Bradford v Aston Villa: Capital One Cup semi-final as it happened

League Two side Bradford beat Premier League side Aston Villa 3-1 in the first leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final.

8 January 2013 Last updated at 22:33

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As it happened

  1. 2223: 

    Right, time for me to bid you farewell after a classic night of cup action. Villa fans apart, I hope you enjoyed tonight as much as I did. Join Tom Rostance on Wednesday to see if Chelsea and Swansea can serve up similar thrills and spills. Cheerio for now.

  2. 2219: 

    Let's give credit to Bradford though. Villa might have defensive weaknesses but the Bantams totally exposed them. And this from a League Two team who lost to Barnet at the weekend.

    Whatever happens in the second leg, their fans will never forget an amazing Capital One Cup campaign that has seen them beat Wigan, Arsenal... and now Aston Villa too. They will dream of Wembley tonight and it is not far away from being a reality.

  3. 2218: 

    Those days must seem a long time ago now for Villa fans. Maybe Paul Lambert should bring back Shaun Teale AND Paul McGrath. Now that would tighten things up at the back.

  4. 2214: 

    Jimbob (below) is talking about Villa's 1994 League Cup semi-final win over Tranmere, when they lost the first leg 3-1. Shaun Teale scored in the second leg, which also finished 3-1... and Villa won on penalties. Ron Atkinson' side ended up beating favourites Manchester United in the final at Wembley.


    Russ G, via text: "Villa fans aren't even shocked. We thought we were about League 2 level - we were obviously optimistic. It was easy. Villa out and getting relegated."

    Jimbob in Birmingham: "It's not over yet. Remember Tranmere?! Just need Shaun Teale fit for the second leg."

  6. 2208: 

    Just to clarify, Bradford would have to win the Capital One Cup to make it into the Europa League. They would not qualify by being runners-up, even if Chelsea or Swansea make it into Europe courtesy of their league position.

    It seems a bit surreal just to be discussing the above, to be honest! Roll on the second leg...


    Bradford manager Phil Parkinson on BBC Radio 5 live: "We had to be mindful defensively but our quality players really showed up well today. We had a team that would rise to the occasion and I am so proud of the performance. We have a great chance now and Villa will have to play exceptionally well to get to Wembley.

    "There were chances at both ends and some of our attacking play was excellent. I still think Villa will be the favourites in two weeks but we go there full of confidence and the pressure will be on them."

    Bradford 3-1 Aston Villa

    Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert, speaking after his side's surprise first-leg defeat in their Capital One Cup semi-final: "I am very disappointed with the result. We knew it was coming from set-pieces. We never defended them well at all and that is what hurt us. They are a vital part of the game and that wasn't good enough.

    On his side's chances of reaching Wembley: "It is half-time, we have another chance to retrieve this and we will see what happens in a fortnight's time. We will be at home, have the crowd behind us, and we will have to do better than we did tonight, that is for sure.

    Are Villa still favourites? Pretty sure we will be, being at home with crowd behind us but is a big game for us now.


    Ed Hewings on Twitter: "If that doesn't tell Randy to go and write some blank cheques, then I don't know what will."

    Rob Edwards on Twitter: "Think Aston Villa might have a different manager for the 2nd leg of this tie."

    Hamish Williams on Twitter: "I wonder if Paul Lambert wishes he never left Norwich."

  10. 2159: 

    Chelsea host Swansea in the first leg of the other semi-final on Wednesday night. Both of them are probably quite pleased they didn't get Bradford now.

    You will be able to watch highlights of that tie - and tonight's action too - at 2305 GMT on Wednesday.

  11. 2157: 

    Steady on John. Let's not get ahead of ourselves. Bradford have to to negotiate the second leg first. If they make it to Wembley, then let's start talking!


    John Homer on Twitter: "League Two side in the Europa league? Highly probable thanks to Bradford right now."

    Jonathan G J Parry on Twitter: "Worried for #AVFC relegation on current form mainly as it proves @robbiesavage8 season start prediction."


    Bradford captain Gary Jones on BBC Radio 5 live: "We knew our keeper had to have a great game and he did. Our goals were superb and I think the result is fully deserved. I know it's only half-time but we've got something to hang on to. We knew we would have a chance from set-pieces and that's the way it proved. The lads were brilliant and the support we had was fantastic."

  14. 2155: 

    Further to Steve's text below, Villa's defending at set-pieces tonight was awful. And that's being kind. They could not cope with balls into their box, or any sort of movement from Bradford's players. Too often, Villa's marking was non-existent.


    Steve from Bicester, via text: "All I want for a late Xmas as a Villa fan is two centre halves."

    Lewis Daniels: "I've heard enough rubbish about how fragile our young players are, well done Bradford."

    James in London: "Great contribution from Darren Bent, as ever. All those criticizing leaving him out obviously not Villa fans. Misses as many as he scores and not a team player."


    Richard Leeman on Twitter: "After that performance, Matt Duke should be in the Fifa World XI."

    Chris Bloomfield on Twitter: "This performance highlights that you won't win anything with kids - quite a few players didn't even try tonight, disappointing."

    Chris Mwas on Twitter: "Paul Lambert to get the sacking and start the a-packing!"


    BBC Yorkshire's Ian Woodcock at Valley Parade: "Villa fans are totally shell-shocked. Their side were wasteful in front of goal and abject at protecting their own net. This ground was rocking after the win over Arsenal in the last round but the pandemonium that met the final whistle here hasn't been seen since David Wetherall's header that kept them in the Premier League at the end of the 1999/00 season.

    "Bradford were worthy winners and they will take a vocal and buoyant support down to Birmingham in a fortnight."

  18. 2153: 
    Bradford 3-1 Aston Villa

    Bradford boss Phil Parkinson, who said he would take a draw before kick-off, after being asked if his side's win tonight was better than beating Arsenal in the quarter-finals: "Yes. To score three goals against a Premier League team is an outstanding achievement. We played so well.

    "They came with really attacking line-up but they left space and we passed the ball so well. They had chances but so did we. We don't want to get carried away with our celebrations because we still have to go to Villa Park for the second leg but the lads can enjoy themselves tonight. Now we can got there and really enjoy it because the pressure will be on Villa."

    Robbie Savage, BBC Radio 5 live at Valley Parade

    "Can you say Villa have been embarrassed tonight? I'm not sure you can given that Bradford have played so well. But it will be very difficult for Paul Lambert to raise his players for the second leg."


    Dickie Whyte via text: "'City til I die.' For a decade, it's felt like a ruddy life sentence. Sometimes though, just sometimes, it's a roar of defiance!"

    Joel, Bradford fan (texted in at the start): "I think my stomach muscles are actually a little tighter from screaming and laughing so much. The dream lives on!!!"

    Mike, Villa fan, in London: "Bradford totally deserved it tonight! Fabian Delph should never play for my club again, awful awful performance."

    Matt: "Lambert hasn't become a bad manager overnight. Bent issue needs sorting out but Villa's players should take a long, hard look at themselves."

    Phil McNulty, BBC Sport Chief Football Writer at Valley Parade

    "What a night for Bradford. They have a precious two-goal advantage to take to Aston Villa - who will have to repair fragile confidence to prevent the League Two side reaching Wembley."


    Former Hull manager Phil Brown on BBC Radio 5 live: "We have witnessed a fabulous performance. Yes, it was against a young Villa side but they are playing at the highest level and could not bring their quality to the table. Bradford imposed their physicality on the game, especially in the middle of the park, and that's one of the reasons why they won tonight."

  23. 2145: 
    Bradford 3-1 Aston Villa

    Bradford keeper Matt Duke, who made a succession of superb saves in his side's shock semi-final first-leg win: "It shows the team spirit we got, we all put a shift in tonight. When they got through I made some saves but the lads in front of me did a great job.

    "It is fantastic to go to Villa Park with a lead - we needed to go there with something."

    Nahki Wells, who put the Bantams 1-0 up: "We showed our quality and proved we could compete with Premier League teams. Going into second leg with a two-goal cushion is great."

    Robbie Savage, BBC Radio 5 live at Valley Parade

    "Gary Jones has led by example and Matt Duke has been magnificent. They have all been terrific to beat a Premier League side. Unbelievable. I still make Villa slight favourites though because they have the quality and Bradford could be nervous."

  25. 2139: 

    Jubilation reigns at Valley Parade, apart from in the away section where a chorus of boos is ringing out.

    Wigan, Arsenal and now Aston Villa. Bradford boss Phil Parkinson is trying not to celebrate another Premier League scalp, because the job is only half done. Quite rightly, though, his players are on a lap of honour and soaking up deserved applause.

  26. 2138: 
    FULL-TIME- Bradford 3-1 Aston Villa

    League Two side Bradford City are 90 minutes away from Wembley. They will take a 3-1 lead to Villa Park for the second leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final with Aston Villa.

  27. 2136: 

    Bradford were pushing for a fourth too. They have a shout for a penalty when Gary Jones sees his shot blocked but settle for a corner. The Bantams take it short and they are now trying to play out time. Just seconds left.

    Phil McNulty, BBC Sport Chief Football Writer at Valley Parade

    "There was a brief lull in Bradford's celebrations - but there is bedlam again as they restore their two-goal lead."

  29. 2135: 

    There will be four minutes of added time at Valley Parade. Villa might be happy to lose this 3-1 now... they cannot afford to concede a fourth.

  30. 2131: 
    GOAL- Bradford 3-1 Aston Villa - Carl McHugh (88 mins)

    You thought Villa would nick a draw? You were wrong. Paul Lambert's side cannot defend corners. Or crosses. And definitely not crosses from corners. After Blair Turgott wins a corner down the right, Gary Jones again provides the delivery and Carl McHugh plants an unstoppable header past Shay Given.

    Robbie Savage, BBC Radio 5 live at Valley Parade

    "You want this game to go on for ever. This has been one of the best cup ties I have ever seen."

    You can listen to the tie on BBC Radio 5 live and online.

  32. 2129: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Aston Villa's Graeme Burke for Darren Bent

    Darren Bent has not shaken off that injury he sustained shortly after coming on, and he is replaced by teenage striker Graeme Burke for the final few minutes.

  33. 2126: 
    GOAL- Bradford 2-1 Aston Villa - Andreas Weimann (83 mins)

    A ray of light for Villa, and a potentially vital away goal (they count if the tie goes to extra-time at the end of the second leg). Christian Benteke flicks on a punt forward and Andreas Weimann beats Matt Duke to the ball, lifting it over the Bradford keeper and into the net.

    Duke is human after all... and I get the feeling he might be in for a busy final few minutes.

  34. 2123: 

    This is getting ridiculous. Another cross comes in, this time from the right, and Jim Hanson flings himself at it to send a header crashing against the bar with Villa keeper Shay Given beaten.

    They will still have the second leg to salvage this tie but, at the moment, Villa are in a right old mess.

    In the midst of that madness, Fabian Delph was booked for a foul on Jim Hanson.

  35. 2119: 
    GOAL- Bradford 2-0 Aston Villa - Rory McArdle (77 minutes)

    The scoreline did not stay the same... Amazing. Absolutely amazing. League Two side Bradford have done almost nothing but defend since the break but they now have a two-goal first-leg cushion over their Premier League opponents. When a corner is only half cleared, Gary Jones whips in a cross and Rory McArdle powers home a header. Where was the Villa defence? Bradford don't care.

  36. 2116: 

    I'm told Bradford had sold only just over half of their allocation of 6,000 tickets for the second leg at Villa Park before tonight's game. I can imagine their ticket office being pretty busy on Wednesday morning if this scoreline stays the same.


    Edward Watson on Twitter: "Shocking miss!! Who is the League Two side?! Awful, awful miss from Bent."

    Rachel T on Twitter: "The Muppet show was "most Sensational, Inspirational, Celebrational" - everything Villa are not!"

  38. 2114: 

    Er, I'm really not sure how Bradford survived this one.

    Matt Duke can only parry Charles N'Zogbia's shot and Darren Bent looks certain to gobble up the rebound and bury the dropping ball... but no. Bent times his jump all wrong and ends up nodding over the bar. Even worse for Villa is the fact Bent injured himself in the process too. He is staying on for now but is limping quite badly.

  39. 2111: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Bradford's Blair Turgott for Zavon Hines

    Zavon Hines has put in one heck of a shift tonight but he is lacking match fitness to see out the 90 minutes. On comes Blair Turgott instead.

  40. 2108: 

    Matt Duke has been Bradford's hero (so far) tonight but he gets a bit lucky here, seeing his attempted clearance cannon back off Andreas Weimann and fly wide after he raced out of his area.

    Replays show Weimann was offside, but the goal would have stood if it had gone in.

  41. 2107: 

    So, just over 25 minutes of this Capital One Cup semi-final first leg to go. Aston Villa have dominated since the break and created a lorry-load of chances but, as things stand, League Two side Bradford have a 1-0 lead to take to Villa Park for the second leg on 22 January.

    Robbie Savage, BBC Radio 5 live at Valley Parade

    "It's coming. Villa feel they can get that goal. They can sense it. Bradford need to stay resolute. They have been magnificent. Villa have come at them this half but they still look dangerous on the counter-attack."

    Follow the latest from Robbie on BBC Radio 5 live

  43. 2105: 
    YELLOW CARD- Aston Villa's Charles N'Zogbia

    Our first booking of the night goes to Charles N'Zogbia, who catches Nahki Wells late when he tries to retrieve the ball after a Villa attack breaks down.

    Shortly afterwards, Darren Bent has his first shot on goal, meeting a dropping ball at a difficult angle inside the box, and slamming it well off target.

  44. 2103: 

    Villa want a penalty when Andreas Weimann's cross comes back off Stephen Darby's elbow at point-blank range. Referee Howard Webb is having none of it, though.

  45. 2100: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Aston Villa's Darren Bent for Gabriel Agbonlahor

    So far tonight, Villa have created (approximately) 100 chances and taken none of them. Can Darren Bent do any better? The England striker replaces Gabriel Agbonlahor and has just over 30 minutes of the 90 left to find his side an equaliser.


    Liam in Stockport on 81111: "I wouldn't be too sure about Jim Hanson. It's Paul Lambert who looks the real muppet here. No Bent again?!

    Sam in London on text: "Gonzo Higuain would start in a Muppets XI."

  47. 2100: 

    Bradford's first attack of the half sees Zavon Hines raiding down the right until he is stopped in his tracks by a flying Nathan Baker tackle.

    Still, the home side have a corner, and also a chance to catch their breath after spending the last 10 minutes hanging on to their lead. They end up getting a sniff of a second goal too, because Carl McHugh gets on the end of the cross when it comes in... but he cannot keep his header down and it loops high over the bar.


    Mike Lawson on Twitter: "When Villa are inevitably relegated, there will be bargains up for grabs. The players have potential, but need senior guidance."

    damien matthewman on Twitter: "First 15mins of 2nd half are key... bcfc keep it tight and not concede, frustrate villa and they will win this tie

    Robbie Savage, BBC Radio 5 live at Valley Parade

    "Lambert must have hammered his Villa side at half-time. They have been on fire. If Villa do get that goal it's going to be very difficult for Bradford. Delph and Bannan have been very positive this half and passed it forward more than they did in the first half. It's a great cup tie."

    You can listen to live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live.

  50. 2056: 

    This is sustained pressure from Villa now, but they still have to get past Matt Duke. He is not just a top shot-stopper, but pretty handy with crosses too - coming off his line to deal with a tricky corner. How long can he hold out?

  51. 2053: 

    It is Aston Villa versus Matt Duke at the start of this second half, and the veteran Bradford keeper is winning the battle. This time he manages to keep out Gabriel Agbonlahor's snap-shot from 10 yards out. He cannot have seen that until very late.

  52. 2051: 

    There is just NO WAY past Matt Duke tonight. Barry Bannan sends over an inviting cross from the left, and Christian Benteke charges in to meet it with a powerful header. Villa should be level, but they are still behind because Duke gets across to make a superb reflex save.

  53. 2049: 
    KICK-OFF- Bradford 1-0 Aston Villa

    The second half is under way, and Villa are immediately on the attack. Bradford keeper Matt Duke is off his line quickly to block a Charles N'Zogbia effort from Christian Benteke's flick, then keeps out Benteke's rather limp follow-up too.


    BBC Sport's Peter Scrivener, a lifelong Bradford fan, jumping around on the Kop at Valley Parade: "There was an air of nervousness on the Kop prior to kick off but Nahki Wells has the City fans believing the impossible may just be possible."


    BBC Yorkshire's Ian Woodcock at Valley Parade: "Villa's support, who started the match in full voice, are growing increasingly frustrated and the players seem to be affected by that. If anything the hosts look the most likely to get the next goal.

    "Phil Parkinson spoke about the "vulnerability" of the visitors before the game and so far his side are making him look like a very astute man."


    Joshua Bolaji on Twitter: "Paul Lambert, heed these words: pride comes before a fall."

    tom watson on Twitter: "In that away strip, Villa look like a team of at least 10 goalkeepers. And thats pretty much what they play like too."

    Peter Howe on Twitter: "This is an impossible task for villa. Only team to beat Bradford in cups this year is mighty Brentford. Different league..."


    From Matt in Telford: "Re 2023: I'm sure you're the ultimate professional and wouldn't kermit such a crime."

  58. 2037: 

    As Max says below, Bradford's cup run has done them the world of good financially, earning the League Two side upwards of £1m. Not bad for a club under almost constant threat of administration in recent seasons.

    Reaching Wembley would probably double that but, whatever happens in the second half or second leg, Phil Parkinson's side have secured their immediate future. And put a smile back on the face of their fans too of course.

    Robbie Savage, BBC Radio 5 live at Valley Parade

    "Paul Lambert needs to go in and give them a verbal blast. Yes, Benteke should have scored twice, but Bradford are winning the second ball and Villa keep giving the ball away. If Villa get a goal I think they will go on and win the tie but they can't get a goal."


    Max on Twitter: "Bradford City are going to be financially ok now for years, could be the start of a new future for the club."

    Tom edwards on Twitter: "I'm a Villa fan and I don't know what to say any more. Get bent off bench for Weimann or sell him and buy a new defence."

    Mark Jackson on Twitter: "You were desperate to use that Jim Hansen muppet gag weren't you!"

    Phil McNulty, BBC Sport Chief Football Writer at Valley ParadeHALF-TIME- Bradford 1-0 Aston Villa

    "Bradford survived the early Aston Villa pressure to take command as the half went on. Villa may just be glad of the relief of half-time so Paul Lambert and his players can just gather their thoughts."

    Robbie Savage, BBC Radio 5 live at Valley Parade

    "Bradford have played some fantastic football. Villa look shell-shocked but they need leaders. Who is going to get the youngsters by the scruff of the neck and tell them what to do? They are putting a shift in but they keep giving the ball away. They need experience."

  63. 2033: 
    HALF-TIME- Bradford 1-0 Aston Villa
  64. 2033: 

    As discussed, Villa have been desperate in defence tonight but they are still in this tie and almost snatch an equaliser just before the break. The ball drops for Gabriel Agbonlahor inside the box after excellent work for Charles N'Zogbia down the right, but Agbonlahor's shot is straight at Matt Duke.

    Phil McNulty, BBC Sport Chief Football Writer at Villa Park

    "Villa have lost their way here and Bradford - as well as their supporters - can sense it. Paul Lambert's side need to restore some order but Bradford's high-tempo game is refusing to allow it."

  66. 2027: 

    Another Bradford chance, and a good one too. Do I need to tell you Zavon Hines and big Jim Hanson are involved? They are...

    Hines supplies the cross from the right and Hanson meets it with a firm header, but plants the ball into the turf and sees it bounce over the bar. Villa will be glad to get to the interval just one goal down.

  67. 2026: 

    Five minutes to go until the break. Bradford are still on top - a goal to the good in this first leg and looking like they fancy some more. Zavon Hines has just fired over for the Bantams after the Villa defence stands and watches their opponents again, this time from a throw-in.


    Chris H on Twitter: "I'd be annoyed if I was a Villa fan because playing 4-5-1 at a League 2 side in a semi-final with Bent sat on the bench!"

    Richard Leeman on Twitter: "Villa would have been out of sight by now if they'd started Bent. Personal problems letting Lambert down again."

    Adam Taylor on Twitter: "Bradford City: just working their way through beating all the premier league clubs in alphabetical order."

  69. 2023: 

    I've got a bad feeling I am going to write 'Jim Henson' instead of 'Jim Hanson' at some point tonight. The Bradford striker is making Villa's defenders look like muppets at the moment though, finding space to meet Gary Jones' corner and powering in a header that Villa's Fabian Delph hacks off the line.

    Carl McHugh almost snaffles up the rebound too. Villa are under a lot of pressure at the moment.

  70. 2021: 

    Here come Bradford down the right again. Zavon Hines turns Joe Bennett inside out before smashing in a shot that Shay Given spills at his near post. The loose ball almost drops for Jim Hanson too, before Villa clear.

    Robbie Savage, BBC Radio 5 live at Valley Parade

    "Paul Lambert will feel that with their quality they will have enough to go through, but they need to finish better. Villa keep creating chances but are not putting anything away."


    Tom texting from Manchester: "Credit to the officials for getting those decisions spot on (for Bradford's goal). We're quick to criticise them but never give them praise when they're right."

    Phil McNulty, BBC Sport Chief Football Writer at Valley Parade

    "Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert urging his players forward - clearly in an attempt to regain that early momentum. Bradford have real impetus and are being urged on in a fantastic atmosphere inside Valley Parade."

  74. 2013: 

    On paper, this Villa defence is leaky. On the pitch, it looks even worse. Zavon Hines and Nahki Wells keep finding gaps down the right and the ball almost breaks for Bradford striker Jim Hanson inside the box.

    Things are a bit more promising for Villa's attack, though. The Bantams are finding it hard to keep tabs on Charles N'Zogbia, who works space for a shot that Matt Duke does well to keep out. Moments later, Christian Benteke also lets fly. Again, Duke is equal to it.

  75. 2011: 

    So, after 25 minutes of breathless end-to-end cup football, League Two side Bradford lead Aston Villa of the Premier League 1-0. No sign of this game slowing down either - Villa look a bit rattled and the Bantams keep hoisting balls into the Villa box.


    Johnny lee Justice on Twitter: "Anything is possible in football and Villa's defence is as much use as the river Ouse defences here in York."

    adam waide on Twitter: "Never fear, Benteke's near."

    Snr Neave on Twitter: "With the corner being awarded and then the goal being given, just proves how good Howard Webb and the linesman are! Best ref!"

  77. 2009: 

    Before kick-off, Bradford boss Phil Parkinson said he would take a draw tonight - his side are doing a bit better than that at the moment. Not much of a response from Villa so far, and Valley Parade is rocking.

    Robbie Savage, BBC Radio 5 live at Valley Parade

    "Wells finished it calmly. Villa's defence was static and didn't move, but Wells was on the front foot and wanted the goal. Wells has started the game very well. He runs and runs and chases lost causes."

  79. 2005: 
    GOAL- Bradford 1-0 Aston Villa - Nahki Wells (18 mins)

    Arsenal and Wigan will know how Villa are feeling at the moment. Referee Howard Webb and his assistant Mike Mullarkey get a call spot on to give a Bradford corner when Villa defender Joe Bennett claims he has been fouled. It is cleared as far as Zavon Hines, whose bouncing shot falls for Nahki Wells to steer past Shay Given. Villa claim Wells is offside but replays show Mullarkey got that call right too.

  80. 2002: 

    Bradford's tactic is definitely to get down the flanks and get crosses into the Villa box. Shay Given - who had a trial with the Bantams when he was 15 - is coping with them at the moment, though.

    Phil McNulty, BBC Sport Chief Football Writer at Valley Parade

    "Aston Villa's giant striker Christian Benteke has already emerged as the main danger with four chances for Aston Villa inside the first 15 minutes - luckily for League Two Bradford he has not taken any of them. He looks too much for them at the moment though."

  82. 2000: 

    I cannot see this game staying goalless for long. Villa have just threatened again, with Christian Benteke beating the Bradford offside trap and forcing a decent low save from Matt Duke.

    Robbie Savage, BBC Radio 5 live at Valley Parade

    "It's a great cup tie. N'Zogbia is getting between the back four and the midfield four and isn't being marked. Bradford are being brave in their attacking, but if they keep doing that they will get caught. Benteke should have had two now but he's missed with two headers."

  84. 1958: 

    It is end to end stuff at the moment, with every move seeming to end in a shot or a cross into the box. Villa see another effort go astray when Charles N'Zogbia cuts in from the right before scuffing his shot.

  85. 1956: 

    Another Villa corner, after Charles N'Zogbia's shot is blocked, and another header from Christian Benteke, who is allowed far too much room in the box. Sadly for Villa, he does not make the most of it, heading wide at the near post and wasting the best chance so far.


    George Cloake on Twitter: "Tense evening for a Villa fan, watching on with a Bradford City supporting housemate. Loser moves out?"

    AJHB on Twitter: "The awkward moment when Chelsea and Swansea fans want Villa to win because they'd be easier opponents in the final."

  87. 1954: 

    A couple more sniffs at either end follow in quick succession, with Nahki Wells failing to pick out a Bradford team-mate in the area after getting in a good position by the right byline. Shay Given collects his cross and Villa break quickly but Andreas Weimann is also guilty of a poor final ball when he finds himself in space in the box. Villa have to settle for a corner, from which Christian Benteke heads over.

  88. 1952: 

    Villa do not have to wait long for their first effort on goal, though. Charles N'Zogbia collects the ball from Joe Bennett on the left and makes for goal before fizzing in a shot from the edge of the area that Matt Duke is happy to push away.

  89. 1950: 

    Nahki Wells is next to threaten for Bradford, down that same flank. He cuts inside and gets away a cross-shot, but it is blocked by Nathan Baker. The Bantams keep up the pressure, but they fail to test Shay Given when Gary Jones sees his shot roll wide.

  90. 1947: 

    The crowd are still very lively in the first couple of minutes, with the Villa fans making themselves heard too.

    No chances to speak of yet, though. Bradford try to get down Villa's left flank through Zavon Hines, who builds up a head of steam but eventually runs out of pitch.

  91. 1945: 
    KICK-OFF- Bradford v Aston Villa (1945 GMT)

    We are under way at Valley Parade. Can Bradford become only the second club from the fourth tier to reach the League Cup final, after Rochdale in 1962? Tonight might give us a few clues as to the answer.

    Robbie Savage, BBC Radio 5 live at Valley Parade

    "Bradford can't give Villa time on the ball. We saw that last night with Cheltenham against Everton. They've got to get in their faces, make it difficult for better players, make it like a League Two game, make tackles and make it scrappy."

  93. 1942: 

    Here come the players... walking out to a noisy reception at a packed Valley Parade.

    Bradford are in their traditional claret and amber home kit. Villa are in their not-so-traditional luminous yellow away strip.


    Kalon Newbury on Twitter: "Will be a tough game for Villa, Bradford are having a great season but Villa will have confidence from the win against Ipswich."

    Mashidur Miah on Twitter: "Full strength Villa side, would say Aston Villa win but with what happen to Arsenal, the tie is balanced, I'm going for a draw!"

  95. 1941: 

    As I mentioned earlier, this is Bradford's first League Cup semi-final and tonight represents uncharted territory for the Bantams.

    It is Villa's 14th... and they are hoping to reach their ninth final and, ultimately, win the competition for a sixth time.

  96. 1939: 

    Bradford boss Phil Parkinson, asked before kick-off at Valley Parade if he would he take a draw in this first leg?

    "Yes. if we go to Villa Park and we are in the tie then there will be enormous pressure on Aston Villa."


    Niall McCaffrey on Twitter: "Re Jason (1915): Brad Guzan has been fantastic for Villa this season. The problem lies with the inexperienced outfield players."

    Bradford v Aston Villa (1945 GMT)

    Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert makes four changes to the team which beat Ipswich in the FA Cup. The Scot has called on Christian Benteke, Andreas Weimann and Gabriel Agbonlahor to spearhead the visitors' attack while Matthew Lowton comes in in defence. Darren Bent must make do with a place on the substitutes' bench.

    Bradford lost 2-0 away to Barnet at the weekend and manager Phil Parkinson has made two changes to that line-up, recalling defender Carl McHugh and winger Zavon Hines.


    Paul Anthony in Manchester on 81111: "Lifelong Bradford City fan, but going out for dinner with girlfriend before she goes away for 3 months, why has fate smiled so unkindly on me?"

    Andy Hodgson in Banbury on text: "Villa are a confidence team - young teams often are. If they start well against low league competition they'll win comfortably. If Bradford start well and put them on the back foot however they could panic..."

  100. 1924: 

    There are other games going on tonight too, you know? Well, you do now.

    For those of you who like a freebie, I suggest you get yourselves off to the Globe Arena tonight to watch Morecambe versus Dagenham & Redbridge in League Two. It won't cost you a bean to get in, as part of a campaign by the Shrimps to arrest a drop in attendances. You've only got 20 minutes until kick-off, though, so I'd get your skates on.

    There is also action in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy (where Leyton Orient and Yeovil are in such a rush they started at 1900 GMT) and the Blue Square Bet Premier too.

  101. 1921: 

    Aston Villa keeper Shay Given has been number two to Brad Guzan for most of this season in the Premier League but the former Republic of Ireland international has played in their successful Capital One Cup run, and starts at Valley Parade tonight.

    Given, 36, made a couple of key saves in Saturday's FA Cup win over Ipswich and said: "When I get the chance, it's important I remind the manager that there is still plenty of life left in me and still plenty of years left ahead of me.

    "Of course, you are delighted to be in a winning team first and foremost. The team is the most important thing. But it's nice as a keeper when you have to contribute and thankfully I did that a couple of times against Ipswich."


    Chief in Birmingham on text: "Christian 'The Powerhouse' Benteke will show his quality tonight and grab himself a few goals!"

    Dave Lumley on 81111: "I'm at my first Villa game with the boys. We can have a shout out from the party bus?"

    Phil McNulty, BBC Sport Chief Football Writer at Valley ParadeBradford v Aston Villa (1945 GMT)

    Bradford City's Capital One Cup adventure has taken them to the brink of Wembley with a semi-final appearance against Aston Villa. The Valley Parade was the scene of a memorable victory against Arsenal in the last eight and now Paul Lambert's Villa arrive here hoping a win over two legs can ease some of the Premier League woes they have suffered this season.

    Robbie Savage, BBC Radio 5 live at Valley Parade

    "I thought Darren Bent might have got a start tonight. He got a goal at the weekend against Ipswich, but they still have him in reserve for the second leg if they need him.

    "There's a fantastic atmosphere here, Bradford is a great club with good support and you hope this cup run will help them bring a few thousand back."

  105. 1915: 
    Bradford v Aston Villa (1945 GMT)

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

    Aston Villa: Given, Lowton, Clark, Baker, Bennett, Agbonlahor, Delph, Bannan, N'Zogbia, Benteke, Weimann. Subs: Guzan, Ireland, Bent, Stevens, Lichaj, Burke, Carruthers.

    Referee: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire)


    Joe Cohen on Twitter: "Not a chance for Bradford, my Barnet boys did you over 2-0 on the weekend - and without Edgar Davids!!"

    Ed on Twitter: "Too many people expect Bradford to get a result tonight and instead of underestimating them they are overestimating them."

    Jason Cashin on Twitter: "Having Shay Given in goal, with all the experience he has, is a big reason why Villa are doing better in cups than in league."

  107. 1914: 

    The boot is on the other foot for Lambert this time, of course, with his team expected to brush aside a Bradford team that lost to Barnet on Saturday. He doesn't think it will be so easy - in fact, he is expecting an early onslaught.

    "It will be a different team to the one that got beaten by Barnet at the weekend, Lambert said. "You have to withstand that and be ready for it.

    "The Bradford lads will give it everything they have got to try to turn us over. If we do what we have been doing that of late and match that then we'll see what happens."

  108. 1913: 

    For all their struggles in the league, Villa have been in rip-roaring form in the the Capital One Cup, sticking four goals past Manchester City and Norwich on the road to reach this stage.

    Lambert is not taking anything for granted against Bradford, though. For a start, he has been here before, as manager of Wycombe.

    Wanderers were the last League Two side to reach this stage of the League Cup, in 2006/07. They scented an upset when they drew 1-1 with Chelsea in the first leg at Adams Park... but were beaten 4-0 in the return.


    Opta Joe on Twitter: "3 - Bradford are aiming to become the first fourth tier side in history to knock out three top-flight sides from the same League Cup. Target."

  110. 1909: 

    It is Villa who have relegation fears at the moment, though. Have you noticed how leaky their defence has been (shipping 17 in their last four league games) of late? Bradford boss Phil Parkinson has...

    "We have to take advantage of the fact they've conceded a lot of goals," Parkinson told BBC Radio Leeds this week.

    "It doesn't matter what level you play at, if you concede that number of goals then there is a vulnerability there, confidence-wise."

  111. 1904: 

    The last time Bradford and Villa met, they were both top-flight clubs. It was only 12 years ago, too. In February 2001, Darius Vassell was showing the sort of form that would soon get him in the England squad as he bagged twice, and Julian Joachim came off the bench to add a late third to give Villa a 3-0 win at Valley Parade.

    Bradford, under Jim Jefferies, were relegated at the end of that season - well, quite a bit before the end actually. They finished bottom of the table, with only five wins in their entire campaign.

  112. 1901: 
    Bradford v Aston Villa (1945 GMT)

    BREAKING: Christian Benteke returns up front for Aston Villa, replacing Darren Bent. Gabriel Agbonlahor is also in Villa's starting XI. For Bradford, forward James Hanson is fit to start but defender James Meredith misses out because of illness. Full team news to follow.


    Joel on 81111: "Bradford fan living in Dreamland. Villa are vulnerable!! 2-1 win for Bradford tonight, win the return leg and face the European Champions in the final!! The dream ain't dying now!"

    Joel on text: "Please oh please can everyone stop insulting villa? The players are young but they're trying their best and it was only a matter of weeks ago that the media were exclaiming how brilliant they were. I'd rather Westwood play any day than Ireland."


    OptaJoe on Twitter: "19 - Aston Villa have won all 19 previous League Cup ties against teams from the fourth tier, scoring 95 in total in 27 games. Form."

  115. 1852: 

    So, what do you reckon? Will Bradford's first League Cup semi-final in the competition's 53-year history end in tears? Or will it be Villa's kids who are crying as their side's bid to win this trophy for the sixth time take a blow?

    Tweet the text commentary using the hashtag #bbcfootball or text me using 81111 (in the UK). Make sure you put YOUR NAME on those texts, though. I can't use them otherwise, no matter how witty they are.

  116. 1848: 

    I jest, of course. But there are a couple of good reasons why Bradford will fancy their chances of, at the very least, keeping this tie alive ahead of the return at Villa Park on 22 January. They are:

    1) The Bantams knocked Arsenal out in the quarter-finals, and beat Wigan in round four. That's two top-flight scalps already.

    2) Villa's form, or lack of it. Yes, results have improved a bit for Paul Lambert's young side since they gave away so many gifts over Christmas... But edging past a struggling Championship team (Ipswich) at home in the FA Cup on Saturday does not mean their defensive problems are over. Not a chance.

  117. 1844: 

    Hello. Welcome aboard for the first of this week's Capital One Cup semi-finals, first legs.

    It's Bradford versus Aston Villa. League Two versus Premier League. Does anyone fancy a shock tonight... or does everyone think the Bantams are going to win?

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