Chelsea 0-2 Swansea: Chelsea errors hand Swans a precious lead in semi-final

RAFAEL Benitez endured a torrent of abuse from Chelsea’s fans as the Blues slumped to an embarrassing defeat to Swansea in the first leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final at Stamford Bridge last night.

Scorers: Swansea - Michu (39), Graham (90)

Referee: A Taylor

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Attendance: 40,172

Michu scored his 16th goal of the season and Danny Graham added a late second to put the Swans within touching distance of their first major Wembley cup final.

With the exception of David Luiz, Chelsea were very poor throughout. Sloppy in possession and lacking a cutting edge in attack, the Blues looked anything like title challengers or ­potential cup finalists.

Fernando Torres was the worst offender, the Spanish striker’s two chances amounting to a weak header and a long-range shot that almost found the second tier of the Shed End. He touched the ball 19 times during his 81 minutes on the pitch.

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup said: “I’m delighted with the result, but there is still a mountain to climb. They have so much quality and we will have to play exactly the same; with the same intensity.

“They could still score three or four goals against us. But I am most happy about going into the second leg at home with a possibility to play a final at Wembley.

“They gave us two goals, but you have to score them. They are two mistakes but even if you take away the two goals they only created three chances. It was a marvellous fight.”

Torres started lively enough, drifting out to the left flank where he delivered a clever cross to the front post, but Branislav Ivanovic headed over.

The Spaniard soon exhibited signs of his woeful form, however. He picked the ball up 30 yards out and crept towards goal before firing a shot that cleared the bar by many metres.

Chelsea thought they should have had a penalty when Ki Sung-Yueng grappled with Luiz while going for cross but referee Anthony Taylor waved play on.

A flowing move that included touches from Oscar and Luiz ended with Ramires in space in the Swansea box but he could only prod weakly at Gerhard Tremmel.

Efforts from Cesar Azpilicueta and Gary Cahill both went wide while Juan Mata lost his touch in front of goal after a foray into the box by Eden Hazard.

Another brilliant move came on the half-hour with Oscar backheeling the ball to Mata from Ramires’ pass, but the former Valencia man shot wide.

Torres’ only decent contribution of the opening 45 minutes came when he split the Swansea defence but Gerhard Tremmel came to the Swans’ rescue.

The most noise the home support displayed was when Frank Lampard emerged from the dugout to warm up. The Blues fans fell silent moments later, however, when Ivanovic’s error gifted Swansea the lead. Jonathan de Guzman pinched the ball off the Serb as he dallied on the edge of his own box and squared to Michu, who calmly slotted the ball past Ross Turnbull.

Luiz, by far Chelsea’s best player, went close with two efforts just after the break.

The home fans vented their anger at Benitez for not introducing Demba Ba or Lampard. One fan was restrained by stewards as he headed towards the Chelsea bench, and another fan invaded the pitch. The rest of the home crowd continued to demand Lampard’s introduction, but the calls fell on deaf ears.

Azpilicueta claimed Ben Davies had handled his cross in the Swansea box, but Taylor thought otherwise. Benitez brought Lampard on with 20 minutes to go and the midfielder injected life in to Chelsea, but Torres continued to perform poorly. The striker found space on the edge of the box, but could only head weakly into Tremmel’s arms.

Ki then sent Michu through with a clever pass, but the linesman flagged for offside just as the former Rayo Vallecano man was about to pull the trigger.

Benitez finally brought on Ba with nine minutes left, as Torres departed to cheers and a sarcastic standing ovation, with boos also heard.

The former Newcastle man made an immediate impact, going close with two efforts, the second a header from Marko Marin’s cross. Ba also hurtled through in injury time and went down after Tremmel failed to collect the ball, but the referee did not give a penalty and booked the striker for diving.

Chelsea’s night then turned worse with one minute of added time left. Ivanovic’s second terrible backpass allowed Graham to pinch the ball off Turnbull before slotting into an empty net.

The home fans responded by calling for Benitez’s head. “You’re not welcome here” and “One Di Matteo”, they sang.

Ba thought he had scored for the Blues moments later but his ­effort was ruled out for offside.

Chelsea: Turnbull, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Cole, Luiz, Ramires (Lampard 71), Hazard, Oscar (Marin 83), Mata, Torres 
(Ba 81). Subs not used: Hilario, Ferreira, Bertrand, Ake.

Swansea: Tremmel, Rangel, Chico, Williams, Davies, Britton, de Guzman, Ki, Routledge (Tiendalli 62), Hernandez, Michu (Graham 83). Subs not used: Vorm, Dyer, Monk, Shechter, Agustien.