Wednesday, January 23, 2013
SWANSEA HOLDS CHELSEA TO GET TO LEAGUE CUP FINAL AS HAZARD SEES RED FOR KICKING BALL BOY AS
English premier league side, Swansea reached the first major cup final in their 100-year history as a goalless draw saw them beat Chelsea 2-0 on aggregate - but the achievement was overshadowed by a moment of madness from Eden Haazard.
With just over 10 minutes remaining of the Capital One Cup semi-final second leg, and Chelsea needing to score twice to take the tie to extra-time, the Belgian lost patience when a ball boy refused to hand over the ball after it had gone out of play for a goal-kick.
The ball boy fell to the ground as Hazard attempted to get the ball from him with the Blues forward then trying to kick it from under him but instead he appeared to make contact with the youngster.
Several Chelsea players went to tend to the ball boy, who was left holding his ribs, before referee Chris Foy produced a red card.
Demba Ba, who started in place of Fernando Torres, and Oscar failed to convert
Chelsea's best chances, as Swansea showed the same resilience that characterised their first-leg win at Stamford Bridge to book a Wembley appointment with Bradford.
Benitez had opted for Ba up front with his side needing goals, and Fernando Torres not having found the net since December 23.
The Chelsea manager had predicted Swansea would look to sit back and protect their two-goal advantage from the first leg, but the hosts instead took Michael Laudrup's advice to be bold during a sharp opening.
Michu, fresh from signing a new four-year contract, was the next to test the Chelsea rearguard from Routledge's reverse pass, but found Petr Cech equal to his angled drive.
Jonathan de Guzman also had a volley blocked, this time by Gary Cahill, as the hosts sought an early goal to take the tie further away from the European champions.
But Chelsea began to assert an authority on proceedings having weathered that flurry, and Swansea dropped progressively deeper as the half wore on.