Swansea City put in an excellent performance on Wednesday afternoon, holding onto their 2-0 aggregate lead in the English League Cup semifinal to defeat Chelsea on aggregate, following a 0-0 draw at the Liberty Stadium.
The big story from this game should probably be Swansea's performance, or perhaps how Chelsea, despite all of their attacking talent, couldn't deliver a killer ball to beat the Swans' defense. Instead, this match will be remembered as that one time Eden Hazard kicked a ballboy.
Even though the game was a pretty open one, it was mostly devoid of chances, as both defenses played very well. Michu had Swansea's best opportunity to score in the 9th minute, when he was denied by Petr Cech after a through ball by Wayne Routledge. Chelsea battered the Swansea penalty area in the final 10 minutes of the first half, but failed to create a goal.
Buy Capital One Cup Final tickets, Champions League tickets and tickets for the UEFA Europa League securely online
With Chelsea needing two goals to force overtime, the ball bounced off an advertising board behind the goal line at Swansea's Liberty Stadium late in the match. A ball boy in a Swansea sweatsuit slowly walked over to pick it up.
Hazard ran up to reclaim the ball and the ball boy fell over, stomach toward the ground and the ball under him. The Belgian winger leaned over the kid, tried to pull the ball free with both hands and then kicked at it under the ball boy.
After Hazard got the ball free, he picked it up and jogged back onto the field with it. The ball boy rolled onto his back and clutched the right side of his ribs as he was attended to. The ball boy was able to resume his duties.
Swansea won the total-goal series on 2-0 aggregate and will play fourth-tier Bradford in the final at Wembley on Feb. 24.
Hazard was given a red card by referee Chris Foy in the 80th minute, and the European champions finished a man short.
After the game Hazard apologized to the 17-year-old ball boy, who also said sorry to the Chelsea forward, though the Belgian is likely to be banned for a minimum of three games by the English Football Association for lashing out in the way he did.
About 1st4FootballTickets.com: Thousands of football tickets are on sale on Europe's biggest football ticketing website: We have Champions League 2013 tickets available such as Bayern Munich tickets, Arsenal FC tickets and tickets for Barcelona. Last but not least we also have Champions League Final tickets available.