May 21 2013 Latest news:
By Paul Lagan
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Capital One Cup semi-final second leg: Swansea 0 Chelsea 0 (2-0 agg)
Eden Hazard caused outrage by shamefully kicking a ball-boy and getting sent off as Chelsea crashed out of the Capital Cup in embarrassing fashion at Swansea.
With just over 10 minutes remainin, and the Blues still two goals behind from the first leg, the Belgian lost patience when the youngster 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 boy, who was left holding his ribs, before referee Chris Foy produced a red card.
It was the only talking point from the visitors’ point of view as the hosts went through their paces without much of a sweat to draw the game 0-0 and thus, by virtue of the two goals they scored at Stamford Bridge a fortnight ago, book their first major final where they will face League Two giant-killers Bradford City.
The Blues produced such a low tempo, indifferent performance that they have become a shadow of the side that drove through adversity to become champions of Europe last May.
The Swans had a game plan and a sense of team spirit to carry it through, while the Blues, under the tutelage of interim boss Rafael Benitez, have lost another chance to win a trophy.
Already this season, they have passed up opportunities to lift the Community Shield, UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup and now the Capital One Cup.
The difference in financial clout between the sides certainly did not make itself evident in the first half.
Swansea probably had the best chance of the half when Michu was sent clear of the Chelsea rearguard, letting fly from just inside the area only to see Petr Cech sweep the ball away from danger.
A Gary Cahill looping header was cleared off then line and a tame Oscar shot was all the west Londoners had to show for their superior possession.
The second half started with Swansea in total control and Chelsea seemingly incapable of creating a sustained challenge.
The Swans, with that two-goal cushion, displayed a determined and disciplined game, were content to let the visitors have the ball and packed out their final third, hoping to break up the Chelsea attack and counter quickly.
Benitez replaced Branislav Ivanovic with David Luiz on 69 minutes in the hope of creating more guile, but it didn’t work.
Juan Mata forced Gerhard Tremmel into a fine, low diving save with 17 minutes of the tie remaining but then came Hazard’s moment of madness.
A minute later and Benitez decided that he needed to call upon Fernando Torres to score the vital goals to take them to Wembley on February 24.
Off came ineffectual Oscar, who appeared uninspired and lacking confidence, but Swansea’s Pablo Hernandez could have finished off Chelsea seconds later when they were opened up on a counter. Cech, the only Blues player to live up to his champion of Europe billing, saved well.
Bizarrely with the tie ebbing away, Benitez decided to replace Ashley Cole with Ryan Bertrand and a final example of how the Blues simply were clueless, lacking in leadership and guidence and got what they deserved - nothing.
Swansea: Tremmel, Rangel, Chico, Williams, Davies, Britton, de Guzman, Ki, Hernandez, Michu, Routledge (Dyer, 65).
Unused subs: Vorm, Graham, Lamah, Monk, Shechter, Tiendalli.
Chelsea: Cech, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Ivanovic (Luiz, 68), Cole (Bertrand 86), Ramires, Oscar (Torres, 81), Lampard, Hazard, Ba, Mata.
Unused subs: Turnbull, Ferreira, Marin, Terry.
Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside)