Bradford City 1 Arsenal 1 (3-2 pens) - A new low?
Report of match 11th December 2012
This was truly hopeless - it's clear that Wenger has lost the team.
This was an embarassing night - the team had no cohesion, no spirit, and in truth rarely looked capable of winning this game against lowly opposition. (no disrespect to Bradford, who thoroughly deserved the result).
Only Wilshere and Cazorla came out of the game with any credit, and certain players bordered on hopeless. Gervinho simply has to go - he's becoming a pantomime player who simply fails to produce anything worthwhile game after game.
Can Wenger motivate this team or do we need a new manager? - I'm beginning to think the latter much as it pains me to say it.
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 equalise Garry Thompson's first-half volley.
But keeper Matt Duke defied the Premier League side to send the tie to a shoot-out - and glory for Bradford.
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.
The 23,971 sell-out crowd, Bradford's biggest since 1960, had groaned as the teams were read out but they were soon cheering when their top-scorer Nahki Wells out-muscled Vermaelen and forced a sprawling save from Wojciech Szczesny.
Though referee Mike Dean ruled Bermuda international Wells had used too much force, it gave some hope to the Bantams.
Arsenal, meanwhile, passed up opportunities to test Duke from good positions, Vermaelen and Lukas Podolski both heading over.
Hope turned to jubilation for the Bradford fans in the 16th minute when a free-kick led to Thompson's goal.
Vermaelen had blocked off Wells and Gary Jones caused mayhem to Arsenal's zonal markers with his free-kick, Will Atkinson flicking it on for an unmarked Thompson to gleefully fire home.
It could have been 2-0 after Jones' corner found Rory McArdle and only Kieran Gibbs' clearance on the goal-line prevented further embarrassment for Wenger's men.
As the temperature dropped so did Arsenal's spirits, with Per Mertesacker being regularly beaten in the air by James Hanson.
Arsenal needed inspiration from somewhere and Francis Coquelin was almost the unlikely source with a skilful dribble through two challenges before rattling a shot against the foot of the post with Duke looking beaten.
Almost immediately, Santi Cazorla tried his luck from 20 yards but was a couple of yards wide.
Bradford's goal took on a charmed life when a more typical Arsenal move ended with Gibbs driving in a cross and Gervinho, from two yards out, somehow contriving to let the ball go through his legs.
The Bantams gave notice that their threat was not at an end when Hanson flicked on into Wells' path and his shot trickled agonisingly wide.
The Gunners' frustrations continued in the second half, Jack Wilshere flashing a shot well wide, then Gervinho mis-controlling when through on goal.
It was well past the hour when Duke was forced into his first save, parrying Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's first-time shot from fellow substitute Tomas Rosicky.
As time ticked down, Duke was in action again to deny Wilshere from the edge of the box.
The desperation finally paid dividends with three minutes of normal time remaining. After his corner had been half-cleared, Cazorla whipped in a delicious cross for Vermaelen to head home from close range.
Two brilliant saves in quick succession by Duke from Cazorla took the game into extra time.
Finally, Arsenal started to look like the Premier League side as Rosicky and Wilshere started to pull the strings. Duke's stunning save denied Gibbs, then Sagna's header was cleared off the line by Jones.
Cazorla nearly won it with a stunning, swerving effort from fully 30 yards that struck the crossbar, but Bradford held out for the shoot-out.
Arsenal were always on the back foot from when Cazorla had their first spot-kick saved, even more so when Marouane Chamakh hit the post.
Bradford could even afford to see Wojciech Szczesny deny Ritchie Jones and Stephen Darby before Vermaelen's miss sent Valley Parade into ecstasy.
|Competition: Capital One League Cup Kick Off: 19:45 Venue: Valley Parade Attendance: 23,971|
|1 - 1||Arsenal
|125||Spot kick missed by Thomas Vermaelen.|
|124||Penalty taken by Ritchie Jones is saved by Wojciech Szczesny.|
|124||Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scores a penalty. Bradford 3-2 Arsenal on penalties.|
|123||Penalty scored by Alan Connell. Bradford 3-1 Arsenal on penalties.|
|123||Jack Wilshere scores a penalty. Bradford 2-1 Arsenal on penalties.|
|122||A save by Wojciech Szczesny from penalty by Stephen Darby.|
|122||Spot kick missed by Marouane Chamakh.|
|121||Gary Jones scores a penalty. Bradford 2-0 Arsenal on penalties.|
|120||Penalty taken by Santi Cazorla saved by Matt Duke.|
|120||Penalty scored by Nathan Doyle. Bradford 1-0 Arsenal on penalties.|
|120+0||Shot by Santi Cazorla. Save made by Matt Duke.|
|119||James Hanson challenges Yao Gervinho unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Jack Wilshere.|
|119||Marouane Chamakh fouled by James Hanson, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Wojciech Szczesny. Caution for James Hanson.|
|118||Per Mertesacker is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. Carl McHugh restarts play with the free kick.|
|116||The ball is swung over by Tomas Rosicky.|
|113||Alan Connell is ruled offside. Indirect free kick taken by Wojciech Szczesny.|
|112||Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain crosses the ball.|
|111||Shot from outside the box by Santi Cazorla goes wide right of the target.|
|110||A cross is delivered by Bacary Sagna, Rory McArdle manages to make a clearance.|
|109||Free kick awarded for a foul by Blair Turgott on Santi Cazorla. Wojciech Szczesny restarts play with the free kick.|
|109||Foul by Yao Gervinho on Stephen Darby, free kick awarded. Matt Duke restarts play with the free kick.|
|107||Shot by Santi Cazorla from 30 yards.|
|105||Santi Cazorla takes the inswinging corner, Marouane Chamakh produces a header from deep inside the six-yard box which goes wide of the right-hand post.|
|104||Santi Cazorla takes a outswinging corner.|
|103||Kieran Gibbs has a headed effort from close range and clears the crossbar.|
|100||Corner taken right-footed by Santi Cazorla from the left by-line, Marouane Chamakh takes a shot. Matt Duke makes a comfortable save.|
|99||The ball is delivered by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.|
|99||Santi Cazorla takes the inswinging corner, Bacary Sagna takes a shot. Save by Matt Duke.|
|98||Shot by Kieran Gibbs. Matt Duke makes a brilliant save.|
|96||Santi Cazorla takes the outswinging corner, James Hanson manages to make a clearance.|
|93||Shot by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Blocked by Rory McArdle.|
|92||Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain produces a drilled right-footed shot from 12 yards. Blocked by Rory McArdle.|
|91||Foul by Thomas Vermaelen on Alan Connell, free kick awarded. The referee books Thomas Vermaelen for unsporting behaviour. Gary Jones takes the free kick. (Bradford) makes a substitution, with Blair Turgott coming on for Will Atkinson.|
|90+0||Unfair challenge on Santi Cazorla by Nathan Doyle results in a free kick. Nathan Doyle is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour. Santi Cazorla produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick, save made by Matt Duke.|
|90+0||Kieran Gibbs is ruled offside. Indirect free kick taken by Matt Duke.|
|90+0||Handball by James Meredith. Santi Cazorla crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from right wing, Carl McHugh makes a clearance.|
|89||Kieran Gibbs concedes a free kick for a foul on Stephen Darby. Matt Duke takes the direct free kick.|
|88||Tomas Rosicky has an effort at goal from outside the penalty area which goes wide right of the goal.|
|87||Santi Cazorla sends in a cross, Thomas Vermaelen finds the net with a headed goal from deep inside the penalty area. Bradford 1-1 Arsenal.Assist by Santi Cazorla.|
|86||Outswinging corner taken by Santi Cazorla from the right by-line.|
|84||Unfair challenge on Jack Wilshere by Nathan Doyle results in a free kick. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Jack Wilshere, Matt Duke makes a save.|
|83||Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain produces a drilled right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty area which goes wide of the right-hand post.|
|82||Bacary Sagna delivers the ball, clearance made by Rory McArdle.|
|82||James Hanson concedes a free kick for a foul on Thomas Vermaelen. Thomas Vermaelen restarts play with the free kick.|
|81||The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Matt Duke.|
|80||Jack Wilshere takes a shot. Save by Matt Duke.|
|78||The ball is sent over by Bacary Sagna, blocked by Rory McArdle.|
|77||Per Mertesacker fouled by James Hanson, the ref awards a free kick. Per Mertesacker takes the direct free kick.|
|76||Unfair challenge on Ritchie Jones by Jack Wilshere results in a free kick. Gary Jones takes the direct free kick.|
|74||Alan Connell challenges Santi Cazorla unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Santi Cazorla.|
|73||Alan Connell is brought on as a substitute for Nahki Wells.|
|73||The ball is swung over by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.|
|71||Foul by James Hanson on Per Mertesacker, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Jack Wilshere.|
|71||Ritchie Jones replaces Garry Thompson.|
|70||Santi Cazorla takes the outswinging corner, Headed effort from inside the penalty area by Marouane Chamakh misses to the right of the target.|
|69||Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Santi Cazorla, James Hanson makes a clearance.|
|69||Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain takes a shot. Save by Matt Duke.|
|68||Unfair challenge on Thomas Vermaelen by Nahki Wells results in a free kick. Wojciech Szczesny takes the free kick. Aaron Ramsey goes off and Tomas Rosicky comes on. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain joins the action as a substitute, replacing Lukas Podolski.|
|67||Jack Wilshere fouled by Nahki Wells, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Jack Wilshere. Nahki Wells goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.|
|65||Garry Thompson sends in a cross, Per Mertesacker makes a clearance.|
|62||Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on James Hanson by Thomas Vermaelen. Free kick taken by Carl McHugh.|
|60||Foul by Nathan Doyle on Aaron Ramsey, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Thomas Vermaelen.|
|59||Marouane Chamakh replaces Francis Coquelin.|
|59||Yao Gervinho has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the target.|
|53||Effort from outside the box by Aaron Ramsey goes wide right of the target.|
|52||Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Nahki Wells by Kieran Gibbs. Gary Jones takes the free kick.|
|51||Corner taken by Gary Jones from the right by-line, Per Mertesacker makes a clearance.|
|50||Kieran Gibbs concedes a free kick for a foul on James Hanson. Direct free kick taken by Gary Jones.|
|47||The referee blows for offside. Bacary Sagna takes the indirect free kick.|
|46||Kieran Gibbs delivers the ball, Carl McHugh manages to make a clearance.|
|46||Foul by Gary Jones on Jack Wilshere, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Jack Wilshere.|
|45+0||Shot by Nahki Wells from outside the box goes over the net.|
|44||Nahki Wells produces a drilled right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty area which goes wide of the left-hand post.|
|42||Nahki Wells concedes a free kick for a foul on Francis Coquelin. Thomas Vermaelen restarts play with the free kick.|
|40||Thomas Vermaelen fouled by Nahki Wells, the ref awards a free kick. Thomas Vermaelen restarts play with the free kick.|
|39||Santi Cazorla takes a shot and went wide of the left-hand upright.|
|38||The offside flag is raised against James Hanson. Wojciech Szczesny takes the indirect free kick.|
|38||Kieran Gibbs challenges Garry Thompson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Gary Jones takes the free kick.|
|38||Effort on goal by Santi Cazorla from just inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.|
|37||Effort from just inside the penalty box by Francis Coquelin strikes the post.|
|37||Centre by Aaron Ramsey, Carl McHugh manages to make a clearance.|
|35||Aaron Ramsey crosses the ball.|
|33||Kieran Gibbs has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the right of the target.|
|31||Jack Wilshere has a shot on goal from outside the box which misses right.|
|30||Corner taken by Santi Cazorla from the left by-line, James Meredith manages to make a clearance.|
|29||Stephen Darby concedes a free kick for a foul on Yao Gervinho. Jack Wilshere restarts play with the free kick.|
|29||Shot from 18 yards from Garry Thompson. Save made by Wojciech Szczesny.|
|28||Corner from the left by-line taken by Gary Jones, clearance by Per Mertesacker.|
|27||Free kick awarded for a foul by Rory McArdle on Santi Cazorla. Strike on goal comes in from Lukas Podolski from the free kick, blocked by Carl McHugh.|
|26||Shot from 25 yards from James Meredith. Per Mertesacker gets a block in.|
|25||Centre by Bacary Sagna, clearance made by James Meredith.|
|23||Corner taken by Gary Jones played to the near post.|
|22||The referee blows for offside against Yao Gervinho. Matt Duke takes the free kick.|
|21||Nahki Wells crosses the ball.|
|20||Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Aaron Ramsey by Nathan Doyle. Free kick taken by Francis Coquelin.|
|18||Lukas Podolski delivers the ball, clearance made by Rory McArdle.|
|16||Outswinging corner taken by Santi Cazorla.|
|14||Foul by Kieran Gibbs on Nahki Wells, free kick awarded. Gary Jones crosses the ball, Garry Thompson scores a goal from deep inside the penalty area high into the middle of the goal. Bradford 1-0 Arsenal.Gary Jones provided the assist for the goal.|
|14||Shot by Santi Cazorla. Blocked by James Meredith.|
|13||Unfair challenge on Santi Cazorla by Gary Jones results in a free kick. Santi Cazorla takes the direct free kick.|
|11||Jack Wilshere delivers the ball, Lukas Podolski produces a header from inside the area that goes over the bar.|
|8||Corner taken right-footed by Santi Cazorla from the right by-line, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Thomas Vermaelen goes harmlessly over the crossbar.|
|8||Unfair challenge on Matt Duke by Yao Gervinho results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Matt Duke. Yao Gervinho is cautioned.|
|6||Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Santi Cazorla, clearance made by Carl McHugh.|
|5||Nahki Wells concedes a free kick for a foul on Per Mertesacker. Direct free kick taken by Wojciech Szczesny.|
|4||The official flags James Hanson offside. Indirect free kick taken by Wojciech Szczesny.|
|4||The official flags Yao Gervinho offside. Matt Duke takes the indirect free kick.|
|3||The referee blows for offside against James Hanson. Wojciech Szczesny restarts play with the free kick.|
|3||The ball is swung over by Stephen Darby.|
|3||Santi Cazorla concedes a free kick for a foul on Nathan Doyle. Matt Duke takes the free kick.|
|2||The ball is swung over by Aaron Ramsey, clearance made by Rory McArdle.|
|-||The ball is crossed by Garry Thompson, Per Mertesacker makes a clearance.|
|-||Unfair challenge on Nahki Wells by Jack Wilshere results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Gary Jones.|