Chelsea's Eden Hazard is sent off for kicking a ball boy during their English League Cup semi-final second leg match against Swansea at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea. REUTERS/Rebecca Naden
Swansea City reached their first major English final after
holding Chelsea in the second leg of their League Cup
semi-final to win 2-0 on aggregate but the match will be
remembered more for the bizarre sending off of playmaker Eden
After securing a shock 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge two weeks
ago, the Welsh club put in a resilient rearguard display to
draw 0-0 in front of their jubilant fans.
Chelsea's unhappy evening was compounded by a farcical finish
as the London side were reduced to 10 men when Hazard was
sent off for trying to kick the ball away from a ballboy who
stubbornly refused to return the ball and lay on top of it.
The Belgian then lost his cool and tried to kick the ball
from underneath the ballboy but in the process caught him in
Referee Chris Foy called him across and gave him his marching
orders effectively ending the visitors' hopes of securing a
route back into the tie.
"Demba Ba told me the ball boy held onto it but I saw him
kick him and you can't do that to a young boy," Swansea
captain Ashley Williams told Sky Sports.
Swansea will face fourth tier Bradford City in the final at
Wembley Stadium on Feb. 24.
"We go to Wembley which is what we all dreamt of as little
boys," Williams added.
"We kept to the game plan brilliantly. We will do our work on
Bradford and we can't take them for granted. They have beaten
three Premier League teams this season."
Chelsea made one change from the team that beat Arsenal 2-1
in the Premier League on Sunday, with January signing Demba
Ba taking the place of the out-of-sorts Fernando Torres.
The game was six minutes old when the Senegal striker was
involved in controversy as he burst into the box and appeared
to be tripped by Swansea defender Ben Davies, but Chelsea's
penalty appeals were waved away by Foy.
Chelsea were spraying the ball around confidently, but the
best early chance fell to the hosts.
Winger Wayne Routledge played a clever throughball for Michu,
but the Spanish striker, whose superb start to life in the
Premier League was rewarded with a new four-year contract on
Wednesday, failed to find the corner and his shot was saved
by the diving keeper Peter Cech.
With Torres looking wistfully on from the bench, Ba was on
the end of Chelsea's best early efforts.
A deep cross from Ashley Cole was blasted high over the bar
by the striker on the stroke of halftime and he curled a
decent effort narrowly wide five minutes after the restart.
Chelsea had to wait until the 72nd minute for their next
sniff of goal when Juan Mata drilled a low shot that was
well-held by Swansea keeper Gerhard Tremmel.