Bradford City win over Aston Villa 'unreal' says Matt Duke

By Ian WoodcockBBC Yorkshire Sport at Valley Parade
Final whistle joy at Bradford after Villa win

Bradford goalkeeper Matt Duke said the 3-1 win over Aston Villa in the League Cup semi-final first leg felt "unreal".

The 35-year-old pulled off a string of saves as the League Two side recorded a famous victory at Valley Parade.

Villa still favourites - Parkinson

"It is unreal. I can't believe we beat them. We thought we could get something but a 3-1 lead is fantastic," he said.

Bradford are seeking to become the first team from the fourth tier of English football to reach the final of the League Cup since Rochdale in 1962.

The Bantams, who beat Premier League Wigan and Arsenal on their way to the semi-finals, took an early lead through striker Nahki Wells.

Second-half headers from centre-halves Rory McArdle and Carl McHugh, either side of Andreas Weimann's goal for the visitors, gave Bradford a two-goal cushion to take to Villa Park.

Manager Phil Parkinson said: "We're absolutely delighted with the way we played, obviously, because from the first minute to the last the lads were tremendous.

"But equally we know we're only halfway there, we've got a very difficult job in a fortnight's time."

He said his team had played better than they had in their quarter-final win over Arsenal.

"Against Arsenal it was a great night for us but I think the all-round performance tonight was better," he said. "Villa played a very attacking team and we had to defend well, and equally they left a lot of space on the pitch for us to play.

"Our quality players had to stay composed on the ball and they certainly did that."

Duke says a bright start in the return game in a fortnight will be key to their chances of reaching the final.

"We need to get a good start down there and get their fans on their backs," he added.

"They'll have tremendous support and we have to do what we did here tonight, but better.

"The main thing is we can't go there and be complacent because if we are then we will be punished. We haven't achieved anything yet."

Lambert critical of Villa defending

On his own performance, the former Burton and Hull man added: "It was one of those nights where you fancy yourself to make some saves.

"I think it's up amongst my best games. I've played a lot of standards from Sunday league finals upwards and I'm just thankful that tonight was one of those nights where you are able to make saves.

"I have to give credit to the lads in front of me because they were brilliant too."

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