Bradford City manager Phil Parkinson has hailed his players after the League Two side withstood the challenge of Aston Villa to hold on to their first-leg lead in the Capital One Cup semi-final and reach the final at Wembley, the
The Bantams won 3-1 at Valley Parade in the first-leg, an advantage that proved crucial as Villa fought back in the return, winning 2-1 on the night but failing to overturn the deficit, losing 4-3 on aggregate.
Parkinson said: “It is dreamland. The lads were absolutely fantastic and what it means for the club and the city is ¬absolutely tremendous. I thought we had a great chance with the two goals from the first leg. First-half Villa were excellent but in the second half we played really well.
Christian Benteke opened the scoring for Villa but James Hanson equalised, and although Andreas Weimann scored to put Villa back in front it came too late for the Premier League side with only minutes to play, enabling Bradford to hold on and make history.
The last time a side from the lowest tier of the English league reached the League Cup final was 1962, when fourth division Rochdale met Norwich City it what was then a two-legged affair. The Canaries eventually triumphed 4-0 on aggregate, winning 3-0 at Spotland, the home of Rochdale, and 1-0 at Carrow Road.
Bradford will play the winners of Wednesday’s semi-final, Swansea City or Chelsea. The Swans have a two-goal lead from the first-leg, with the return taking place in south Wales at the Liberty Stadium.
A delighted Parkinson added: “I think we could fill Wembley on our own. To win it might be going too far but to get to Wembley is great for us.”
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