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Wenger defends embarrassing loss as Bradford celebrate

Date

Ian Baker

Under fire ... Wenger needs to win silverware.

Under fire ... Wenger needs to win silverware. Photo: AP

LONDON: Arsene Wenger refused to criticise his Arsenal flops despite suffering one of the most humiliating nights of his career as League Two minnows Bradford beat the Gunners on penalties in the League Cup quarter-finals.

Wenger's side thought they were out of jail when defender Thomas Vermaelen forced extra time with an 88th-minute equaliser after Garry Thompson's shock 16th-minute strike for the hosts at Valley Parade on Tuesday.

But Arsenal couldn't find the winner in extra time and Bradford went on to win the shootout 3-2 and book their place in the semi-finals for the first time. Vermaelen hit a post with the decisive spot-kick following earlier misses from Santi Cazorla and Marouane Chamakh. It was the latest in an increasingly long list of defeats for Wenger this season and is sure to lead to more criticism of the Frenchman, yet he stuck by his players even though they had failed to perform again.

''The pitch was a bit slippery. Bradford defended very deep and played the ball forward. There was not much space,'' Wenger said. ''When it goes to penalties, you know what can happen. When you miss the first penalty, of course it is difficult.

''We lost on penalties against a team who defended well. I cannot fault the effort of our team and you have to give credit to Bradford.

''I don't think it was a lack of quality - it's just we could not convert our chances for different reasons.''

The lacklustre nature of Arsenal's exit, combined with the team's seven-year trophy drought, gave this defeat an even darker context. But, with his club in crisis, Wenger still insisted he was not embarrassed by the manner of the loss.

''You feel embarrassed when you don't give everything,'' he said. ''I think the players are more disappointed and frustrated.

''When you go out, it is never good enough for Arsenal, but we'll get over this. It's part of our job.''

Bradford manager Phil Parkinson insisted the result was just reward for his side's heroic efforts.

''It's a great night for the club,'' he said. ''We wanted to show we're a decent side and we did that.''

Parkinson also saluted goalkeeper Matt Duke for his penalty save from Cazorla and for keeping Arsenal at bay on the few occasions they broke through the resolute defence.

''We just want to enjoy this now. The enormity has not sunk in yet but when they see the headlines they will realise what they have done.''

In the night's other quarter-final, Aston Villa romped to a 4-1 win over Norwich at Carrow Road.

Two late goals from Andreas Weimann sealed victory for Villa.

On Wednesday, Swansea host Middlesbrough in the third quarter-final, but Chelsea's last-eight trip to Leeds has been delayed until December 19.

AFP

Hyundai A - 2014-15 - All Rounds

Round 1
Fri, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
VIC 4 vs WST 1 Report Stats
Sat, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
CCM 1 vs NEW Report Stats
SYD 1 vs MEC 1 Report Stats
Sun, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
WEL 1 vs PER 2 Report Stats
BRI 1 vs ADE 2 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Fri, 17 OctTimes shown AEDT
ADE 1 vs VIC 1 Report Stats
Sat, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
CCM 1 vs WEL 2 Report Stats
SYD 3 vs WST 2 Report Stats
Sun, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
MEC 1 vs NEW 1 Report Stats
PER 3 vs BRI 2 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Fri, 24 OctTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs SYD 2 Report Stats
Sat, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
VIC 5 vs MEC 2 Report Stats
Sun, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WEL 4 vs NEW 1 Report Stats
ADE 2 vs PER Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Fri, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
MEC 1 vs ADE 2 Report Stats
Sat, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
PER 2 vs NEW 1 Report Stats
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
SYD 2 vs CCM Report Stats
Mon, 03 NovTimes shown AEDT
VIC 2 vs WEL Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Fri, 07 NovTimes shown AEDT
WEL 1 vs WST Report Stats
ADE vs SYD Stats
Sat, 08 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEW 2 vs VIC 2 Report Stats
BRI 1 vs MEC 3 Report Stats
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs PER 1 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Fri, 14 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs BRI 4 Report Stats
Sat, 15 NovTimes shown AEDT
ADE 2 vs WEL 1 Report Stats
SYD vs VIC Report Stats
PER 2 vs WST 1 Report Stats
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
MEC 2 vs CCM 2 Report Stats
Wed, 19 NovTimes shown AEDT
WST vs CCM Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Fri, 21 NovTimes shown AEDT
VIC 1 vs BRI Report Stats
Sat, 22 NovTimes shown AEDT
WST 1 vs NEW 1 Report Stats
MEC 1 vs SYD 2 Report Stats
PER 2 vs WEL 1 Report Stats
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs ADE 2 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Fri, 28 NovTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs ADE 19:00AAMI
Sat, 29 NovTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs PER 17:00SS
WST vs SYD 19:30Pirtek Stadium
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs MEC 16:00WS
NEW vs CCM 17:00HUN
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Wed, 03 DecTimes shown AEDT
WST vs BRI 19:30Pirtek Stadium
BRI vs NEW 20:00SS
Tue, 09 DecTimes shown AEDT
WST vs PER 19:30TBC
Thu, 08 JanTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs SYD 17:30WS
Mon, 02 FebTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs CCM 19:30AAMI
Wed, 25 MarTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs MEC 19:30Coopers Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Thu, 04 DecTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs PER 19:30AS
Fri, 05 DecTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs VIC 19:30TBC
Sat, 06 DecTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs WEL 17:00HUN
ADE vs WST 20:00Coopers Stadium
Sun, 07 DecTimes shown AEDT
MEC vs BRI 17:00AAMI
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Fri, 12 DecTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs BRI 19:30Coopers Stadium
PER vs NEW 21:45NIB
Sat, 13 DecTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs CCM 16:00EP
WST vs MEC 17:00Pirtek Stadium
VIC vs SYD 19:30ES
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Fri, 19 DecTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs WST 20:00SS
Sat, 20 DecTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs ADE 17:00HUN
MEC vs VIC 19:30AAMI
PER vs CCM 21:45NIB
Sun, 21 DecTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs WEL 17:00AS
View All Fixtures
Round 13
Fri, 26 DecTimes shown AEDT
MEC vs PER 17:30AAMI
SYD vs ADE 19:30AS
Sat, 27 DecTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs BRI 17:00Central Coast Stadium
VIC vs NEW 19:30AAMI
Sun, 28 DecTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs WST 17:00WS
View All Fixtures
Round 14
Tue, 30 DecTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs MEC 17:00HUN
BRI vs SYD 20:00SS
Wed, 31 DecTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs WEL 19:30Coopers Stadium
Thu, 01 JanTimes shown AEDT
WST vs CCM 19:30Pirtek Stadium
Fri, 02 JanTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs PER 19:30Simonds Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Sat, 03 JanTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs NEW 19:30WIN Stadium
Sun, 04 JanTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs BRI 15:00WS
CCM vs MEC 17:00Central Coast Stadium
Mon, 05 JanTimes shown AEDT
PER vs ADE 23:00NIB
Tue, 06 JanTimes shown AEDT
WST vs VIC 19:30Pirtek Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 16
Sat, 24 JanTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs NEW 17:00Coopers Stadium
CCM vs SYD 19:30Central Coast Stadium
Sun, 25 JanTimes shown AEDT
PER vs VIC 20:00NIB
Sun, 01 FebTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs WEL 15:00SS
MEC vs WST 17:00AAMI
View All Fixtures
Round 17
Fri, 06 FebTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs BRI 19:30HUN
Sat, 07 FebTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs ADE 17:00Central Coast Stadium
VIC vs MEC 19:30ES
PER vs SYD 21:45NIB
Sun, 08 FebTimes shown AEDT
WST vs WEL 17:00Pirtek Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Fri, 13 FebTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs BRI 19:30Central Coast Stadium
Sat, 14 FebTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs MEC 16:00Brendan Foot Kia Hutt Recreation Ground
NEW vs WST 17:00HUN
SYD vs VIC 19:30AS
Sun, 15 FebTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs PER 17:00Coopers Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Fri, 20 FebTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs VIC 20:00SS
Sat, 21 FebTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs CCM 17:00AS
ADE vs WST 20:00Coopers Stadium
Sun, 22 FebTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs NEW 16:00Brendan Foot Kia Hutt Recreation Ground
MEC vs PER 17:00AAMI
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Fri, 27 FebTimes shown AEDT
MEC vs ADE 19:30AAMI
Sat, 28 FebTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs CCM 17:00HUN
WST vs SYD 19:30Pirtek Stadium
PER vs BRI 21:45NIB
Sun, 01 MarTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs WEL 17:00AAMI
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs SYD 19:30HUN
Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs ADE 18:00Brendan Foot Kia Hutt Recreation Ground
VIC vs PER 19:30AAMI
Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs MEC 15:00Central Coast Stadium
BRI vs WST 17:00SS
View All Fixtures
Round 22
Thu, 12 MarTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs CCM 19:30Coopers Stadium
Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
WST vs VIC 19:30Pirtek Stadium
Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs BRI 19:30AS
PER vs WEL 21:45NIB
Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
MEC vs NEW 17:00AAMI
View All Fixtures
Round 23
Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs MEC 19:30AS
Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
WST vs NEW 17:00Pirtek Stadium
ADE vs VIC 20:00Coopers Stadium
Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs PER 15:00Central Coast Stadium
BRI vs WEL 17:00SS
View All Fixtures
Round 24
Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs CCM 19:30AAMI
Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
MEC vs BRI 19:30AAMI
PER vs WST 21:45NIB
Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs SYD 15:00WS
NEW vs ADE 17:00HUN
View All Fixtures
Round 25
Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs CCM 21:00SS
Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
WST vs MEC 16:00Pirtek Stadium
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs ADE 19:30AS
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
WEL vs VIC 16:00WS
Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
NEW vs PER 16:00HUN
View All Fixtures
Round 26
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
VIC vs NEW 19:30AAMI
PER vs SYD 21:45NIB
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
ADE vs BRI 17:00Coopers Stadium
CCM vs WST 19:30Central Coast Stadium
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
MEC vs WEL 17:00AAMI
View All Fixtures
Round 27
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
WEL vs CCM 17:30WS
NEW vs SYD 19:45HUN
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
WST vs ADE 17:00Pirtek Stadium
BRI vs VIC 19:30SS
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
PER vs MEC 17:00NIB
View All Fixtures
Hyundai A - 2014-15 - Ladder
Overall standings
Team P W D L +/- Pts
Perth Glory FC 7 6 0 1 4 18
Adelaide United FC 7 5 2 0 7 17
Melbourne Victory FC 7 4 3 0 9 15
Sydney FC 7 4 3 0 6 15
Wellington Phoenix FC 7 3 0 4 0 9
Melbourne City FC 7 1 3 3 -3 6
Central Coast Mariners FC 7 1 2 4 -5 5
Brisbane Roar FC 6 1 0 5 -3 3
View all
 
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