know it'll be a difficult game, but it's one we have to enjoy."

  200. 1908: 

    Over at Reading, manager Brian McDermott can probably make plans to order a bumper Christmas turkey knowing he will still be employment by the end of the year, despite his team currently resting second from bottom with a miserly nine points for their efforts.

    Chairman Sir John Madejski says suggestions McDermott's job is under threat are "absurd". "It is totally absurd that the manager will not be with us this time next week," Madejski told BBC Berkshire. "In my humble opinion it's not going to happen. We have to remember the amazing achievement, on a limited budget, to get us into the Premier League."


    Alex Batt on Twitter: "A very, very, VERY strong side out tonight for Arsenal. Wenger wants some silverware and wants fans back on his side."

    Mashidur Miah on Twitter: "The Arsenal team shows the pressure Wenger is under. Very happy that he is taking this seriously - I'm craving silverware."

    George Mayo on Twitter: "Wenger's finally realised he can't throw away the League Cup, naming a strong side in the quarters for the first time I can remember..."

  202. 1905: 
    Sunderland v Reading (1945 GMT)

    BBC Sport's Phil Dawkes reports: "The three and a half months since this fixture was rained off have not been particularly kind to either Sunderland or Reading. They have mustered just three wins between them and currently occupy two of the three relegation places. On the basis of expectation and outlay, the pressure on the Black Cats is greater. If they fail to double their tally of home league wins this season tonight you fear for them. If that is to happen, though, the Royals must end a run of four successive defeats. Expect a battle."

  203. 1904: 

    According to Match of the Day pundit Alan Shearer, Martin O'Neill has one last match to save his job and, would you believe it, that match happens to be against Reading at the Stadium of Light this very evening. The chances...

    I suppose the former England captain came to his conclusion because Sunderland have managed one league victory at home this season and won just two of their last 23 Premier League matches. Not that O'Neill seems too concerned about Shearer's thoughts. "I don't want to be boastful, but not only am I the best man for the job, I am actually the only man for the job," says the man with a law degree in his inimitable non-boastful, modest way.

  204. 1902: 

    What I've learnt this week is that no matter what predicament a manager finds himself in, he will never, I repeat never, doubt himself. Never! Except... "I once really doubted myself before I sat my 11-plus - honestly," says Sunderland boss Martin O'Neil. "I didn't know whether I was going to pass it or not, but then I was only seven at the time. I did pass it." (For you youngsters out there, the 11-plus was apparently a nerve-racking exam given to primary school pupils many moons ago. So there.)

  205. 1900:  
    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Good news for followers of Norwich and Aston Villa. There's full commentary of that match from 1930 GMT. Conor McNamara is your commentator, and he's accompanied by former Canaries manager Nigel Worthington.

    You can hear that match on 5 live sports extra later on tonight.

  206. 1857: 
    Sunderland v Reading (1945 GMT)

    Sunderland top-scorer Steven Fletcher has recovered from the ankle injury that kept him out of the weekend defeat by Chelsea and replaces Connor Wickham in attack. The only other change for the Black Cats sees Jack Colback come in for defender Phil Bardsley.

    Reading make three changes from the team that lost 1-0 at Southampton. Sean Morrison is injured so Alex Pearce starts in defence, Garath McCleary comes into midfield in place of Hal Robson-Kanu and Noel Hunt replaces Jason Roberts in attack.

  207. 1856:  
    BBC Radio 5 live

    Build-up to all of tonight's action can be heard from 1900 GMT on 5 live Sport on BBC Radio 5 live.

    As well as the live football they have an interview with Osvaldo Ardiles about the assimilation process to English football. They will also look at the success of Norwich and gauge expectation levels for promoted clubs as Brian McDermott feels the pressure pressure at Reading.

    Then it's the Capital One Cup quarter-final between Bradford and Arsenal, with Alan Green in the commentator's chair and Mark Lawrenson the pundit. Meanwhile, BBC Sport's Ian Brown is joined by former Hull manager Phil Brown for Sunderland v Reading

    You can listen live to 5 live right now.

  208. 1855: 
    BREAKING TEAM NEWS- Norwich v Aston Villa (1945 GMT)

    Darren Bent starts for Aston Villa. It is his first start since Villa played Fulham on 20 October in the Premier League.

  209. 1854: 
    BREAKING TEAM NEWS- Bradford v Arsenal (1945 GMT)

    England midfielder Jack Wilshere starts for Arsenal as manager Arsene Wenger picks a strong line-up to face Bradford.

  210. 1853: 

    Don't forget to send us your thoughts, musings and general chit chat about whatever else springs to mind, even meggins. It wouldn't be the same if you didn't. You can tweet using the hashtag #bbcfootball or lob over a text on 81111.

  211. 1852: 

    BBC Sport's Chris Osborne reports from Carrow Road: "You would be forgiven for forgetting that a Capital Cup semi-final place was up for grabs tonight amid the talk around Paul Lambert's first appearance at Carrow Road since he left in the summer to join current employers Aston Villa. What kind of reception will he get? It won't be a warm one, but I also doubt a man who brought back-to-back promotions and Premier League safety to the Norfolk club will get a reception as frosty as the temperatures here.

    "Footballing wise, there's plenty of League Cup pedigree between the sides, with Villa having won it five times and Norwich twice - in fact it's the only major domestic cup the Canaries have ever lifted."

  212. 1848: 
    BREAKING TEAM NEWS- Sunderland v Reading (1945 GMT)

    Sunderland's top scorer Steven Fletcher has recovered from the ankle injury which forced him to miss the weekend defeat by Chelsea and starts against Reading.

  213. 1843: 

    As if merely three matches would be enough to sate our footballing needs. The second round of the FA Cup provides us with three further contests to keep our eye on (Hereford v Cheltenham; Notts County v Rotherham and Southend v Bury) while we will also keep you updated with what is happening in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup, where Inverness CT host Ross County and Motherwell take on Aberdeen.

  214. 1834: 

    Don't the good times just feel like yesterday? Oh to be king of the hill and head of the heap once again. There are one or two managers who will be hoping to experience an upturn in fortunes this evening, so let me tell you what's in store tonight.

    There are two Capital One Cup quarter-final ties. League Two's Bradford City host Arsene Wenger's Arsenal, while Paul Lambert returns to his old club Norwich for the first time since his bitter summer departure to Aston Villa. The sole Premier League match sees a bottom-of-the-table ding dong between Sunderland and Reading. Is that enough?

  215. 1830: 

    One minute you're the avant-garde manager, a visionary, and the next... well, the next, your team are being booed off the pitch after their worst start to a season under your tutelage. But it could be worse. It can always be worse, Arsene. What if you used to be regarded as the saviour who guided your new club from relegation with seven victories from your first 10 league games only to find yourself, 12 months later, as the bookmakers' favourite to become the next managerial casualty? But it can always be worse, even if you're called Martin. You could be about to return to the club who are suing you for breach of contract... or appealing against expulsion from the FA Cup.... But even then it can always be worse. You could end the evening out of the League Cup - or further entrenched in the relegation quagmire.

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