As Usual, Taiwanese Animators Nail It, this Time with Eden Hazard Ballboy Incident

Chelsea winger Eden Hazard was red-carded for swinging his boot at Swansea City ballboy Charlie “Needed for Time-wasting” Morgan late in Wednesday’s League Cup semifinal between the Blues and Swansea in Wales.

For the best recap available, we turn the floor over to NMAWorldEdition, who cover all sides of the story, including the one with the panda stunt-riding a motorcycle:

We first saw the incident in one brief replay that included only Hazard’s kick, and none of the buildup to it. After handsome devil Prison Mike called our attention to the kid’s very obvious time-wasting move that provoked the kick, we looked a little further into the incident.

Turns out the 17-year-old Morgan is the son of a hyper-rich Swansea executive and had boasted on his Twitter feed about his time-wasting ability as a ballboy.

He didn’t get into his acting skills, which were also on prominent display in the clip.

In our view, Hazard was definitely trying to kick the ball, and not the kid, but considering the kid’s flop onto the ball beforehand, we half agree with noted voice of reason Joey Barton that “Hazard’s only crime is that he hasn’t kicked him hard enough.”

Our other half acknowledges that Hazard was stupid to even appear to be kicking a ballboy. He lost his cool, and he’s going to pay for it. The FA announced today that he’ll be charged for the incident, which could add games to his mandatory three-match suspension for violent conduct.

Fortunately, Morgan, the teenage “prat,” as Stan Collymore called him, has been absorbing some richly deserved punishment on Twitter, as the #prayforballboy hashtag proliferated yesterday. Young Master Morgan has also seen his Twitter following balloon from 600 to more than 87,000. It’s doubtful, though, that he’ll be tweeting about any future ballboy experiences.

The game, by the way, ended 0-0, which meant Swansea, 2-0 winners of the first leg, advanced to the League Cup final, where they’ll meet upstarts Bradford City.

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Aston Villa’s Rough Season Hits Another Low As Fourth-Tier Bradford City Knocks them Out of the League Cup

Soccer - Capital One Cup - Semi Final - Second Leg - Aston Villa v Bradford City - Villa Park

With US goalkeeper Brad Guzan and Yank defender Eric Lichaj watching from the bench, Premier League strugglers Aston Villa could only muster a 2-1 win over fourth-tier side Bradford City in the second leg of their League Cup semifinal at Villa Park today.

The result was not enough for the Villans to overcome a 3-1 first-leg deficit and thus eliminated Villa from the tournament and made Bradford City the first fourth-division team to reach the League Cup final since 1962. They’ll play either Chelsea or Swansea City in the final on Feb. 24 at Wembley.

Villa owned 72% of possession in the first half today, and created three clear chances before Christian Benteke put them ahead 1-0 in the 24th minute. They couldn’t translate their dominance into more goals, though, and in the 55th minute, Bradford striker James Hanson (above left) headed in a Gary Jones corner kick to make it 1-1 and restore the lower-level side’s two-goal aggregate advantage.

Hanson nearly scored again just minutes later and Bradford rattled Shay Given’s crossbar in the late stages before Villa’s Andreas Weimann bagged one in the 89th minute to set up a tense finish. But the heavy favorites could not find that crucial third goal, which would have sent the tie into extra time, and the visitors, who dispatched Arsenal in the previous round, were soon celebrating an historic win.

So which is more humiliating for Villa, this defeat to a League Two team, or December’s 8-0 thrashing by Chelsea? Tough call, but it’s probably this one.

The Villans return to Premier League action on Jan. 29, when they host Newcastle in a relegation battle. Villa is currently in 17th place, one point above the drop, while Newcastle is in 16th, two points clear.