Date:Thursday January 24 2013
And so, on a soggy pitch out in South Wales, our dreams of over-turning a two goal first leg deficit were crushed by a resilient Swansea side.
To add insult to injury the name of Chelsea Football Club were further sullied by the actions of Eden Hazard who let his frustrations boil over and resulted in physical abuse being handed out to a ball-boy.
This morning is certainly a strange time to be a Chelsea support as; once again, we contemplate just where our season is heading.
For the fixture, Rafa Benitez made one change to the side that beat Arsenal with Demba Ba coming in for Fernando Torres, but as been the case so often, a lack of quality balls into the lone striker made Ba almost as ineffective as Torres has been.
In fact, although it was Chelsea who were desperate to get the early goal, Swansea started the better of the two sides. With the home side having survived and early penalty appeal, when Ba tumbled over far too easily in a challenge with Ben Davies, the home side pushed Chelsea to the brink of conceding.
Firstly, Cesar Azpilicueta produced a marvelous block to deny Routledge, who hit a sweet a volley you`ll see from an inviting cross and then, secondly, Cech produced a great save to push away a shot from Michu that looked destined for the net.
Having survived a penalty appeal against them, Swansea appealed, in vain, for one of their own when Cahill`s excellent block seemed to catch his arm.
Chelsea, as the half progressed, started to engineer half chances of there own, Hazard saw a shot deflected wide whilst a looping header form Cahill was cleared close to the goal line. Ramires saw a low shot saved by Tremmel whilst, almost right on the forty-five minute mark, Ba flashed a shot over the bar.
The second half started with Ba shooting just wide from outside the area before Ramires, pushing forward, scuffed a shot wide. Lampard, captaining the team, tried to inject some urgency but a long range shot lacked direction and sailed high and wide.
Benitez made a change after 68 minutes bringing on David Luiz for Ivanovic but Chelsea were still struggling to get that breakthrough. Mata saw a low shot saved by Tremmell before Hazard had his moment of madness and received a red card, from Chris Foy, after his altercation with a ball-boy.
Down to 10-men, Chelsea were now up against it, Benitez made tow further changes, as the clock ticked down, bringing on Torres for Oscar and Bertrand for Cole, but to no avail. Instead it was left to Petr Cech to produce one more decent save, in stoppage time, to deny Dyer as Swansea went for the win.
Date:Thursday January 24 2013
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