Chelsea 0 - 2 Swansea City

Match info: EFL Cup - Semi at Stamford Bridge

Date: 09/01/2013 KO: 19:45 Ref: A Taylor Att: 40,172

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers




Michu 39
Danny Graham 90+2

FT (ht: 0-1)

  • Last Updated: January 9 2013, 23:31 GMT

Chelsea interim boss Rafael Benitez refused to lay in to his players despite watching them stumble to a defeat against Swansea in which he suffered yet more abuse from the Stamford Bridge faithful.

Benitez stands by his men

Benitez's hopes of winning his first Chelsea trophy were hanging by a very thin thread tonight after the Blues put in a terrible performance to go down to a 2-0 home defeat in the first leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final.

Swansea had to work very little to achieve their victory. Two glaring errors from Branislav Ivanovic allowed Michu and Danny Graham to score, while the Chelsea team as a whole performed poorly.

Chelsea's fans made their disagreement with Benitez's decisions known throughout, booing the Spaniard and mocking his decision to leave Demba Ba and Frank Lampard on the bench.

But the Blues interim boss refused to single out any of his players for criticism after the match and insisted he was relatively happy with his team's performance.

Benitez said: "The team are doing well. You can lose a game and then analyse it, but if you play this game 10 times maybe you will win nine of them.

"I think the team were doing really well, had a lot of chances and could have scored two or three in the first half, but we made two mistakes and paid for them.

"I can see any player making mistakes and it's not an issue. It's about trying to do things afterwards, and Ivanovic tried to do his best. We carried on and tried to do the right things."

Chelsea's fans "You're not welcome" towards Benitez after Graham put Swansea's victory beyond doubt in the dying minutes and the Blues faithful again chanted the name of Spaniard's predecessor Roberto Di Matteo throughout.

They barracked Benitez for failing to introduce Ba earlier after Fernando Torres put in perhaps his worst performance of a woeful season.

The fans also hit out at Benitez for his failure to start the in-form Lampard, but Benitez refused to be drawn on the home crowd's criticism.

"You analyse all these things because we lost," Benitez responded when asked about the criticism from the stands.

"We have to concentrate on our jobs."

Benitez was unhappy that Ba had a goal ruled out in the final stages of the game for offside when he appeared level and also criticised referee Anthony Taylor for booking the Senegal striker for an apparent dive while going for a penalty.

"The goal was a goal, he was level," Benitez said.

"The penalty and yellow card, it wasn't a yellow card. The penalty depends on the decision of the referee."

Chelsea dominated the first half but some wayward finishing, and an excellent performance from goalkeeper Gerhard Tremmel, kept the Swans in the game.

Michu then put the visitors ahead with a well-placed finish following an error from Ivanovic and the Serb again fouled up in injury time, playing a short backpass to Turnbull that allowed Graham to finish.

Swansea boss Michael Laudrup hailed the result but cheekily insisted that Chelsea are still favourites to progress.

"Aston Villa and Chelsea," the Dane replied with a smile when asked who he thought would make the final on February 24.

"But I hope it's Bradford-Swansea. We already achieved some historic results for the club: winning at Anfield, winning at the Emirates. But winning at the European champions from last season is something very special."

Michu's signing caused barely a ripple when he moved from Rayo Vallecano last summer, but the £2million man now has 16 goals to his name.

His performances have raised inevitable questions about his future, but Laudrup doubts whether anyone can afford him.

"We all know the economic situation in the world, so there really aren't that many clubs who can buy him," Laudrup said.

"There are some here, in Spain there are only two teams (Barcelona and Real Madrid)... Italy, I don't think so. They're trying to sell... Bayern Munich in Germany... so only a few, few clubs.

"And Michu likes it here. He's happy where he is, so I'm really not afraid because I'm so sure he will stay with us for the next five or six months. I don't know in the summer."

Defender Ashley Williams admitted the return leg in a fortnight would be one of the biggest occasions in the club's history.

"It will be a massive game. We're only half-way their in a massive tie," he said.

"If we do get to Wembley it will be massive for everyone.

"We just wanted to get a result and bring them back top our place and try and finish the job.

"Tonight we just wanted to play our own game and not let the occasion get to us.

"We stayed calm and played the way we wanted to."

Michu added: "The key was that the whole team worked very hard. I'm very happy for the team."

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