On this day: Eden Hazard dismissed after ball-boy incident

On this day in 2013, Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard was sent off for appearing to kick a ball boy as the Blues were defeated by Swansea City in the semi-final of the Capital One Cup.

Chelsea went into the second leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final with Swansea City in 2013 facing an uphill task to overturn a two-goal deficit that the Welsh outfit had opened up at Stamford Bridge.

League Two side Bradford City had claimed their spot in the Wembley final after they stunned Aston Villa, so both the Blues and the Swans knew that they had a terrific opportunity to add some silverware to their trophy cabinet.

Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez favoured Demba Ba over Fernando Torres, while Michael Laudrup, who had signed a one-year contract extension with Swansea before the game, opted to go with Michu in attack.

After a quiet opening from both teams, Chelsea believed that they had strong claims for a penalty when Ba went down under a challenge from left-back Ben Davies, but the referee awarded just a corner after adjudging that the Senegalese forward had run into the back of the defender.

Swansea hit back in the ninth minute and almost strengthened their advantage over the Champions League winners. Wayne Routledge got past Cesar Azpilicueta before playing the ball into Michu, who brought a fine save out of Petr Cech.

Demba Ba of Chelsea shoots past Ashley Williams of Swansea City during the Capital One Cup Semi-Final Second Leg match between Swansea City and Chelsea at Liberty Stadium on January 23, 2013© Getty Images

It took until midway through the first half until Chelsea found their stride, with Gary Cahill having a header cleared off the line by Davies, before Ramires saw a low drive well held by Gerhard Tremmel.

The visitors continued to force their opponents back in their own half, but Juan Mata and Eden Hazard failed to convert decent opportunities when the ball fell to them in and around the Swansea penalty area.

The onus was on Benitez's men to continue to press Swansea at the beginning of the second half as they attempted to claw back the two-goal deficit, and Ba came close to giving his side the lead on the night when curling an effort marginally wide from the edge of the area.

However, after that chance, Swansea began to deal with Chelsea's increasingly desperate attacks with ease, while also becoming a stronger threat on the break with the Blues often being found light in defence.

The introduction of Torres was anticipated, but it never materialised until 10 minutes to go after Hazard had been dismissed by referee Chris Foy in one would arguably turn out to be the strangest sending off of the campaign.

A ballboy lies on the grounf and reacts after a altercation with Chelsea's Belgium midfielder Eden Hazard during the English League Cup semi-final second leg football match between Swansea City and Chelsea at The Liberty stadium in Cardiff, south Wales on© Getty Images

After losing the ball and with time running out, Hazard attempted to speed up the process by returning the ball to Tremmel, but he was faced with a ball boy who had positioned himself over the ball to seemingly waste a few seconds for his side.

However, Hazard attempted to kick the ball from underneath the ball boy to prevent any more time elapsing, only for the ball boy to claim that he had been kicked in the ribs by the Belgian, who appeared puzzled by the controversy that had been triggered.

The Swansea players were incensed, and Hazard's actions resulted in the winger being shown a red card. The former Lille man met with the teenager, Charlie Morgan, after the game where apologies were made to each other, but it didn't stop Hazard being handed a three-match ban for his troubles.

While tensions were running high after the incident, the game had turned into a no contest with Chelsea never looking likely to force an extra 30 minutes, leaving Swansea to celebrate an appearance at Wembley and a chance to achieve their first major trophy in 101 years.

The following month saw Swansea take control against their lower-league opponents, scoring five goals in a one-sided final to earn them qualification for the Europa League.

Chelsea's Spanish interim manager Rafael Benitez (R) gestures during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Southampton at Stamford Bridge in London, on January 16, 2013
Read Next:
On this day: Chelsea held by Southampton
You May Like
Recomended from Sports Mole

1Manchester CityMan City87102942522
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd86202121920
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs85211551017
9Newcastle UnitedNewcastle832398111
10West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom824279-210
12Huddersfield TownHuddersfield823359-49
13Swansea CitySwansea822458-38
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton8224610-48
15West Ham UnitedWest Ham8224814-68
17Stoke CityStoke8224918-98
18Leicester CityLeicester81341013-36
20Crystal Palace8107218-163