Chelsea 1-0 Bournemouth: Eden Hazard sends Blues into Carabao Cup semi-finals
Chelsea will face Tottenham in the last four of the competition.
By Simeon Gholam at Stamford Bridge
Last Updated: 19/12/18 10:48pm
Eden Hazard came off the bench to fire Chelsea into the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup as they beat Bournemouth 1-0 at Stamford Bridge.
For the second year in a row Chelsea hosted the Cherries in the last eight of this competition, and for the second time in a row it was they who prevailed thanks to Hazard's 84th-minute effort.
Bournemouth were targeting a last-four appearance for the first time in any major cup competition, but it wasn't to be for them. While Chelsea will go on to face Tottenham in the next round.
Chelsea: Kepa (7), Azpilicueta (7), Christensen (6), Rudiger (7), Emerson (6), Fabregas (6), Kovacic (6), Barkley (6), Loftus-Cheek (7), Willian (6), Giroud (6)
Subs: Hazard (7), Pedro (6), Luiz (n/a)
Bournemouth: Boruc (7), Cook (7), Simpson (7), Ake (7), Daniels (6), Ibe (5), Rico (6), Stanislas (5), Brooks (6), Wilson (6), Mousset (6)
Subs: Fraser (6), King (n/a), Defoe (n/a)
Man of the match: Nathan Ake
Chelsea started brighter and Ross Barkley, Willian and Olivier Giroud all had a go at testing Artur Boruc, while Bournemouth's only clear opening in the first quarter fell the way of Callum Wilson, who was fed into the box by Lys Mousset after a smart counter but fired wide.
More opportunities continued to come at both ends as the game opened up. On 28 minutes a David Brooks goalbound effort was blocked by his own team-mate in Mousset, while Chelsea then surged up the other end a couple of minutes later as Ruben Loftus-Cheek found Willian in behind, but he was denied well by Boruc.
Both sides made plenty of changes from their weekend Premier League fixture. Maurizio Sarri handed starts to Emerson, Andreas Christensen, Ross Barkley, Cesc Fabregas, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Olivier Giroud, while Eden Hazard was on the bench.
Callum Wilson and David Brooks both returned to Bournemouth's starting XI, while Jack Simpson started at centre-back.
Mousset himself then forced Kepa into his first save of the night after 36 minutes as the Chelsea goalkeeper had to be at full stretch to tip his curling effort from the edge of the box wide of the post.
As Chelsea's search for an opener continued, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek going closest in the second half as he hit the post after 55 minutes, Maurizio Sarri sent for reinforcements, with both Pedro and Hazard being introduced before the hour mark.
And it was those two who combined for the winning goal as Pedro pulled the ball back for Hazard in the area and he saw his effort deflected off the hand of Charlie Daniels and past the helpless Boruc.
Chelsea have qualified for the League Cup semi-finals in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2007-08.
- Chelsea have won all four of their League Cup meetings with Bournemouth, with each of the last two coming in the quarter-final.
- Bournemouth have lost seven of their last eight games in all competitions (W1), failing to score in each of the last three.
- Eden Hazard has had a hand in 19 goals in all competitions this season (10 goals and nine assists); the most of any Premier League player.
- Chelsea fired in 12 shots on target against Bournemouth; their most in a game in any competition under Maurizio Sarri.
Man of the match: Nathan Ake
It's not often that you give the man of the match award to a defender on the losing side in a cup tie, but Ake deserves it for the way he commanded the backline and helped keep Chelsea at bay for so long. It was a terrific performance from the Dutchman.
Chelsea assistant manager Gianfranco Zola: "It could have been a better [draw] but we are in the semi-finals and we knew it would be a difficult game. But we are happy because [Tottenham] gave us a footballing lesson [at Wembley] and we are looking forward to challenging them again. I'm sure it will be a different type of game.
"There are a lot of proud players in our team and they will want to show that they were not the ones who played that game. In that game too many players under-played and some of them were hurt. I am really pleased that we play against them again. I can't wait."
Eddie Howe: "We were nervous at the start but once we settled down we were good value. It was a discipline, defensive display. We countered and used the ball well and that result could have been very different.
"We believed at 0-0 we could win the match. We had our moments but we couldn't get the goal. We're disappointed we don't have anything to go away with."
Both sides are back in Premier League action at home at 3pm on Saturday. Chelsea host Leicester and Bournemouth face Brighton.