Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has played down the clash between Chelsea winger Eden Hazard and a Swansea ballboy this week, describing the incident as “unfortunate”.
The Belgian wideman was red carded during his side’s Capital One Cup defeat to the Swans after kicking 17-year-old Charlie Morgan in an attempt to retrieve the ball.
And, though former Swansea boss Rodgers revealed that he knows the ballboy personally, he insisted there is no need for charges to be brought against Hazard.
“I know Charlie well actually,” he told reporters. “He was great for me. He was taught well.
“He’s a good boy, he loves his club and he loves his football. It was just an unfortunate incident to be fair. Hazard is obviously trying to get the ball back and, of course, none of us want to see [the incident] happen but I’m sure it wasn’t intentional from Hazard.
“I’ve read all the ridiculous comments about whether [Hazard] should face criminal charges. It was just one of those incidents. Charlie’s Twitter account has now got some more hits on it!
“Ballboys are well tuned-in to what’s required in the game and it was maybe a wee bit of gamesmanship by Charlie but it’s certainly nothing sinister. He’s a real good kid. Any manager, player or coach would be happy if their ballboy did that.”
The Northern Irishman also hailed his former club’s achievement in reaching a first major cup final in their history.
“They are really passionate at Swansea about their football club and congratulations go to them,” he continued.
“It’s a wonderful achievement over two legs to get through to the final and hopefully they will go on and have a chance to win their first major trophy.
“It was a great result, I haven’t spoken to anyone – I have just exchanged messages with one or two of the people there.”