QUALIFIED: Bradford City are the first team to ever defeat a Jose Mourinho side from two goals down as they advanced in the FA Cup
Historic cup triumph send City through to fifth round
After a weekend of unforgettable football, which saw the Premier League’s ‘big hitters’ fall in every direction, it was Bradford City who pulled off one of the greatest cup upsets of all time, defeating Chelsea 4-2at Stamford Bridge.
Goals from Jon Stead, former Chelsea player Filipe Morais, Andy Halliday and Mark Yeates, secured the famous win for the Bantams who saw their name placed in the hat for the fifth round draw.
Being touted as huge underdogs leading into the game, City held on for 21 minutes before Gary Cahill opened the scoring for the hosts with a finish at the near post.
The lead was soon doubled after a fine passing move, saw Mohammed Salah link up with Ramires to set up the Brazilian for a cool finish.
MAGIC: City boss, Phil Parkinson, said the game will live long in the memory of fans across the country
With City’s 6,000 travelling supporters still loud in voice, Stead gave the visitors a lifeline in first half stoppage time when he rifled in an effort from 18 yards to beat Petr Cech at his front post.
With only one goal separating the sides, Bradford pressed in the second half and levelled with 15 minutes to play as Morais tapped in to score against his former employers.
Having claimed victories over Premier League opponents, such as Arsenal and Aston Villa, in a remarkable League Cup run two years ago, a sense of optimism was sweeping around Stamford Bridge as the game edged to a finish.
Step forward Halliday to put the huge outsiders ahead with a fine placed effort and in turn, send the jubilant away supporters into pandemonium.
As if this wasn’t enough, a stoppage time goal to seal the game arrived from the boot of Yeates after great play from Stead, to secure a historic victory and classic FA Cup triumph.
It is the first time in Jose Mourinho’s managerial history that he has thrown away a two goal lead to lose a match against any opponent.
After the game, he shook the hand of every Bradford player in their dressing room and commenting on his team’s performeance said he was ‘ashamed’ and ‘embarrased’ about their cup exit.
He added: “It's a disgrace for a big team to lose to a small team from a lower league. Me and the players must feel ashamed...Frustration is not the right word, embarrassed would be more appropriate.”
Meanwhile, an ecstatic Bantams Boss Phil Parkinson, told BBC Radio 5 live: “The lads are absolutely bouncing in that dressing room and what they've done today will be remembered for a very long time - not just in Bradford but all around the country.
“Playing the league leaders and one of the best teams in Europe and scoring four goals... That's going to take some beating.”
Elsewhere in the cup competition, a shock was seen at the Etihad Stadium where Premier League champions, Manchester City, were eliminated by Championship side Middlesbrough.
A 2-0 scoreline secured the visitors entry into the fifth round and knocked one of the favourites out.
Meanwhile, other Premier League teams eliminated include: Southampton, Tottenham and Swansea.
Two-time world champion Amir Khan has lent his support to Chelsea’s Asian Star initiative as the club’s ground-breaking programme returns for a sixth year in May.
The former world champion and 2004 Olympic silver-medal winning boxer is amongst the most famous Asian sportsmen in the world and had no hesitation in giving his support to the project, designed to tackle under-representation of Asian footballers throughout the game.
‘Asian Star’ initiative gets thumbs up from boxing icon
Eden Hazard launched Asian Star 2014 in February with this year’s event due to take place on Monday 5th May at the club’s state-of-the-art training ground in Cobham, with places still available for players aged between nine and 12.
Amir Khan said he was delighted to support the initiative and hoped it would have a ‘huge positive effect’ on young people and the communities they live in.
He said: “Chelsea’s Asian Star programme is now in its sixth year and is a great way to get more Asian kids in to sport.
“It can be a massive boost for Asian football and I'm sure that it will help more young players from Asian backgrounds get the chances in the game that their talent deserves.
“It is well documented that there are only a few British-Asian professional footballers and the Asian Star programme is addressing that and letting people from the Asian community know that they can play football, the talent is there and there are clubs willing to nurture those skills.”
When the project begins, the aspiring footballers will be judged on a series of matches and tests specifically designed and used by the Chelsea Academy to examine speed, skill and ability.
The club will also be inviting managers, coaches and scouts from clubs at all levels of the game to identify talented youngsters and information will also be on hand for Asian players to find clubs in their area.
“It is not just about finding the football stars of the future it is about getting youngsters interested in sport in general, which in turn leads to healthier lifestyles for the children involved,” Khan added.
“The opportunities that the programme offers can be of huge benefit to the young people involved and I wish all those taking part the best of luck.”
Applications for this year's tournament are now open via www.chelseafc.com/asianstar or email@example.com