- match commentary
- English Capital One Cup
- 23 January 2013, 7:45pm
- Liberty Stadium
- Attendance: 19,506
The bizarre sending off of Eden Hazard overshadowed Swansea City famously booking a place in the Capital One Cup final with a 2-0 aggregate win over Chelsea.
Hazard was dismissed in the closing minutes of a 0-0 semi-final second-leg draw at the Liberty Stadium after being involved in a tussle for the ball with a ball boy.
With the ball boy delaying the game by smothering the ball, the Belgian kicked out at a combination of the ball and the boy's ribs. It was the lowest point on a night to forget for Chelsea, as Swansea reached their first major cup final after a 2-0 first-leg win and they will now face League Two Bradford City at Wembley.
Swansea first had to survive a penalty scare after Demba Ba, starting ahead of Fernando Torres, went down under a challenge from Ben Davies. Referee Chris Foy opted not to point to the spot although there was contact as Ba looked to step inside the full-back. Michu, fresh from signing a new four-year contract, then tested Chelsea but found Petr Cech equal to his angled drive.
Angel Rangel cleared Gary Cahill's looping header off the line as the Chelsea pressure increased, while Ba wasted another opportunity late in the half as he scooped a shot over the bar. The former Newcastle striker was again off-target with a curling strike from the edge of the area five minutes into the second half, but Michael Laudrup was by now imploring his defenders to get out of their own 18-yard box. Frank Lampard and Juan Mata linked beautifully on the right, moments after taking part in an awful free-kick routine, but yet again there was a white shirt in the way to block the Spaniard's attempted ball across the six-yard box.
Gerhard Tremmel made a sharp stop to deny a fizzing effort from Hazard as the game entered the final 20 minutes, and Chelsea's hopes were effectively ended when Hazard was then dismissed in unsavoury fashion. Pablo Hernandez and Nathan Dyer missed chances to secure victory on the night as Cech saved on both occasions, with the stadium still stunned by Hazard's astonishing dismissal. And Swansea comfortably saw out six minutes of stoppage time to reach Wembley.
FULL-TIME: SWANSEA THROUGH TO THE FINAL!The Swans have done it! The Welsh side beat Chelsea 2-0 on aggregate to reach their first ever major final. They will play League Two giantkillers Bradford at Wembley on 24 February. Who'd have through that, eh? Chelsea can't complain. They simply didn't do enough on the night, which has been soured by Hazard's sending off for kicking a ball boy. Yes, you read that right.
90+5 mins:Dyer almost adds the icing to the cake but his 20-yard strike is palmed behind by Cech.
90+3 mins:Chelsea have almost given up with Swansea keeping the ball easily. Gooner says, "Hazard should be banned for the rest of the season and be made to walk the Mumbles see how brave he is then."
90 mins:Six minutes have been added on because of Hazard's red card, which will probably grab more headlines than what Swansea are about to achieve, which is a shame.
86 mins:Chelsea make their final sub as Bertrand replaces Cole.
83 mins:Chance for Hernandez to wrap it up for the Swans but his low curler is well held by Cech.
81 mins:Torres, who has had some of his golden locks trimmed, is replacing Oscar.
80 mins: HAZARD SENT OFF!The Chelsea midfielder has been sent off for literally booting the ball boy. It's one of the most bizarre red cards I've ever seen. The ball boy was clutching his ribs and has hobbled away from the scene.
77 mins:It's all kicking off after Hazard clashes with the ball boy! Unhappy with how long it's taking for the ball to be returned to Tremmel, Hazard tries to wrestle the ball off the youngster who ends up lying across it. Hazard then tries to boot the ball from under the lad's stomach but appears to catch him in the ribs. Unbelievable.
75 mins:Chelsea are having plenty of possession but they cant find the breakthrough. Swansea have defended superbly. Tremmel has had a few saves to make but he's not been tested that often.
73 mins:Mata receives the ball back from Ba on the edge of the Swansea area and fires in a low shot which is well saved by Tremmel. Excellent handling.
70 mins:Hazard drives down the left and chips in a cross, but the ball is cleared by the bandaged head of Britton. Swansea are just 20 minutes away from a place in the final.
67 mins:Now Rafa makes a change. Ivanovic, whose mistakes handed Swansea a 2-0 win in the first leg, is being replaced by Luiz. No change in shape, though.
64 mins:The first sub is being made - but not by Chelsea. Dyer is coming on for Routledge in a straight swap out on the Swansea wing.
62 mins:A short free-kick is knocked to Lampard, but the former Swansea loanee whacks his shot miles over from 25 yards. Britton is back on. He'll have a sore head tomorrow morning but so will the other Swansea players if they hold on to their 2-0 advantage.
61 mins:Britton is getting his head bandaged by the physio after being caught by Ramires's accidental elbow.
59 mins:Cole sends in a cross which comes out to Ramires on the edge of the area, but the Brazilian fails to get hold of his half-volley which he slices well wide.
57 mins:Still no sign of a Chelsea change. Swansea have started the half well and are using possession smartly as they continue to frustrate their opponents.
53 mins:Promising attack from Swansea. They have three against three as De Guzman spreads it wide to Hernandez, but the Spaniard is well marshalled by Cole and loses the ball.
51 mins:Mata leads a Chelsea counter down the left and squares the ball to Ba on the edge of the box. The striker, who has been quiet tonight, looks to curl the ball into the far corner but his effort whistles just wide of the post.
49 mins:Hazard needs the magic sponge after a strong but fair tackle from Williams.
46 mins:Swansea get us back underway at the Liberty Stadium. No subs. Darren from Manchester says, "Come on Swansea. Bradford vs the Swans in the final I just checked it out on Betfred and you would have got 1000/1 from the 3rd round. Haha bet nobody did that."
HALF-TIME:So far so good for the Swans. They were under the cosh for large parts of the half, but despite a lot of possession, Chelsea haven't created any clear chances. In fact, the best opportunity came early on at the other end when Michu went through but was denied by a sprawling Cech. Join us for the second half soon with Swansea closing in on their first ever major final.
45 mins:Half-chance for Ramires. The ball drops to the Brazilian inside the box after Davies and Routledge collide trying to clear a cross, but the Chelsea midfielder skies his effort. Two minutes added on.
41 mins:Ki returns to the game as we edge closer to half-time. "Oscar needs to be more calm in front of goal," reckons Connolly from Hamilton.
39 mins:Ki is caught by a late Ramires tackle, but Foy thinks the Brazilian won the ball fairly and lets Chelsea attack, before Hazard is flagged offside. That was a clear foul. Ki needs attention.
36 mins:Cole pings in a cross after being picked out by the instrumental Mata. Oscar is again lurking in the middle but he can't get a clean shot away and Tremmel claims the loose ball.
34 mins:The visitors pour forward again but Ba's acrobatic effort is blocked inside the box. It's been all Chelsea in the last 15 minutes.
31 mins:Chelsea continue to threaten as the ball bounces dangerously inside the six-yard box. It almost falls for Oscar, but Chico makes a last-ditch challenge to deny the Blues.
29 mins:A poor kick from Tremmel is collected by Hazard. He finds Mata free on the right with a through ball, but the Spaniard's cross is cleared by Chico at the near post.
27 mins:Mata almost plays Oscar through with a delicate flick as he helps on a Ramires pass, but Rangel is guarding the Brazilian closely and watches the ball out for a goal kick.
24 mins:Tremmel is forced into another save as he dives low to his right to keep out a long-range Ramires strike. Decent spell for the Blues.
21 mins:Better from Chelsea. Williams deflects a Cole cross behind for a corner. Cahill gets his head on the set-piece but Rangel nods it off the line before Tremmel saves a tame Hazard shot.
19 mins:It's been a lively start with Swansea not sitting back on their two-goal cushion. Elroonster says, "Is it just me or is Fernando Torres sitting in an offiside position, even on the bench?!"
17 mins:And now there's a penalty appeal inside the Chelsea box as Cahill blocks De Guzman's shot. 'Handball' is the cry from the home fans but the ball struck Cahill's midriff.
13 mins:I've just seen a replay of Davies's challenge on Ba and contact was minimal. Ba went down far too easily and was definitely looking for the penalty. Foy didn't fall for the Chelsea striker's histrionics.
10 mins:Another excellent chance for the Swans! Michu breaks clear of the defence after being played in by Routledge, but the Spaniard's low curling shot is beaten away by Cech. What a start to the game.
8 mins:Swansea go up the other end and almost take the lead in this second leg! Routledge arrives to meet a cross in the middle and connects with a thumping volley which deflects behind off Azpilicueta. Crucial block because that looked goalbound.
7 mins:Huge appeal for a Chelsea penalty as Ba goes down under a challenge from Davies inside the box. The Swansea left-back dangled out his leg and made contact, but Chris Foy isn't interested. Controversial decision.
5 mins:The Blues are playing with a high defensive line as they enjoy a spell of possession. It will be interesting to see just how adventurous Swansea will be with that two-goal lead. Mata tries to attack down the left but Rangel clears the danger.
3 mins:Chelsea have started with Hazard on the right side. Big test for young left-back Davies. "Are people insane?," asks Pete from Droitwich. "Why are they writing Chelsea off? They know full well that they can thrash Swansea. Wake up and smell the Russian vodka!"
0 mins:Mata and Ba, both wearing gloves in freezing conditions, kick-off this second leg as Chelsea bid to overturn a two-goal deficit.
1941:Former Valencia team-mates and Spanish colleagues Mata and Hernandez are having a good old chinwag as the teams line up in the tunnel. Phil from Warrington texts, "I kinda agree with you Tom I think Chelsea will win 3-2 but it won't be good enough. Congrats to Bradford by the way."
1932:The majority of you are backing Swansea to reach their first major cup final. Fulham fan Barco says, "Unfortunately for Chelsea, the Swans have this one in the bag. I'm going for a dull 1-1 tonight to send the Swans through." Rob from Maesteg predicts, "Swans 1-0, as long as we keep Ba quiet."
1924:There's been plenty of snow today in South Wales but a statement on Swansea's website from earlier this evening said, "The Liberty pitch is in good condition and referee Chris Foy is happy with the surface following an inspection."
1900:So will it be Swansea or Chelsea who meet League Two giantkillers Bradford in the Capital One Cup final? The Swans make two changes from their win over Stoke as Leon Britton replaces Itay Shechter and cup keeper Gerhard Tremmel takes the gloves off Michel Vorm. Michu, who has signed a new four-year contract, leads the Welsh side's attack. For Chelsea, Demba Ba starts up front. Fernando Torres and John Terry are on the bench.