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Controversy overshadows magnificent night for Laudrup's Swansea

SWANSEA City reached the first major cup final in their long history on a day that football surely reached a first: a player kicking a ball-boy.

However remarkable though, the incident with Chelsea's Eden Hazard must not be allowed to overshadow Swansea's formidable achievement.

Michael Laudrup's side attacked well in the first leg, claiming that two-goal lead. They defended brilliantly here, particularly Ashley Williams and Chico Flores, who mastered Ba as 'Hymns and Arias' filled the air, eventually replaced by "we're going to Wembley".

Swansea's progress was thoroughly deserved and they now face Bradford City in a rather unexpected line-up for the League Cup final. For Chelsea, there will be a painful inquest in a season of painful inquests. Rafa Benitez hardly enhanced his chances of making the interim role permanent here.

Jumpin' Jack Flash had pumped up the mood, as if it had needed any further stoking. Wembley was the prize. Chico Flores and Ashley Williams fought so hard to protect Swansea's aggregate edge. Chelsea strived so hard to break down the barricades.

Apart from starting John Terry and David Luiz on the bench, Benitez had unleashed his strongest side. Pleased that Ba was in ahead of Fernando Torres, Chelsea's fans had made it along the snow-soaked motorway, believing that their team could do it.

They were given early hope when Ba raced into the box, bringing a challenge from Ben Davies but no contact. Ba flicked out his right leg towards the young Swansea left-back and then threw himself to the floor, earning a shake of the head from Chris Foy.

Ba's presence had still lifted Chelsea's mood. All day, bookmakers had been taking substantial bets on the champions of Europe but even their most ebullient fans had known the test in store.

Even a glance at the team-sheet confirmed the quality that Laudrup has assembled.

Swansea fans had been buoyed by news that Michu had signed a contract extension to 2016, a decision perceived as confirming Laudrup's commitment to the club.

Michu had been up on his own, supported occasionally by Jonathan de Guzman, while Wayne Routledge and Pablo Hernandez tucked in on the wings. Shedding their nerves, Chelsea seemed to settle, testing Swansea's defence.

Flores nicked the ball from under the feet of Hazard. Williams deflected behind a ball from Ashley Cole.

From Juan Mata's ensuing corner, Cahill's header was cleared off the line by Angel Rangel. Gerhard Tremmel then saved from Ramires.

Swansea rode the brief storm in blue. Their work-rate was excellent.

The second half resumed in similar vein. Laudrup's players were giving everything for the cause. Leon Britton had his head cut open when challenging Ramires.

With 10 minutes remaining, Chelsea were reduced to 10 men after Hazard's moment of total folly. Benitez removed Oscar, sending on Fernando Torres to partner Ba while Cole was unimpressed by Benitez's decision to replace him with Ryan Bertrand on a bad night for Chelsea.