Chelsea's pride will have been bruised by a defeat by Swansea City last night which caused them to tumble out of the Capital One Cup at the semi-final stage but the club's image has also taken another sore one; television cameras picking up a bizarre incident between Eden Hazard and a ball boy, in which the Chelsea winger is seen kicking the kid in the ribs.
It was a moment born out of frustration m'lud, but the reaction was still excessive. It was late in the game, Chelsea still trailed on aggregate and the ball boy had been slow in giving the ball back; Hazard tried to snatch it but knocked the youngster on top of the ball, then attempted to boot it out from under him and caught the boy in the process.
The Belgian will likely be remorseful and an apology is certain to be forthcoming, as will a ban following the red card he picked up in the aftermath. South Wales police also intend to interview the ball boy about the incident.
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It will be remembered as an unfortunate moment, not least it served to overshadow what should have been – and what was – a very special night for Swansea.
"I've since seen it after the game. Hazard is a great player. When he sees the images I think he will regret it" said Michael Laudrup, the Swansea manager, who was careful to reassert focus on his side's victory. "I can understand all the frustrations when you are behind."
Chelsea were in need of a kickstart having fallen to a 2-0 defeat in the first leg of this tie, yet Hazard probably took it all a bit far. The extent of his punishment will be decided by the FA but Swansea will be able to consider the impact of making it to their first major cup final in the Welsh club's 100-year history.
They will face Bradford City, a side that has dispensed with two Barclays Premier League clubs in the competition already this season, and will find succour from a tie which seldom looked like getting away from them.
Wayne Routledge and Michu – who has signed a new four-year contract – went close for Swansea, while the visitors failed to engineer a revival.
Swansea win 2-0 on agg