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Arsenal’s Misery Takes Grip

Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen missed the decisive spot-kick as League Two minnows Bradford City stunned the Gunners with a 3-2 penalty shoot-out triumph after a 1-1 draw in the League Cup quarterfinals on Tuesday.

Garry Thompson’s volleyedstrike after 16 minutes gave the underdogs a shock 1-0 lead at Valley Parade, but Arsenal thought they had got out of jail when Vermaelen netted three minutes from the end of normal time.

However, Bradford went on to win their ninth consecutive penalty shoot-out with Santi Cazorla and Marouane Chamakh missing the first two kicks for the Gunners before Vermaelen’s blunder consigned Arsene Wenger’s side to arguably the most humiliating loss of the Frenchman’s 16-year reign.

Wenger, who has often opted to field a weakened side in this competition, decided to name eight of the players that had beaten West Bromwich Albion 2-0 in the Premier League on Saturday.

But there was no sign of any momentum from that win as Arsenal, looking totally out of sorts in temperatures that were below freezing when the game got under way, hit a new low in an already traumatic campaign to hurt every fan.

Garry Thompson got the home fans waving as the former Morecambe and Scunthorpe attacker converted Gary Jones’ free kick from the right as Bradford, in front of their biggest crowd at Valley Parade since 1960 of 23,971, threatened to cause a major cup upset.

Arsenal showed signs of improvement through out the match but failed to capitalise on it to take bitter exit.

Aston Villa reached their second League Cup semifinal in four years by beating Norwich City 4-1 away.

Andreas Weimann’s late double and a tidy Christian Benteke strike saw Villa through.
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