Chelsea star Eden Hazard is in hot water, after he kicked a ball boy during the Blues’ elimination from the Capital One Cup last night.
The despicable incident took place with 12 minutes of the game to go, when Chelsea were desperately trying to reverse their 2-0 deficit from the first-leg of their semi-final against Swansea.
Hazard was sent off and the Blues traipsed back to London in shame, with the likelihood of a lengthy ban hanging over Hazard’s hot head.
Hazard had grown frustrated when 17-year-old ball boy, Charlie Morgan- son of Swans director Martin Morgan- was deliberately slow in retrieving a ball that had gone out of play.
He used his boot to try and rake the ball away from the youngster like a rugby player in a ruck, proceeding to kick him in the ribs.
The ball boy was escorted from the field in obvious pain, while Hazard smirked as boos rang out around the Liberty Stadium.
The Belgian international was no longer smirking however, when he was given his marching orders for a display of petulance that will burden his reputation.
After the match, Hazard said: "The boy put his whole body on to the ball and I was just trying to kick the ball and I think I kicked the ball and not the boy.
"I apologise. The ballboy came in the changing room and we had a quick chat and I apologised and the boy apologised as well, and it is over. Sorry."
Blues boss Rafa Benitez also insisted that the matter is closed.
"They have apologised to each other," he said.
"They knew they were both wrong. He was wasting time. Hazard wanted to get the ball back quickly and he was kicking. They both made mistakes. They both accept they were wrong, and we can't change things. We will deal with this internally. He was frustrated and just wanted to get the ball back, but we will analyse it and see what happens.”
Swansea manager Michael Laudrup meanwhile was diplomatic, but finally condemnatory of Hazard’s violent act of petulance.
"In a situation like that you have to try and understand what went through the head of the man committing [the offence]," Laudrup said.
"I was a player and can understand he was frustrated. Your pulse is very high and sometimes you say and do things, you overreact. You want the ball boy to give you the ball, but there are still things you can never do. You can't kick him. It was a huge mistake."
While Hazard is likely to suffer some form of punishment, it does appear as if the young ball boy must accept some of the blame.
He jokingly boasted on Twitter before the game to his 1100 followers that he was “needed for time-wasting.”
By the time the match was over, Morgan’s Twitter followers numbered 40 000, and he was guaranteed a place in Thursday’s headlines, taking the gloss off Swansea’s deserved progression to the final, and adding some infamy to Hazard’s talents.