An unsavoury incident between Eden Hazard and the now notorious ‘ball man’ might be making many of the headlines, but it should not be forgotten that history was made last night by Swansea City, who will now face Bradford City in the Capital One Cup final after a 2-0 aggregate semi-final victory over Chelsea.
While most of the country talks about 17 year-old Charlie Morgan, who has obviously learnt a thing about play-acting from watching the Premier League over the years, everybody in south Wales is more interested in Swansea’s first ever appearance in a major domestic final, and their date at Wembley with League Two Bradford has put the romance back into the much maligned competition.
A 0-0 draw at the Liberty Stadium last night was enough for the Swans to progress after their 2-0 first-leg victory at Stamford Bridge, and while Blues boss Rafa Benitez is left to rue another trophy that has slipped from Chelsea’s grasp, his opposite number Michael Laudrup was able to bask in a memorable achievement.
“It’s incredible, first of all to arrive to the final for the first time ever it’s amazing,” the Dane said. “But then again to beat the European champions over two legs, not conceding even one goal, I think that’s absolutely fantastic.”
His side are now strong 4/25 favourites to life the trophy on 24th February, but Laudrup was full of praise for the Bantams, who are 15/4 outsiders to win the tournament.
“I’ve seen them four or five times and what they have done is amazing,” he said. “It’s not often in football this happens. But now we’re there… the players, staff, fans will need a couple of days to understand we are actually there. It’s absolutely fantastic.”
And it isn’t just the Jack Army who will be delighted at the Swans reaching the final – the bwin punter who backed Swansea for the League Cup in August at odds of 50/1 will be pretty happy as well!