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Fourth Division Club Takes a Step Toward Wembley

  • Guardian, Wednesday, January 9, 2013 11:54 AM

Bradford City, currently the lowest ranked team that has played in the English Premier League, took a giant step toward a major final at Wembley on Tuesday with a 3-1 win at home to Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup semifinal first-leg. The second-leg will be held at Villa Park in two weeks.

"These are the nights when you're a young lad you dream about being a part of,” City coach Phil Parkinson said after the game. "We've got to go to Villa Park in a fortnight and do it all again.  … But we're two goals ahead and it's great. It's game on. If Villa are going to get to Wembley they are going to have to play exceptionally well."

Villa coach Paul Lambert blamed the loss on poor defending, particularly from set pieces, but he warned that the series is not over yet. "It was really disappointing because at any level you cannot defend like that,” he said. “It will be a different game at Villa Park. It's only halftime and it will be a totally different game.”

Bradford is currently eighth in Football League Two, the fourth division in England’s soccer hierarchy. The club spent two seasons in the Premier League before being relegated in 2001. Financial pressures later brought the club close to closure, but it was instead relegated two divisions to its current placement in League Two. 

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