Capital One Cup Results: Bradford City Embarrass Arsenal as Aston Villa Ease Through with Win over Norwich

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Dec 11, 2012 10:36 PM EST
Bradford City
Bradford City players celebrate following their extraordinary win over English Premier League heavyweights Arsenal in the quarterfinals of the Capital One Cup(Photo : Reuters) "

 

Arsenal were knocked out of the Capital One Cup quarterfinals by League Two side Bradford City after a thrilling penalty shootout at Valley Parade.

The Gunners only just about avoided the ignominy of losing to a team three tiers below them, after Thomas Vermaelen scored a late equalizer to make it 1-1 in the 88th minute.

Garry Thompson had given the underdogs a shock lead in the 16th minute, after which some resolute defending and some poor Arsenal attacking paved the way for a famous defeat, before Vermaelen intervened.

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However, after a goalless extra time, it was Arsenal who choked with Bradford maintaining their perfect record in penalty shootouts this season.

In the lottery, Bradford first stepped up and converted their first two spotkicks, with both Santi Cazorla and Marouane Chamakh missing for the Gunners.

Arsenal, however, converted their next two penalties through Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, while Bradford converted their third, with the score reading 3-2.

But Jones missed their final spotkick, meaning Vermaelen again had the chance to prolong the game by sending the shootout into sudden death.

However, the Arsenal skipper could only manage to strike the outside of the post with his penalty, as Bradford were sent into dreamland.

Arsene Wenger, as is expected, defended his players after the embarrassing loss. "Congratulations to Bradford, they had a good start and after that they defended well," Wenger said. "Overall we had many chances.

"The keeper had a great game and we couldn't convert our chances. When you go out it's never good enough at Arsenal. I think we lost on penalties to a team who defended well.

"I cannot fault the effort we gave for 120 minutes. You have to give credit to Bradford on the night. That's part of the game.

"It's not a lack of quality. We couldn't convert our chances for different reasons. Overall it was a real cup game.

"We will get over that. It's part of our club, it's what we do."

Bradford captain Gary Jones said the win against Arsenal was one of the best nights of his life. "This has got to be one of the best nights of my life," Jones told Sky Sports. "I cannot believe we have just knocked Arsenal out of the Capital One Cup.

"It was 11 vs 11 and we had to keep our shape and frustrate them. I am lost for words."

In the other quarterfinal Tuesday, Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert made a successful return to Carrow Road as his side eased past Norwich 4-1. Steve Morison opened the scoring for Norwich in the 19th minute, which was immediately cancelled out by Brett Holman.

Andreas Weimann then struck two goals in the space of six minutes - in the 79th and 85th - to give Villa a 3-1 lead before Christian Benteke added the gloss in stoppage time.

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