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Dirty Tackle

Fourth-tier Bradford City reach League Cup final, one win away from Europa League

Brooks Peck
Dirty Tackle

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Bradford captain Gary Jones with the appropriate level of madness. (Getty)

By holding off Aston Villa for a 4-3 aggregate win in the Capital One Cup semifinals, League Two side Bradford City will be the first club from the fourth tier of English football to play in a cup final since Rochdale in 1962. Bradford beat a Championship side (Watford) and three Premier League clubs (Wigan, Arsenal and Aston Villa) on their improbable way to also becoming the only fourth division club to play a major final at Wembley. Now the winners of the 1911 FA Cup will have the chance to add a League Cup to their trophy cabinet and will take a place in the Europa League if they do. And if all of that has yet to sink in, now you know how Bradford City feel.

Bradford captain Gary Jones was in tears after the final whistle blew at Villa Park (video here), but eventually those tears of joy led to taking his shirt off and eating his armband. As horrible as this season has been Villa, the home fans were still stunned to go out to a club three divisions below them. Especially since they were given a bit of hope when Villa scored in the 89th minute to take a 2-1 lead in the second leg. But the Bantams held on and now the club that suffered a stadium fire during a match in 1985 that killed 56 people is set for a dream day at Wembley.

Bradford will face either Swansea, who won the first leg of their semifinal 2-0, or fellow plucky underdog Chelsea in the final.

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Video of Bradford fans reacting after the match can be seen here.

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