Lambert: We cannot hope to get away with that defending

 

Paul Lambert turned on his side's defending after Aston Villa were humbled 3-1 by Bradford City in the first leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final.

On a memorable night, Valley Parade watched League Two Bradford record a stunning victory, their third success over a Premier League team in this season's competition.

Lambert, however, was critical of the defenders who allowed Bradford to score twice late on to set up an intriguing second leg at Villa Park in two weeks' time.

"We never defended the way we should have," he said. "It's really disappointing. At any level of football you cannot defend corners like that and expect to get away with it.

"Even though we had a lot of the ball and their goalkeeper made some really good saves, you can't defend set-plays like that and expect to get away with it.

"We have conceded goals from two corners," Lambert added. "It was a second-phase ball. It was a bog-standard corner. You have to defend it. We didn't defend set-pieces well. That has haunted us. That simply wasn't good enough.

Lambert watched his side waste a number of chances, Christian Benteke the chief culprit, but still felt Villa could turn things around in the second leg. "Absolutely we're still in the tie," he insisted. "It will be a different game at Villa Park. It's only half time. It will be a totally different game. When chances come our way we have to be clinical and take them. Whatever happened here, it is two legs."

A jubilant Bradford manager Phil Parkinson admitted he will give his players two days to celebrate another historic victory. He called the win better than the quarter-final penalty shoot out success against Arsenal.

"We have to go to Villa Park and do it again but it was a great victory for us," he said. "We can go and enjoy this win. Aston Villa are still favourites but we have a chance of winning. It is an outstanding achievement by the lads. The supporters were incredible. The way they backed us got an extra 10 to 15 per cent out of the players. That is so important. We needed that. It really helped. It's game on.

"When you're a youngster these are the kind of nights you dream of being a footballer. It topped Arsenal. Against Arsenal it was a great night for us but tonight for our all-round performance against a very attacking team we had to defend really well."

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