League Two Bradford knock Arsenal out of Capital One Cup on penalties to reach semis

Last Updated: 12/12/12 8:11am

History boys: Bradford produced a cup fairytale by defeating Arsenal on penalties

Thomas Vermaelen: Arsenal's captain equalised for Arsenal with just three minutes remaining in normal time

Garry Thompson: The midfielder's goal had come close to winning the game for Bradford in normal time

Arsene Wenger: The Arsenal boss is now under extra pressure after a latest embarrassment in a poor season

Arsene Wenger: The Arsenal boss is now under extra pressure after a latest embarrassment in a poor season

Bradford City enjoyed one of the most famous nights in their history as they stunned an embarrassed Arsenal with a penalty shoot-out win in the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup.

Garry Thompson's first-half strike took the League Two club to within three minutes of winning the game in normal time before Thomas Vermaelen's late header.

But after no further goals in extra time, Vermaelen then missed the decisive penalty to ensure Bradford won a record-breaking ninth successive shoot-out and reached the semi-finals for the first time in their history.

For Arsenal, it was a humiliation of epic proportions in an already disappointing season after Arsene Wenger had named an almost full strength team when searching to end the club's infamous seven-year trophy drought.

The 23,971 sell-out crowd, Bradford's biggest since 1960, had groaned as the teams were read out but they were soon cheering when their top-scorer, Nahki Wells, out-muscled Vermaelen and forced a sprawling save from Wojciech Szczesny.

Hope turned to jubilation for the Bradford fans in the 16th minute when a free-kick led to Thompson's goal as he poked in at the back post.

As the temperature on an icy night dropped, so did Arsenal's spirits, with Per Mertesacker being regularly beaten in the air by James Hanson.

The Gunners' frustrations continued in the second half, with Jack Wilshere flashing a shot well wide, then Gervinho mis-controlling when through on goal.

But the desperation finally paid dividends with three minutes of normal time remaining, when Santi Cazorla whipped in a delicious cross for Vermaelen to head home from close range.

Extra time was required and Cazorla nearly won it with a swerving effort from fully 30 yards that struck the crossbar but Bradford held out for the shoot-out.

Arsenal were always on the back foot from when Cazorla had their first spot-kick saved by Matt Duke, even more so when Marouane Chamakh hit the post.

Bradford could even afford to see Szczesny deny Ritchie Jones and Stephen Darby before Vermaelen hitting the post sent Valley Parade into ecstasy.

Bradford CityTeam StatisticsArsenal
11st Half Goals0
2Shots on Target6
4Shots off Target19
4Blocked Shots9
3Yellow Cards2
0Red Cards0
59Passing Success85.9
72.7Tackles Success81.2
44.2Territorial Advantage55.8
334Total Passes877
14Total Crosses49
238Lost Balls230
24.71st Half Poss.75.3
32.32nd Half Poss.67.7

Who was Bradford's man of the match in the unforgettable win over Arsenal?

  • Duke
  • Doyle
  • Hanson
  • G. Jones
  • Thompson
  • Wells
  • Other