Bantams' cup journey

See how Bradford made it to Wembley with our video highlights package from every round.

Last Updated: 22/02/13 at 12:36

Bradford's players celebrate knocking Arsenal out at the quarter-final stage

Bradford's players celebrate knocking Arsenal out at the quarter-final stage

First round - Notts County 0 Bradford 1 (after extra-time), August 11, 2012

Bradford City sprung their first surprise in a season laden with them by edging out League One outfit Notts County at Meadow Lane, with goalkeeper Matt Duke saving superbly from Yoann Arquin, who then struck the bar after Lee Hughes' injury-time effort had been parried into his path. James Hanson made the hosts pay for their profligacy with a curling effort from the edge of the area. It was the first but far from last time that the former supermarket worker made the headlines this term. Bradford rode their luck at times but returned to Yorkshire with their first step on the most memorable of journeys safely negotiated.

Second round - Watford 1 Bradford 2, August 28, 2012

Garry Thompson was the Bantams' hero with a dramatic late winner as Bradford upset the Championship outfit, who led through Ikechi Anya's fine half-volley from 25 yards until six minutes from the end. However, Kyel Reid lashed home to equalise before Thompson sent the Hornets spinning out with a drilled effort from 15 yards. In light of what followed, this win at Vicarage Road has long-since been forgotten but any victory at the high-flying Hornets should not be sniffed at. If beating Notts County was a real confidence boost, this capital smash-and-grab job was perhaps the first time Bradford thought a decent little cup run might not be beyond them...

Third round - Bradford 3 Burton 2 (AET), September 25, 2012

Again, this is another thriller that is likely to be forgotten when Bradford fans pore over DVDs of their club's giant-killing acts in years to come. The Bantams reached the last 16 for the first time in 24 years thanks to Stephen Darby's extra-time winner. The hosts were staring elimination in the face when Billy Kee and Aaron Webster put Albion two goals to the good after half an hour. But Bradford fought back as Nahki Wells scored seven minutes before the end and then equalised in the final minute to send the game to extra-time, where Darby drilled home from just outside the area.

Fourth round - Wigan 0 Bradford 0 (Bradford win 4-2 on penalties), October 30, 2012

The Bantams' challenge started to gather speed when they shocked Premier League opponents Wigan at the DW Stadium. It is one thing to spring a surprise at Valley Parade but to win away at a top flight club really is quite the achievement. The Latics created a host of opportunities but could not make a breakthrough during the 90 minutes or in extra-time. Shaun Maloney then blazed his penalty over and Jordi Gomez saw his saved as the visitors advanced to the last eight. Was it time to dare to dream? We suspect a number of Bantams were already checking hotel prices in London for late February...

Quarter-final - Bradford 1 Arsenal 1 (Bradford win 3-2 on penalties), December 11, 2012

Bradford made everyone sit up and take notice after humbling Arsenal at Valley Parade. While they were grateful once more for penalties, Phil Parkinson's side outplayed the Gunners for much of the encounter to reach a first ever semi-final. The spot-kick specialists won a record ninth successive penalty shoot-out after Thomas Vermaelen struck the post. The Arsenal skipper had earlier appeared to rescue his side with a header three minutes from normal time to equalise Garry Thompson's first-half volley. Arsene Wenger was widely criticised for the team he selected but that should take nothing away from what was yet another monumental performance for a Bradford side assembled for just £7,000.

Semi-final, first leg - Bradford 3 Aston Villa 1, January 8, 2013

Bradford were firm underdogs again but claimed a hat-trick of wins against Premier League opposition. Nahki Wells opened the scoring in the 19th minute and defender Rory McArdle headed home Gary Jones' cross in the 77th minute. 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 the end. Bradford were more than value for the win but the manner in which they were opened up at times, saved by Villa's proligacy, must have been a concern to Parkinson.

Semi-final, second leg - Aston Villa 2 Bradford 1 (Bradford win 4-3 on aggregate)

Christian Benteke gave Aston Villa a deserved 24th-minute lead but after 55 minutes Villa's Achilles heel at set pieces again proved their undoing as James Hanson restored Bradford's two-goal aggregate lead. The striker got in front of Ron Vlaar to head home a corner and send the 6,500 Bradford fans wild with delight. Andreas Weimann struck in the 89th minute to set up a tense finale, but Bradford survived the final few minutes to book their place in the Wembley final. The Bantams will now look to become only the second team from outside the top-flight (Sheffield Wednesday 1991) to eliminate four top tier sides from the same League Cup competition.

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