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Bradford stun Villa to reach League Cup final

Tuesday 22 January 2013 23.02 CET
James Hanson (2nd L) celebrates his equaliser for Bradford at Villa Park

England
Bradford City AFC held off a late Aston Villa FC fightback to seal a meeting with either Swansea AFC or Chelsea FC in next month's League Cup final at Wembley. Leading 3-1 after the first leg, the visitors' advantage was halved by Christian Benteke's fine strike (24) but James Hanson's firm header restored their cushion soon after half-time. Andreas Weimann's late goal revived the Premier League side's hopes but they could not find a winner as Bradford became only the second fourth-tier outfit to reach the League Cup showpiece after Rochdale AFC in 1962.

France
SAS Épinal, Olympique Lyonnais's vanquishers the previous round, prevailed in a shoot-out once again as they overcame high-flying Ligue 2 side FC Nantes to book a place in the last 16 of the French Cup. Only Filip Djordjević's last-gasp equaliser denied third-tier Épinal victory in regulation time, but goalkeeper Olivier Robin was inspired in the shoot-out, saving twice in a 4-3 win. The fairy tale is over for seventh division amateurs Avenir Foot Lozère, however, as three late goals took Le Havre AC through at their expense. Ligue 1 outfits ES Troyes AC, Évian Thonon Gaillard FC and FC Lorient all safely negotiated lower-league opposition.

Italy
The Coppa Italia semi-finals are an all-Serie A affair, and there was little to choose between Juventus and S.S Lazio in Turin. The hosts had the better of the game but, with visiting goalkeeper Federico Marchetti inspired, going into the latter stages they had only Federico Peluso's header to show for their ascendancy. A slip at the back following a corner allowed Stefano Mauri to equalise four minutes from time leaving it all square ahead of next week's second leg. AS Roma host FC Internazionale Milano on Wednesday.

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