A A O : against all odds
One enormous gap
Chelsea’s side was assembled for £200m, including £99m of subs – while the visitors, 50 places below them on the ladder, had only one player who cost anything: James Hanson, who signed from Guiseley in 2009 for £7,500. Goalscorer Andy Halliday said the feat was, in essence, “ridiculous … It’s the best day of my life so far.”
Some intimidating stats
Besides the money, on paper this was the result that could never happen. Chelsea hadn’t conceded more than two goals at home in a game all season; they hadn’t conceded three or more to a lower-league FA Cup side since Oxford United turned them over in 1991; they hadn’t conceded four to a third-tier side since Darlington’s 4-1 romp in January 1958 – and José Mourinho, as a manager at Benfica, Leiria, Porto, Chelsea, Inter and Real Madrid, had never conceded four goals in a home game. The odds on Bradford winning by any margin were 30-1. If you had bet on them to win 4-2, you’d be having a very happy Sunday.
This is the Cup rediscovering its roots. The trophy in its current form was designed in 1910 by Messrs Fattorini and Sons of Bradford – and City were the first side to win it, in 1911. That final, against Newcastle, ended 0-0 at Crystal Palace, but Bradford won the replay at Old Trafford 1-0, with the goal scored by Scotsman Jimmy Speirs. The club’s captain joined Leeds a year later – and was killed during the Battle of Passchendaele in August 1917, at the age of 31.
And some punctured bravado
Before kick-off, Mourinho said Chelsea were different to other title-chasers, who might fancy being knocked out so they could focus on the league. “It’s not our mentality, not our way of thinking, not our DNA. The other day a coach of a big team was knocked out of the cup and he was saying: ‘Good, very good. This is perfect for us.’ If I lose against Bradford, I don’t say that. I say it’s a disgrace.” He was true to his word.