Bradford City vs. Arsenal, 2012 League Cup: Final score 1-1, Bradford through on penalties

Laurence Griffiths

Arsenal played their first team in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday, but couldn't get by League Two side Bradford City, who advanced on penalties.

Coming off a brilliant game in the last round of the Capital One Cup, which featured nine goals, Arsenal have produced another cup classic. Unfortunately for them, the dramatic match didn't turn out in their favor this time around. League Two side Bradford City turned in an incredible performance, holding out for a 1-1 draw after 120 minutes and defeating the Gunners on penalties.

Bradford stunned Arsenal by going ahead after 16 minutes, through Garry Thompson. He got on the end of a flick by Will Atkinson and finished, sending the home fans into raptures. Arsenal had a great chance to equalize in the 41st minute through Gervinho, but he completely squandered a brilliant ball by Keiran Gibbs and missed when it was easier to score.

The second half featured a whole lot of nothing going both ways, with Bradford sitting on their lead and Arsenal doing very little to create chances. Arsenal eventually broke through, with Thomas Vermaelen netting their equalizer just before full time. After a corner was deflected back out to Santi Cazorla, he played a cross to the back post and found his captain inexplicably unmarked for a simple goal.

At the very end of regular time, Arsenal laid siege to the Bradford goal but couldn't manage a winner. Matt Duke came up huge, making two saves in the 94th minute to force extra time. During the extra periods, Arsenal was predictably on the front foot for the entire 30 minutes, but never found a breakthrough. They came closest through Cazorla, who rattled the bar with an incredible shot in the 108th minute. Incredibly, Bradford held onto the draw, and the match headed to penalties.

Bradford went up 2-0 early, thanks to a Duke save on Cazorla and a Marouane Chamakh penalty that hit the post. The Gunners got back into the shootout thanks to a save by Wojciech Szczesny on Ritchie Jones and a miss by Stephen Darby, but Vermaelen missed the decisive shot, striking the post with Arsenal's final penalty to send Bradford through with a 3-2 shootout victory.


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