Bantams beat Villa in first-leg clash
Bradford produced more Capital One Cup heroics at Valley Parade to see off another Barclays Premier League side as they claimed a 3-1 victory in their semi-final first-leg clash with Aston Villa.
Bermudian striker Nahki Wells coolly despatched a shot from inside the penalty area following a rebound in the 19th minute and defender Rory McArdle headed home Gary Jones' cross in the 77th minute to give the npower League Two side an unlikely two-goal lead.
Bradford almost put the tie beyond their top-flight opponents moments later when striker James Hanson headed against the crossbar, but Villa, who spurned a hatful of chances in either half, grabbed a crucial late lifeline through Andreas Weimann before Carl McHugh restored the home side's two-goal advantage with another header two minutes from full-time.
City, who had already sent Premier League clubs Wigan and, unforgettably, Arsenal packing in the previous rounds, were a match throughout for Villa, who were thwarted on at least half a dozen occasions by the heroics of home goalkeeper Matt Duke.
It was fast and furious.
Villa's Bradford-born midfielder Fabian Delph, booed with every early touch, clipped a fine ball into the area for Christian Benteke, whose first-time shot was saved by the sprawling Duke - but Bradford striker Wells then sent most of Valley Parade into raptures.
Jones' corner was headed out to Zavon Hines on the edge of the area and when his shot was deflected by Villa skipper Ciaran Clark, the unmarked Wells kept his composure after the ball had ricocheted into his path 12 yards from goal to steer a low, right-footed shot into the bottom corner in the 19th minute.
Villa should have equalised three minutes after the restart, but Benteke's header from Barry Bannan's cross was blocked by Duke, who then kept out Gabirel Agbonlahor's close-range effort following Charles N'Zogbia's ball in.
McArdle headed home Jones' cross in the 77th minute to give the hosts a two-goal lead although Weimann bravely pulled one back for Villa when he turned the ball home at the far post five minutes later.
But the Bantams fans were in dreamland once more when another City defender, McHugh, launched himself at Blair Turgott's ball with two minutes remaining to edge them closer to a dream Wembley final.
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