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Swansea 0-0 Chelsea

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Hazard (R): What was he thinking?

Hazard (R): What was he thinking?

Swansea will take on Bradford in the Capital One Cup final as their semi-final first-leg win over Chelsea proved pivotal following a goalless return fixture on Wednesday.

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The Blues were unable to find a way past a resolute Swans side, who will now travel to Wembley to take on the League Two Bantams in the League Cup climax on February 24.

The west London giants would end the game with 10 men after Eden Hazard had inexplicably kicked a ball boy in the ribs, resulting in an unsurprising straight red card.

Swansea started the first half the brighter of the two sides, with Chelsea almost seeing the tie put to bed by the hosts within the opening quarter of an hour, but the Blues started to ask more questions of the Swans as the half wore on.

Demba Ba was left frustrated when Chris Foy waved away a penalty appeal after a strong challenge from Ben Davies, just moments before Wayne Routledge crashed a volley against the body of Cesar Azpilicueta and past the post.

Michu, meanwhile, fresh from signing a new deal with the Swans, almost found the back of the net with a low shot, but Petr Cech was equal to the striker's effort.

With the half settling into a rhythm of Chelsea chances and Swansea taking advantage on the break, Gary Cahill forced Angel Rangel into a goal-line clearance from a headed attempt, just before Ashley Williams shrugged off Oscar to prevent the Brazilian getting his shot away following lovely build-up play from Hazard.

The second half saw Chelsea struggle to find the rhythm of the opening 45 minutes, with Swansea defending resolutely as a team.

Rafa Benitez introduced David Luiz for Branislav Ivanovic to provide the Blues with greater thrust from the middle of the park, but even lively Brazilian Luiz, so often the cheerleader for Chelsea, failed to inspire the away side.

Fernando Torres came off the bench for the last 10 minutes, but the most dramatic, and indeed interesting, moment of the half came after 80 minutes, when Hazard saw red for a bizarre incident.

With one of the Swansea ball boys refusing to give the ball back to the Chelsea man from behind the goal, Hazard took matters into his own hands by kicking him in the ribs. After a few moments of disbelief, Chris Foy pulled out the red card and deservedly sent the Chelsea man packing.

That moment of madness was the last notable action of the match, with Chelsea failing to put up a fight in the final 10 minutes. Swansea were left to saunter their way deservedly to a historic final, their first ever in a major cup competition.

Posted: 23/01/13 21:51

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