Bradford City who lie 10th in league two booked a place in the League Cup final last night with a 3-4 aggregate win over Premier League side Aston Villa. They are the first fourth-division side to reach the final of this competition since Rochdale did it way back in 1962.
Bradford's achievement is one of the great cup stories of modern-day football, not just eliminating Villa but also two other Premier League teams in Arsenal and Wigan Athletic plus one from the Championship in Watford.
Bradford beat Wigan 4-2 on penalties, Arsenal 3-2 on penalties and Aston Villa 3-4 on aggregate. They know how to win a penalty shoot-out, a trait that could be massive in the final.
Bradford City have beaten a team, 62 places above them in the league ladder – over two legs.
In the first game at Valley Parade a fortnight ago, Bradford had scored three times from set-pieces. Two of those goals had come from headers. It was not that hard to work out, therefore, where the Bradford threat might come from.
Bradford once again dealt a harsh blow to the Villa defence with a corner in the 55th minute. Phil Parkinson's men learnt from the first game that if they swing the ball in to the 6 yard box, they'll cause problems.
Bradford centre forward, James Hanson rose highest once again, and powered the ball into the back of the net. 1-1 on the night, 2-4 on aggregate. Benteke had put Aston Villa in the lead with a 24th minute volley however – but Villa didn't make enough of it.
Andreas Wiemann scored late on in the 89th minute, courtesy of a Darren Bent flick. But Aston Villa failed to break down the Bradford back line, thus sending the league two side to Wembley, in the League Cup final.
Bradford will face either Swansea or Chelsea in the final, as the London club look to overturn a 2-0 deficit. The Swans were out-played by Chelsea in the first leg, however ran away victors with goals from Michu and Danny Graham.
Chelsea need two goals on the night to force the game to extra time. The Blues will have to score three to seal victory, as they look to win their first peace of silverware this season, and first piece under Rafael Benitez. The League Cup is a good incentive for Benitez to win over the Chelsea fans, who have failed so far to liken to the Spaniard.
If Chelsea can come away victorious from the Liberty Stadium tonight and remain in the top four till the end of the season, Bradford will have booked a spot in the Europa League.
An incredible journey has taken place for such a small club. The Bradford players themselves wont believe it till late February. Once there, who knows what may happen?
Bradford may prefer Chelsea in the cup final. Against the Blues, this will greaten the possibility of European football for the club. With Swansea knocked out and the Blues looking strong for a top four position, Bradford would qualify.
However, from what we've seen on this fantastic cup run – whoever Bradford play in the final, they'll give it their absolute all in the belief they can be champions.
Can Bradford go on to win the League Cup Final at Wembley?