What a fairytale story! Chelsea or Swansea City now lie in wait in the Capital One Cup final for little old Bradford City, who last night completed a 4-3 aggregate victory over Aston Villa to become the first club from the fourth tier of English football to reach the final of the competition since Rochdale in 1962.
On what is arguably the greatest night in the club’s history, Bradford lost 2-1 at Villa Park, but still progressed thanks to James Hanson’s second-half goal which saw the League Two outfit complete the job following their 3-1 first-leg victory at Valley Parade.
The Bantams have seen off three Premier League teams en route to next month’s final, also knocking out Wigan Athletic on penalties after a 0-0 draw at the DW Stadium and, more glamorously, seeing off Arsenal, also on spot-kicks, after a 1-1 draw in West Yorkshire.
Bradford’s astonishing run to Wembley has sent their long-suffering fans – who have endured two administrations and a plummet from the top flight to the bottom tier – into dreamland.
Championship Watford and Notts County of League Two were also beaten along the way and delighted manager Phil Parkinson hailed his players as history makers.
“We said to the lads before that there was a chance to make history,” he said.
“But we knew that we had to focus on the key elements in the game to get us there. I felt we certainly did that in the second half.
“These lads will be remembered in the history of Bradford City for years to come. There’s a 1911 lounge at the club to celebrate the [FA] Cup victory of that year. Well, in years to come there will be a lounge named after this cup run and these players because of what they’ve achieved.”
And after being 750/1 with bwin before a ball was kicked in the League Cup back in August, City are now 5/1 to lift the trophy on February 24th.
In other words, Bantams fans using the free £20 bet they receive when registering with bwin to back their heroes to win the Capital One Cup would win a cool £120 if successful.
But of course, pocketing any amount of money would pale in comparison to the feeling of climbing the famous Wembley steps as winners.
Could they complete the impossible dream?