Bradford shows door to Arsenal in League Cup



ASSOCIATED PRESS

Published — Thursday 13 December 2012

Last update 13 December 2012 4:18 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

LONDON: Arsenal was eliminated from the League Cup quarterfinals in humiliating fashion on Tuesday, losing a penalty shootout 3-2 to fourth-tier Bradford in one of the biggest shocks in the competition for many years.
Thomas Vermaelen struck the decisive spot kick against the post for the Premier League giants, having earlier scored an 87th-minute equalizer to take the game into extra time. The match finished at 1-1 after 120 minutes, despite Arsenal fielding a near full-strength team.
“They have world-class players ... but the way the lads stuck to their job, you have to give them credit,” said Bradford manager Gary Parkinson, whose side has won an English-record nine shootouts in a row.
Aston Villa joined Bradford in the semifinals by beating Norwich 4-1.
With Arsenal down in the seventh place in the league and without a trophy since 2005, manager Arsene Wenger’s judgment is being questioned like never before in his 16 years at the club and this result will give more ammunition to his critics.
The upset will rank alongside Manchester United’s exit at the hands of York in the second round in 1995 and Liverpool’s embarrassing defeat in a penalty shootout at home to Huddersfield in the third round in 2010.
Wenger’s team failed to produce a shot on target until the 69th minute on a freezing night at Valley Parade, with Bradford having pierced Arsenal’s brittle defense through Garry Thompson’s fine volley following a 16th-minute free kick.
A late rally saw Vermaelen head home the equalizer from close range, and Santi Cazorla fired a shot against the bar in the second half of extra time that Arsenal dominated.
However, Bradford was never behind in the shootout with Cazorla and Marouane Chamakh denied in Arsenal’s first two penalties. Vermaelen still had the chance to take it to sudden death, but his attempt slithered against the goal frame.
“I can’t fault the effort from our team,” said Wenger, after seeing his side’s best route to silverware this season blocked off. “You have to give credit to Bradford. We will get over it — it’s part of our job.”
Arsenal’s owners are unlikely to give up on the well-respected Wenger, who is expected to be given funds to strength his playing staff in the January transfer window.
The lack of a potent striker appears to be the most pressing concern, with Gervinho and substitute Chamakh making precious little impact up front against Bradford. The Gunners were also outmuscled in midfield for the first hour, only gaining the ascendancy in that area once Tomas Rosicky and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were thrown on in desperation in the 69th.
Bradford, currently fourth in League Two, became the first fourth-tier team since the 2006-07 season to reach the semifinals of the competition.
Villa scored three times in the final 11 minutes to see off Norwich in a repeat of the 1975 final, with Austrian striker Andreas Weimann netting in the 79th and 85th before Christian Benteke completed the win in stoppage time.
Norwich, on a nine-match unbeaten run in the league, went in front through Steve Morison in the 19th only for Brett Holman to equalize two minutes later.
It sealed a successful return to Carrow Road for Villa manager Paul Lambert, who left Norwich in the summer in acrimonious circumstance and is still in a legal wrangle with his former club.
Swansea plays Middlesbrough on Wednesday, with the other last-eight match coming on Dec. 19 when Chelsea visits Leeds. The semifinals will be played in January.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Al Hamzi, director general of prisons, has sacked Brig. Ahmad Al Shahrani, director of Jeddah prisons, after the case of a video clip about prisoners taking heroin went viral, according to local media.Quoting informed source...
RIYADH: Plans are underway to shift the labor dispute commission in the Ministry of Labor to the Ministry of Justice. Related discussions were held here Thursday between Justice Minister Walid Al-Samaani and Labor Minister Mufrej Al-Haqabani.The disc...
JEDDAH: Drifting has taken a heavy toll of young men who spent their time and energy in the pursuit of this dangerous game for lack of family awareness and guidance.Observers said that the last decade witnessed a dramatic increase in traffic accident...
RIYADH: A mass brawl between migrant workers at a company along Al-Thumama Road broke out in Riyadh on Thursday, causing the death of one worker and the burning of two police vehicles.A Riyadh police source said authorities received a report on Thurs...
JEDDAH: Thousands of expatriates living in Jeddah, who are non-Arabic speakers, were excited about the monthlong 36th Jeddah Festival.The Jeddah and summer festivals this year had a number of theatrical events, entertainment programs, fireworks, arti...
MADINAH: In a tragic Madinah incident, two children died and a woman was injured in a fire which broke out in a house.Capt. Naif bin Mohammad Al-Juhani, spokesman for Civil Defense, said the control room received information about the fire incident i...
JEDDAH: Saudi Aramco said it has financed building 63,000 houses for Saudis through the citizen house owning program implemented by the company. The company said it has granted 1,037 loans to Saudis to build new houses in 2014, stressing that this pr...
RIYADH: A special team of officials from the Ministry of Health, led by Deputy Minister Hamad Aldhwilaa, visited hospitals in the southern border area to ensure that services are available to serve patients in the Asir, Jazan and Najran regions.On ar...
DAMMAM: On April 30 1935, drilling started on test well No. 1 in Dammam. After seven months, only gas was found with traces of oil at a depth of 700 meters. So it had to be plugged. Drilling began on Dammam well No. 2 on Feb. 8, 1936, and started pro...
JEDDAH: A team of doctors at King Abdul Aziz Hospital carried out emergency life-saving surgery on a Kazakh pilgrim who was suffering from a rare disease, on the night of Eid Al-Fitr, according to a website.The 17-year-old Kazakh pilgrim was brought...
JEDDAH: Members of sector committees affiliated with the Council of Saudi Chambers have tried to reach a settlement with the Ministry of Labor that would allow laborers to work on their projects during the day.The attempt was made based on an agreeme...
JEDDAH: The increase in school fees has caused parents to remove their children from private schools and enroll them in public schools in Madinah.With the approaching new school year, many parents were surprised to find that school fees were increase...
RIYADH: The size of the tourism industry has crossed the SR100-million mark with around 130 organizations in the field and the revenues generated through festivals are approximately SR11 billion annually, experts have said. The figures have been prov...
JEDDAH: A total of 105 pay-and-park areas have been opened in the city, including Jeddah historical district, downtown market place, Bab Makkah, Al Andalus Street and Palestine Street.Hani Ahmad Abdullah, media spokesperson for Jeddah Municipality, s...
RIYADH: Moroccan Ambassador Abdussalam Baraka has praised “excellent” trade and bilateral relations between his country and Saudi Arabia and expected the ties to grow further.Speaking on the occasion of Morocco’s National Day on Thursday night, the e...

Stay Connected

Facebook