By 90Min
December 19, 2018

Chelsea advanced to the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup after a tightly contested 1-0 win at home to Bournemouth on Wednesday night.

The game looked to be heading for penalties with the score at 0-0 and seven minutes left on the clock. However, Eden Hazard, who came on as a substitute, saw his effort deflect into the net off Charlie Daniels to break Bournemouth hearts.

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The Cherries performed valiantly, going toe to toe with Chelsea for much of the contest but Hazard's late winner means Eddie Howe's men missed the chance to enter the semi-finals of a major cup competition for the first time in their history. 

Chelsea dominated the opening exchanges of the game, but were caught on the counter early on when Callum Wilson fired wide after some good link-up play with striker partner Lys Mousset.

The Blues were in control for much of the first period, with over 70% of possession, and should have taken the lead on the half-hour mark, but Willian's chip was superbly saved by Artur Boruc. 

Although Bournemouth had little in the way of possession, they almost took the lead shortly before half-time. Mousset's curling effort, which came after a brilliant solo run by Jordon Ibe, was thwarted by a sprawling stop from Kepa. 

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Ruben Loftus-Cheek came close to breaking the deadlock at the start of the second half, when his left-footed shot grazed the outside of the post. 

Bournemouth looked the more likely side to score for much of the second half, but were unable to create much in the way of clear-cut chances.

In the end though, Chelsea managed to scrape into the semi-finals in what was a laboured performance by Maurizio Sarri's side. 

Check out our breakdown of the game below. 


CHELSEA


Key Talking Point

Chelsea lacked a clinical edge in front of goal, but found a way to win despite being nowhere near their fluent best.

A much-changed side were toothless in the final third, making it easy for Bournemouth to defend in numbers and flood forward when the opportunity presented itself.

Jordan Mansfield/GettyImages

Ultimately, cup football is about winning and that is just what the home side managed to do thanks to a large slice of luck that resulted in a scrappy goal for Hazard.


Player Ratings


Starting XI: Arrizabalaga (7), Azpilicueta (6), Rudiger (6), Christensen (6), Emerson Palmieri (6), Kovacic (7), Fabregas (7), Barkley (6), Willian (6), Giroud (7), Loftus-Cheek (7).


Substitutes: Pedro (6), Hazard (8*), David Luiz (6).


STAR MAN 


Once again, the Blues have Eden Hazard to thank for getting them out of jail on a night where Chelsea were passive with the ball despite enjoying the lion's share of possession. 

Christopher Lee/GettyImages

Introduced from the bench after limping off in his side's win at Brighton last weekend, Hazard was the difference-maker although Bournemouth will feel hard done by as the Belgian's effort went in off full-back Charlie Daniels. 


WORST PLAYER 


In truth, there was not one player who was particularly below par for Chelsea. Instead there was a lack of cohesiveness and understanding between a team that had six changes from their last game.

The effects of Sarri's rotation were evident as the game wore on, with the Blues lacking enough quality in the final third to break down a stubborn and resolute Bournemouth defence.


BOURNEMOUTH


Key Talking Point


After losing six of their last seven games coming into this fixture, Bournemouth were unlucky not to see their barren run end after a gutsy performance at Stamford Bridge. 

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Eddie Howe will be encouraged by the way his players took the fight to the hosts, but ultimately frustrated that he and his players have come away empty-handed in spite of a whole-hearted showing. 


Player Ratings


Starting XI: Boruc (8*), Steve Cook (7), Simpson (6), Daniels (7), Ibe (7), Stanislas (6), Brooks (8), Ake (6), Rico (6), Wilson (7), Mousset (7).


Substitutes: Fraser (7), King (6).


STAR MAN


Were it not for a brilliant display by back-up goalkeeper Artur Boruc, Chelsea would have been out of sight by the half-time whistle. 

The veteran Polish shot-stopper, now 38, epitomised the grit and determination that Bournemouth showed collectively from first whistle to last. 

GLYN KIRK/GettyImages

A journeyman of the Premier League, Boruc's most impressive save came when he spread-eagled himself in acrobatic fashion to deny Willian when one-on-one with the Chelsea winger. 


WORST PLAYER 

In the same fashion that no individual elevated Chelsea's performance, there was not one player in particular wearing a black and red shirt who was at fault for Bournemouth's loss.

Even though this result means that Bournemouth have now lost seven of their last eight games, Eddie Howe and his team need not be too concerned based on how positively the Cherries played for most of the game. 


Looking Ahead


Both sides return to domestic action this weekend in what will be the round of Premier League fixtures before Christmas.

Chelsea take on Leicester at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, with kick-off at 15:00 GMT. Bournemouth welcome Brighton to the south coast for their fixture, which gets underway at the same time. 

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