Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard was sent off in the 80th minute of Wednesday's second leg of their Capital One semifinal for trying to kick the ball from underneath a Swansea ball boy who was laying on top of it in order to waste time.
With Swansea was leading 2-0 on aggregate, Hazard attempted to retrieve a ball that went out of bounds, but a Swansea ball boy fell on top of the ball in a deliberate attempt to stall for time. After trying to pull the ball free, Hazard quickly became frustrated and attempted to kick the ball out from underneath the ball boy, who finally rolled off of it. Although it would appear that Hazard kicked the ball without kicking the boy, the ball boy continued to lay on the ground as if he was kicked in the ribs. Hazard was eventually given a straight red card for his action.
This is a clear case of "two wrongs don't make a right". Clearly this was poor sportsmanship on the ball boy's part, but Hazard shouldn't have kicked at the ball boy, because video of this incident does not make him look good. In hindsight, Hazard should have looked for some help from the referee, although it's hard to keep your cool in the heat of the moment.
The match ended in a 0-0 draw, allowing Swansea to advance to the final against Bradford City. After the match, Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez reported that the ball boy and Hazard met face to face and apologized to each other.
'The ballboy has been in the dressing room talking with Hazard,' he said. 'They apologised to each other, they know they were wrong and that's it. He was wasting time, Hazard was frustrated and wanted to get the ball back quickly. They both made a mistake and we cannot say too much. Both were wrong and we cannot change things.'
H/T Dirty Tackle.
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