Swansea City have reached their first major cup final in over 100 years, with a 0-0 draw against Chelsea last night securing the Welsh side's place at Wembley. The Swans will meet Bradford City in the League Cup showdown on February 24th.
The second-leg was closely fought at the Liberty Stadium, with Chelsea coming out swinging as they looked to turn round a 2-0 down aggregate deficit. Swansea held firm however, frustrating the European Champions to shots from distance; a frustration that culminated in Eden Hazard being shown a straight red card for an off the ball incident involving a ball boy.
Manager Michael Laudrup was understandably delighted post-match, and speaking to the club's official website, he said: "We knew it was going to difficult, even before the first leg. Everyone needs a couple of days to realise we are there, and we have a month now to enjoy it.
“It isn’t very often in football you can enjoy, but now we can - what we have done is a small fairytale.”
With many pundits saying before the games that Swansea would run the Blues close, but ultimately lose out over two legs, Laudrup is well aware of the upset that his side managed to produce against Rafa Benitez's team of superstars.
"We’ve just beaten the European champions over two games and it’s an incredible achievement."
The Dane felt his team were more than in the game, despite sitting back and sucking up large spells of pressure, and after Hazard's red card, Laudrup knew the game was up.
“What gave me the belief that we could do it was the start we had. We had two great chances early on, and everyone was into the game," he added.
“Then, after the red card, I saw the reaction of the players and I knew it was done.”
Club captain Ashley Williams, who will lead his side out in the English capital, was quick to pay tribute to the team effort.
“We have worked hard for this, and the feeling when you go through is brilliant,” said a proud Williams."
“We are very proud with what we have achieved – taking the club to a first major cup final is an amazing feat. Everyone connected with this club can be proud of what they have done."
The centre back also went on to commend the fans for their support, helping push the Swans over the finishing line.
“The supporters were amazing. The atmosphere really reminded me of the play-off game with Nottingham Forest."
Swansea will have a month to get ready for the final, and will look to end their 'fairytale' story on the traditional high note.
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