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On This Day in 2012: League Two Bradford knock Arsenal out of League Cup

Soccer – Capital One Cup – Quarter Final – Bradford City v Arsenal – Coral Windows Stadium
(Image credit: Anna Gowthorpe)

Arsenal suffered humiliation in the League Cup on this day in 2012 as they lost on penalties to League Two side Bradford after a 1-1 draw at Valley Parade.

Bradford went on to beat another top-flight side, Aston Villa, in a two-legged semi-final before losing to Swansea in the final.

The PA news agency followed Bradford’s giant-killing run to Wembley and provided this report of that unforgettable victory against Arsene Wenger’s side.

Bradford goalkeeper Matt Duke is mobbed by his team-mates after the penalty shoot-out

Bradford goalkeeper Matt Duke is mobbed by his team-mates after the penalty shoot-out (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)

Arsenal suffered an embarrassment of epic proportions as they lost on penalties to a battling Bradford side whose achievement should rank among football’s all-time giant-killing feats.

Phil Parkinson’s League Two players did not just beat Arsenal in this Capital One Cup quarter-final, for much of this match they outplayed Arsene Wenger’s woeful Gunners to reach a first ever semi-final.

The spot-kick specialists won their ninth successive penalty shoot-out 3-2 after Thomas Vermaelen struck the post.

The Arsenal skipper had earlier appeared to rescue the Gunners with a header three minutes from normal time to cancel out Garry Thompson’s first-half volley.

A sell-out crowd of 23,971 witnessed a memorable night at Valley Parade

A sell-out crowd of 23,971 witnessed a memorable night at Valley Parade (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)

But keeper Matt Duke defied the Premier League side to send the tie to a shoot-out – and glory for Bradford in front of a 23,971 sell-out crowd, the club’s biggest since 1960.

The defeat in sub-zero temperatures, and another failure in Arsenal’s seven-year quest for silverware, will chill the veins of Wenger as he contemplates the season so far.

The humiliation was further intensified by Wenger’s breaking his long-held rule and fielding a full-strength side in the League Cup.