Chelsea lose Wembley spot Swansea amidst kicking Hazard for ballboy
It was a ballboy who stole the headlines at Liberty Stadium as Swansea City defeated Chelsea through a 2-0 aggregate to reach their first major cup final in over a century. The two away goals Swansea City scored at Stamford Bridge during the first-leg of the clash were enough to send Chelsea back home.
Swansea City will undoubtedly be madly celebrating their huge achievement on Wednesday night. However, the night was marked by another major incident, one that doesn’t call for celebrations.
Just about 10 minutes from injury-time, Chelsea required two goals and a clean-sheet to tie the game and take it into extra-time, a strike from the Chelsea side took the ball out of bounds. A ballboy went to retrieve the football, but took ages in bringing it back.
Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard lost his patience and decided to intervene. When the Belgian asked for the ball the ballboy refused to hand it over and instead fell to the ground to cover the ball. Eden Hazard tried to kick the ball from underneath the youngster, but in doing so he apparently got in contact with the ballboy.
Nearby Chelsea players came running into tend the bullyboy and diffuse a potential fight between Eden Hazard and Swansea City players after the kicking incident. Match referee Chris Foy, who had been watching the incident until now, eventually intervened and gave Eden Hazard the marching orders with a red card.
Chelsea were clearly frustrated by inability to convert in front of the sticks once again. Demba Ba was given a start in place of Fernando Torres, but he and Oscar failed to provide Chelsea with a lead on the best attempts of the game.
Meanwhile, Swansea City showed their traditional form of resilience to silence their opponents. An exuberant Swansea City manager, Michael Laudrup was praised his men for putting in their best efforts against Chelsea. The former Mallorca manager also admitted he was in utter disbelief after Eden Hazard’s kicking incident.
“I saw it from a very big distance from the bench,” Michael Laudrup said. “I've since seen it after the game. Hazard is a great player. When he sees the images I think he will regret it.”
After the game Eden Hazard told reporters that he and the ballboy met in the locker-room after the game to sort out the saga. The 22-year-old Belgian star informed that they both had apologized to each for their part in the incident and hoped the issue was now water under the bridge.
“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 apologize,” Eden Hazard told Chelsea TV.
“The ball boy came in the changing room and we had a quick chat and I apologized and the boy apologized as well, and it is over. Sorry.”