Route to the Capital One Cup final: Bradford City
Bradford City defeated League One team Notts County in the first round, their victory coming in extra time through a James Hanson goal.
Bradford’s second round tie was against Championship side Watford, who went ahead after a 71st minute goal from Ikechi Anya. Bradford scored, first through Kyel Reid’s 84th minute equaliser, and then found a winner through Garry Thompson in injury-time.
Fellow League Two side Burton Albion played Bradford in the third round. Bradford were behind by two goals for the majority of the match, but Bermudian international Nahki Wells scored twice in the last ten minutes, taking the game into extra time. Stephen Darby scored the winning goal in the 115th minute. The victory put Bradford into the last 16 of the competition for the first time in 24 years.
Bradford were drawn against Wigan Athletic of the Premier League in the fourth round. The match was goalless after 90 minutes and also after extra time, resulting in a penalty shoot-out. Bradford won the shoot-out 4–2 with successful penalties from Nathan Doyle, Gary Jones, Stephen Darby and Alan Connell. It was the first time Bradford had knocked a Premiership club out of the competition since they defeated Nottingham Forest in September 1995.
Bradford’s quarter-final victory over Arsenal of the Premier League at Valley Parade was also decided on penalties, after the match finished 1–1 during regulation time. Garry Thompson put the Bantams in the lead in the 16th minute, but the Gunners found an equaliser through Thomas Vermaelen in the 88th minute. Nathan Doyle, Gary Jones and Alan Connell all successfully converted their penalties for Bradford, who won 3–2 on penalties and recorded a historic victory over Premier League high-flyers Arsenal.
In the semi-final first leg against Premier League Aston Villa, Nahki Wells gave Bradford the lead after 20 minutes and Rory McArdle scored in the 77th minute. Andreas Weimann scored for Aston Villa in the 82nd minute, but Carl McHugh restored Bradford’s two-goal lead in the 87th after heading home Gary Jones’ corner. Aston Villa won the second leg 2–1, but Bradford won 4–3 on aggregate. Christian Benteke put Aston Villa ahead in the 24th minute, before Bradford’s James Hanson levelled in the 55th minute. Andreas Weimann scored an 89th minute goal for Aston Villa to win the game for the Villans but it was not enough to overturn their aggregate deficit. With three Premier League scalps now claimed, Bradford City look forward to an epic clash with Swansea City at Wembley on the 24th February.