SWANSEA 0 vs CHELSEA 0
Swansea win 2-0 on aggregate
CHELSEA midfielder Eden Hazard was forced to apologise last night after being sent off for kicking a ball boy as his side crashed out of the Capital One Cup at Swansea.
In a bizarre incident late in the semi-final second leg, Hazard’s right boot connected with the prone teenager as he attempted to kick the ball from his grasp. The ball boy, who had appeared to be wasting time by lying on top of the ball, writhed in apparent pain and referee Chris Foy showed Hazard the red card.
Hazard said: “The boy put his whole body onto the ball and I was just trying to kick the ball and I think I kicked the ball and not the boy. I apologise. We had a quick chat and I apologised and the boy apologised as well, and it is over. Sorry.”
Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez said Hazard and the ball boy had “apologised to each other”, adding: “They know they were wrong. He [the ball boy] was wasting time.”
South Wales Police launched an investigation after receiving complaints but Swansea said the boy, 17, would not be pursuing the matter.
Swansea manager Michael Laudrup said: “I can understand frustrations when you are behind, but there are things you can never do.”
Chelsea arrived knowing they needed to overcome a two-goal first-leg deficit to reach next month’s final – a feat last achieved in 1994.
Benitez dropped £50m Fernando Torres in favour of Demba Ba, and the January signing sparked penalty appeals in the seventh minute when he tumbled over Ben Davies, but Foy waved play on.
But Swansea posed a threat on the break, and Blues defender Cesar Azpilicueta had to fling himself at Wayne Routledge’s goal-bound effort, before Petr Cech saved low from Spanish striker Michu.
The closest the visitors came to scoring was in the 21st minute, when Gary Cahill’s header was cleared from the goalmouth by Angel Rangel, while Ba curled narrowly wide early in the second half.