Bantams off to Wembley after Villa win
9:51pm Tuesday 22nd January 2013 in © Press Association 2014
Bradford became the first fourth-tier club to reach the League Cup final for 51 years as they stunned Barclays Premier League strugglers Aston Villa with a 4-3 aggregate victory after a 2-1 defeat on the night.
Villa were unable to claw back the 3-1 deficit from the first leg of the Capital One Cup encounter even though leading scorer Christian Benteke put them in front before half-time.
James Hanson's headed effort early in the second period effectively killed off the tie and Villa substitute Andreas Weimann's last-gasp goal secured a 2-1 win on the night but it was too little, too late.
The final whistle was the cue for wild scenes of delight from Bradford manager Phil Parkinson and his players who had overcome Arsenal in the previous round. His side will now take on either Swansea or Chelsea at Wembley at the end of February.
The only other club from the bottom division to reach the final was Rochdale in 1962, when the competition was in its infancy and many of the leading sides did not participate. For Villa it was a massive blow to take in a season where they have become embroiled in a relegation battle.
The first half-chance fell to Benteke who climbed above the Bradford defence to meet a cross from Charles N'Zogbia but he directed his header wide. Another menacing centre from N'Zogbia was headed back across goal by Benteke towards Matt Lowton although he could not keep his header down.
After 24 minutes Villa Park erupted as Benteke gave the home side the lead. Left-back Joe Bennett curled the ball in from the flank and Benteke was first to react as he prodded the ball past Bradford keeper Matt Duke.
The game followed a similar pattern at the start of the second period with Benteke failing to make full contact on a header from Lowton's centre.
But after 55 minutes Villa's Achilles' heel at set-pieces again proved their undoing as Hanson restored Bradford's two-goal aggregate lead, the striker getting in front of Ron Vlaar to head home Gary Jones' corner and send the 6,500 Bradford fans wild.
Villa boss Paul Lambert brought on a fourth striker in Weimann with 20 minutes left and he put Villa ahead on the night after Benteke's flick-on, but Bradford survived the final few minutes to book their place in next month's Wembley final.