Wednesday Evening Ticker: Swansea advances to historic Cup Final, Madrid and Sevilla reach Copa semis, and more

BY JUSTIN FERGUSON

Swansea City played Chelsea to a scoreless draw on Wednesday, setting up an eye-opening Capital One Cup final between the Welsh club and League Two’s Bradford City.

The Swans will head to their first major cup final after holding onto the 2-0 advantage from the first leg of the semifinal.

However, the historic win for the 101-year-old club was overshadowed by Eden Hazard’s ejection in the 80th minute.

The Chelsea midfielder appeared to kick a Swansea ball boy in an attempt to quickly get the ball back from him. As Swansea and Chelsea players rushed over to tend to the ball boy, referee Chris Foy pulled the red card out on the offending Belgian, ending any comeback hopes for the Blues.

The Swansea vs. Bradford final will be held February 24 at Wembley Stadium.

Here are some more stories to wrap up a busy Wednesday:

REAL MADRID, SEVILLA ADVANCE TO COPA DEL REY SEMIS

Real Madrid is moving on to the semifinals of the Copa del Rey following its 1-1 draw with Valencia.

Despite losing goalkeeper Iker Casillas to an early hand injury, the visiting Madrid side was able to snatch a 3-0 aggregate lead right before halftime via a Karim Benzema goal.

Valencia was able to get the momentum shortly after the second half started. Fábio Coentrão was sent off for receiving his second yellow card in the 51st minute. Valencia’s Tino Costa scored off of the resulting free kick, assisted by a handling mistake from substitute goalkeeper Adan Garrido.

But Valencia could not capitalize on the man advantage, even when Real’s Angel di Maria saw red in the 89th minute.

While one nine-man squad punch its ticket to the semifinals, another one suffered a devastating loss. Real Zaragoza saw two red cards in their 4-0 loss to Sevilla, which was highlighted by a brace from striker Álvaro Negredo.

Madrid will face the winner of Barcelona and Malaga in the semifinals, and Sevilla will take on either Atletico Madrid or Real Betis. The final two quarterfinal matches will be played on Thursday.

ROMA TAKES FIRST SEMIFINAL LEG 2-1 OVER INTER

Two early goals from Alessandro Florenzi and Mattia Destro were enough to give AS Roma a 2-1 lead in their Coppa Italia semifinal with Inter Milan.

The two Italian giants shared honors in a 1-1 Serie A draw on Sunday, but hosts Roma were not as friendly to their guests on Wednesday.

Rodrigo Palacio tried to spark an Inter comeback right before halftime, but solid defending from Roma preserved the opening leg victory. Palacio also scored Inter’s lone goal against Roma on Sunday.

The second leg of this matchup was originally scheduled for next week, but it has been moved all the way back to April to avoid conflict with the upcoming Six Nations rugby tournament.

SOUTH AFRICA WINS, TAKES GROUP LEAD IN AFCON

After 180 minutes of scoreless action on Saturday, three of the four Group A teams in the Africa Cup of Nations were able to find the back of the net on Wednesday.

Host nation South Africa was victorious in the first match of the day, dispatching Angola 2-0. Siyabonga Sangweni struck a powerful close range volley just before the half-hour mark to open the scoring. Second half substitute Lehlohonolo Majoro sealed the deal for Bafana Bafana in the 62nd minute, using some fancy footwork before slotting a shot between the legs of Angola keeper Lamá.

In Wednesday’s second AFCON match, Cape Verde Islands drew with Morocco 1-1. Luis Platini’s 35th minute goal, the first major international tournament goal for Cape Verde Islands, was erased by a late strike from Morocco’s Youssef El Arabi.

South Africa now holds a two-point lead over Cape Verde Islands and Morocco in the group table. The hosts can clinch a knockout round spot with a win or draw against Morocco on Sunday. Angola will need a win against Cape Verde Islands on Sunday to stay in the competition.

QUICK KICKS

Arsenal scored four second-half goals in the span of eleven minutes to put away West Ham United 5-1 in the day’s only EPL action. (REPORT)

PSG defender and Uruguay national team captain Diego Lugano has been loaned to Malaga for the rest of the season. (REPORT)

Italy’s technical director Roberto Baggio resigned from his post on Wednesday, telling reporters that he was not able to do what he wanted to during his short tenure. (REPORT)

David Beckham was spotted at Chelsea’s training facility on Tuesday night, watching his oldest son Brooklyn tryout with the club’s U-14 squad. (REPORT)

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What are your thoughts on these reports? What kind of punishment do you think Hazard will face for the ball boy incident?  Excited for a potential El Clasico in the Copa del Rey semifinals? Who do you think will advance from Group A in the Cup of Nations?

Share your comments below.

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61 Responses to Wednesday Evening Ticker: Swansea advances to historic Cup Final, Madrid and Sevilla reach Copa semis, and more

  1. Cj says:

    The ball man deserved it

    • Jeb says:

      I think the ball boy condemned himself via twitter: link to 101greatgoals.com

      • TJ says:

        I agree. The ballboy’s job is to expedite play and should be considered impartial as the officiating crew is. This isn’t like the kid slipped. He purposely dove on the ball and actively fought Hazard from continuing play. This is the exact opposite of their intention. I know Hazard will get suspended and he should for kicking the kid, but Swansea should be forced to pay a fine or something for that kid’s actions as well. It took two to tango there, and besides, its not like the Blues were in any way going to level the score on aggregate.

    • Eric says:

      Haha i just watched the vid. That ball boy is an idiot!

      • David JS says:

        Well… he did get one of Chelsea’s best players red carded, all but guaranteeing Swansea’s advancement to the cup final. And he did all of this with no “real world” negative repercussions…so perhaps he is a bit more clever than you give him credit for…just perhaps.

  2. Russian Assasin says:

    Stupid right above me!!!!!!

  3. Ronald says:

    Being a ball boy can be Hazardous.

  4. jonf says:

    that punk should have been kicked in the head a couple times. that said hazard needs to know when he is getting bated

    • Dustin says:

      Why do people like you exist? How is delaying a game in anyway a justification for battery or assault? How do those things connect in your mind you psychopath?

      Hazard instigated the situation, not his kick it was Swanseas, and Chelsea was subbing. He went over grabbed the ball boy and then kicked him while trying to get at the ball. He deserves a long LONG bang for this. If it was you who did this on the street, you’d be arrested.

      • super star says:

        he kicked the ball. the kid got in the way. he should not have been laying on a soccer ball on the field during a soccer match. like laying on the track at a nascar race,

        • Matt C in Tampa says:

          Last i checked, the area outside the white lines is not the field.

          When Hazard’s first effort to get the ball failed, he simply should have turned to the ref or AR and asked for help.

          Idiot.

        • Eurosnob says:

          OK, I will give Hazard the benefit of the doubt that he was trying to kick the ball, not the ball boy. But this was incredibly stupid!!! The ball boy was already engaged in an unsportsmanlike conduct and the player had to expect that the ball boy would react and make a big scene regardless of whether the cleat connected to his body, which is exactly what happened.

      • KenC says:

        How is what the 17-yr old adult did, any different than when a fan charges the pitch and delays the game? He wasn’t doing his job, he was impacting the game. He wasn’t a boy, he was a director’s son, who had tweeted his intention to disrupt the game. He play-acted that he was hurt, he got attention for himself, and is now a minor celebrity. Your comment is a farce.

      • Anthony says:

        Dustin, your comment is WAY off base. I agree that Hazard was incorrect in reacting, but ballboy purposely DELAYED the game by PURPOSELY not returning the ball into play as soon as possible. It does not matter if it was Swansea’s ball or Chelsea’s. In fact, the ball boy bragged about his intention to do delay the game on twitter BEFORE the game. He impacted the game and should be punished. Hazard should be punished because a player should not act out in a matter like, but instead allow the referee to handle it. For me, a (A) 2 or 3 game ban and apology from Hazard and (B) an apology from the ballboy with a ban from working the sidelines again should suffice.

        • Matt C in Tampa says:

          If this would have happened in Florida, Hazard would have been within his rights to pummel the “17-year old adult”..and perhaps use weapons.

        • Dustin says:

          So? Someone delaying you doesn’t give you permission to strike them. It’s that simple. He could’ve ran onto the field, you still can’t hit people. It’s what cops tell people whenever they get to a crime scene and someone tries to explain the dumbshit that they did by saying someone else was annoying them. It Does Not Matter what they did to piss you off, you’re not ALLOWED to Hit People.

      • Lazio Curva Sud says:

        Lol, you sound like a kid the bullies held by the ankles and shook to get the milk money coins to fall out of your pocket. You’re a caricature of a real man.

        • Dustin says:

          You don’t know anything about me except that I don’t hit people to get them to do what I want them to do. If your idea of a real man is someone that just hits people wantonly, than you have a messed up set of values you need to revisit.

      • jonf says:

        hazard absolutely did not instigate the situation. the ball boy should have given him the ball in an instant. instead he feigned falling over then fell on top of the ball. not surprised at all to find out that the kid was director’s son, those actions indicative of the spoiled rich kid at daddy’s operation. as far as how do things like this connect in my mind: the problem today is with our society is far too many people like the ball boy that fail to do anything with any self decency. far too many actions of this sort are considered typical. what needs to happen more often is someone needs to step up and slap the bratty kid at store with the mother that just ignores it and if asks just says my son has authism//// no just an ass kicking

  5. Joamiq says:

    Stupid red card to give (and I hate Chelsea). The ball boy was blatantly trying to help Swansea cheat and looking pretty stupid while doing it. Hazard didn’t even kick him violently, but it wouldn’t have been unwarranted. Unfortunately for Hazard, he got Foy’d.

    • Dustin says:

      It’s a correct red card to give. It’s violent conduct directed towards a person, he gets sent off it’s the Laws of the Game. If he did this to a player he’d be sent off faster than anything, dead ball situation, kicking someone on the ground.

    • KungFuSoccer says:

      It’s a mandatory red under the rules. I don’t feel sorry for the kid, but you can’t use violence. It’s the ref’s job to add time for instances such as this. There are all sorts of people in soccer who “deserve” to be hurt, but if it were allowed, soccer would be kickboxing, not soccer.

  6. Mike V. says:

    Hazard is an absolute moron to engage himself in an act like that. Just plain stupid. He’ll be handed a nice fine/suspension. However, the ball boy was all but innocent. He was clearly wasting precious time. He knew exactly what he was doing and milked the kick to the ribs a bit, too. Both hazard and the kid were in the wrong. Obviously, being the adult; the professional Hazard should be dealt with more strictly. As for the kid, He should be banned from his ball boy duties.

    • No says:

      The ‘kid’ is17. The professional is 21. Doesn’t justify kicking the idiot, but let’s not turn this into some sort of child abuse case.

  7. Old School says:

    I’m surprised this doesn’t happen more often (no Collin Clark, I’m not talking about your offense).

    The ball boy asked for it. Anyone who says otherwise is being naive. Was Hazard out of line? Yes. However, if the ball boy wants to act like a “big boy” and stall/time waste during an actual match with grown men/professionals, then he is well aware of what he’s doing and should expect to be treated as a “big boy”.

    Let’s not exaggerate or feign outrage here as spectators. The kid absolutely milked the “injury” and Hazard DID kick at the ball, not the ball boy’s head.

    Bottom line. Hazard was in the wrong and so was the ball boy.

    Until teams stop allowing their ball boy’s to do this, then each situation is subject to get out of hand.

    • Dustin says:

      Yes wasting time and battery is exactly equal. Please never become a judge.

      • Old School says:

        Battery?

        Please, go back to handing out orange slices.

        • smokeminside says:

          at my school they give out cantaloupe chunks.

        • Gene says:

          technically, dustin is right, it is battery (though using legal terminology on a soccer field is perilous, you’d have assault and batter on every disputed penalty kick call:)

          And while what the kid did was wrong, Hazard was much more in the wrong. He is a grown man and he first pushed a kid to the ground and then kicked him while he was down. Plus, he did it at minute 79, depriving his team of a chance to come back in the next 11+ minutes.

          • No says:

            Again, the ‘kid’ is 17. He also should know better. Doesn’t justify violence, but this isn’t a 28 year old kicking a ten year old.

          • Anthony says:

            Dustin is only right if applied in a common law context where battery is defined a any unwarranted, non-permission granted touching. The US and UK evolved from common law legal traditions. However, a lot of jurisdictions define assault and battery a little differently in a modern context. When it comes to England and Wales, it would depend on ow the law is defined within the local jurisdiction that Swansea (Swansea County). Seeing I have only ever practiced law in NY, Belgium and Germany, I cannot elucidate much more than I have already stated :)

            sorry…couldn’t resist

      • super star says:

        the problem with “judges” like you is you have no common sense. You can’t use your brain to see the whole story. the kid was an idiot, Hazard was in the middle of a match. he kicked the ball. I hope you are never Judged like you would judge.

      • Lazio Curva Sud says:

        LOL at “battery”, you sound like the crying sister whose brother was just “hitting the air” and whatever happened to be in the way got hit.

    • DanO says:

      Fact: Time wasting has been part of soccer for ages. If you can’t take it, don’t watch any USMNT games on the road in CONCACAF.

      Fact: The referee can add time at his discretion for unneccessary time wasting.

      Fact: Violence towards another person (player, referee, ball boy, spectator, etc.) warrantes a Red Card by the rules of the game.

      Hazard had no reason to go after the ball in the first place (especially since a substitution was coming), let alone touch and/or kick a ball boy, regardless if the kid was acting like a punk or not. Hazard got what he deserved and will get a nice little suspension for it too.

      Old School: Don’t let facts get in the way of a good opinion though.

      • biff says:

        Hmmm. So who is hiding behind the name DanO, which, to the best of my recollection, is being used on SBI for the first time. And what name does he usually post under. Would be interesting to know. Any guesses?

        Revealed: Ballboy, 17, kicked in ribs by Chelsea star is heir to £42m hotel fortune – who boasted about time-wasting before game
        link to dailymail.co.uk

      • MidWest Ref says:

        DanO – how do any of your facts – which inlcude 1 general statement of opinion about the game of soccer and 2 paraphrased comments about the Laws of the game – in any way contradict what OldSchool said?

        Hazard and the ball boy were in the wrong

        Hazard deserved his red card
        The ball boy should be asked by his dad’s club, not to be a ball boy in the future

        • byrdman says:

          A 17 year old young man is not a child. I root against Chelsea every day of the week, but that was ridiculous. I watched the video, and the young man was not pushed to the ground, but he willingly fell on the ball like it was a fumble. He repeatedly refuses to surrender the ball. Finally, hazard tries to kick it free, but not violently in any way. There was no intent to injure. And the young man is a wuss! He may have a few minutes of fame, but I imagine he will be hearing about it pretty good from others his age.

        • DanO says:

          I contradict that Old School said the ball boy asked for it and deserved to be treated like a “big boy”. Hazard needs to compose himself there. I agree his red card is deserved. I agree the ball boy was being a prick. That said, no one deserves a kick in the ribs. I stand by the facts and apologize for not quoting the FIFA rule book directly.

          • Old School says:

            I contradict that Old School said the ball boy asked for it and deserved to be treated like a “big boy”.
            —-
            While you have offered a contradiction to my statement, yours is no more true/factual than mine.

            Again, I’m not condoning violence, violent acts..but I am saying the ballboy ABSOLUTELY asked for it.

            Reminds me of that Chris Rock skit (excuse the link, Ives, I think it’s applicable to my statement)

            link to youtube.com

            …and it was a 22 year old kicking the ball from a 17 year old. That context IS important.

            • DanO says:

              At 22 I had graduated college and was about 25lbs of muscle heavier than I was as a senior in HS at 17. The difference between 22 and 17 is tremendous both physically and maturity wise.
              We’re arguing semantics I guess. I just expect more out of a professional athlete than what Hazard demonstrated yesterday regardless of whether or not a spoiled twit of a ball boy “asked” for it or not.

              • Old School says:

                “I just expect more out of a professional athlete than what Hazard demonstrated yesterday”

                I agree with you on this point.

                We just simply disagree on the ballboy cruising for a bruising.

      • David M says:

        Your very first “fact” says an awful lot about you. It’s not a player who was wasting time — it was a balljerk! Someone whose job it is to be neutral and expedite the flow of the game.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      we’re in agreement, old school.

      hazard was out of line, and should serve a ban for his straight red (3 matches, right?)

      the ball boy should be banned for life from Liberty Stadium, but he won’t be, because his daddy is on the board of directors.

      swansea should be fined for not controlling their staff.

  8. Jeb says:

    Wow. What a terrible year to be a Madrid fan. Now, Casillas’ hand is broken…probably the only thing that could make this year worse is if ronaldo gets a tib/fib fracture ending his career.

  9. Ceez says:

    I wonder what the Vegas odds were of this final happening…

  10. Brain Guy says:

    It seems that a reasonable outcome would be:

    (1) a suspension for Hazard for his conduct, which, while probably the result of provoked frustration and not malice, is never, ever acceptable;

    (2) a permanent ban for the ball boy, who admittedly and arrogantly tried to affect the match, and

    (3) a fine of some sort to Swansea for the unsportsmanlike behavior of its employee/agent.

  11. Brain Guy says:

    Perhaps the ball boy was not acting alone. From Georgina Turner at SI.com:

    “It is not new to see ball boys and girls taking their time over returning the ball to the opposition. On Sky Sports’ coverage of the game, former England, Tottenham and Chelsea manager Glenn Hoddle admitted that managers pass on instructions for the ball boys to act slowly when their team is ahead and the clock is ticking down. In this sense it is no different to the kinds of tactics the players themselves are encouraged to deploy in conducting a game at a rhythm and tempo to suit them and frustrate their opponents.”

  12. biff says:

    Yes, Hazard was a fool to lose his temper and I suppose the red card is justified and a three-match ban. But after release of a lot of the facts today, Hazard is smelling like a rose and Swansea is stinking a bit. It is clear to me that this was a coordinated effort by Swansea to waste time and no doubt that is why Swansea are so eager today to see the story end and move on. Swansea officials no doubt do not want to be forced into making written statements to the Football Association denying that they had coached their ball-boys to slow it down.

    What is particularly irritating are quotes from at least two of the Swansea players, including the team captain, referring to 17-year-old “ball-bay” Charlie Hogan, who, by the way, drives a brand new Audi and attends college. The two players after the game referred to Charlie as a “little boy.” Yep, they called poor Charlie a “little boy.” Strangely, when I first saw the video of the Hazard incident Charlie does look like he is about 12 years old, does not look anything like a teenager trying to look cool as he does on his Twitter page photos. I would not be surprised if he changed his hairstyle a bit to make him look younger for his ball-boy shenanigans.

  13. limey says:

    Why was this guy a ball boy? Shouldn’t he be bagging groceries?

  14. The Imperative Voice says:

    The “ballboy” is a 17 year old child of a millionaire member of Swansea’s board of directors (Mr. Morgan) — if he’s an Audi driving brat making trips to Vegas in style he is not headed back to bagging groceries — who tweeted before the game he was “# needed # for # timewasting.” On the play in question, the “ballboy” falls on top of the ball like a NFL fumble or a GK save and just sits there. He doesn’t get up and hand it to the player like a “ballboy” is supposed to. His team happened to be by upset ahead 2 goals in the home and away series with a running game clock that he was milking.

    Granted, players should not be kicking ballboys. It is a pox on both their houses situation.

    But it does frankly beg the question of what to do. I mean, let’s say the GK is standing in his net just holding the ball for tens of seconds after a late score in a game where you are coming back. Is it OK to wrestle it from him? So you have a kid laying on a deadball. The clock’s running. Some of the people condemning Hazard need to explain how they resolve the situation better. Wave your hands and do your own dramatics? Try and get the ballboy booted? Ask for time back which the ref keeps that is hard to measure? This is not an easy answer situation.

  15. Todd says:

    Hey I think the player got what he deserved but the ball boy should be fired and never be allowed participate in on field duties. Not only was he being an ass by throwing himself on the ball. After the incident he looked to the ref for a card and milked the hell out of it. He did the full hand wave and was helped off the field….what a douche….he reminds me of Cristiano Ronaldo…it made me want to kick him again…just harder.

    • Old School says:

      I thought the exact same thing.

      Funny enough, I saw someone post on another website, “After this dive, Barcelona instantly offered the ballboy a contract.”