By Jonathan Nagioff (@jonathannagioff)
AFC Bournemouth were denied a place in the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup, as Alvaro Morata’s dramatic injury time winner sent the Cherries packing.
Dan Gosling looked to have sent the quarter final into extra time after his goal on the 90th minute, which cancelled out Willian’s opener.
But it was the Spaniard Morata who was to deny the Cherries their first ever League Cup semi-final spot, striking right at the death to knock out the south coast side.
Manager Eddie Howe made six changes to the side which were thrashed 4-0 by Liverpool on Sunday, with Artur Boruc, Jack Simpson, Dan Gosling and Lys Mousset among the starters.
The game could not have started much worse for the Cherries, with Jermain Defoe hobbling off injured after a strong challenge from youngster Ethan Ampadu, and Jordon Ibe replacing the England forward.
The Blues were soon in front on the 13th minute mark. Michy Batshuayi played a clever reverse pass into Kenedy’s path, which completely caught out the Bournemouth defence.
The Brazilian laid it off to Fabregas whose ball across goal was tapped into an empty net by Willian.
Howe’s men, who are now without a win in seven matches in all competitions, responded soon after through the substitute Ibe.
The former Liverpool winger nicked the ball from Willian and charged towards goal, but spurned the chance well wide.
Belgian striker Batshuayi was trusted with leading the line for Antonio Conte’s side, but his inability to sort his feet out meant that he fluffed two chances on the half hour mark, as the Cherries defence stood firm.
The Blues threatened to double their advantage late on in the first half, but Kenedy fired wide after dispossessing Adam Smith.
The Chelsea backline were resolute and thwarted any attempts from their opponents to level before the break.
However, it was Bournemouth who began the second period the brightest.
Jordon Ibe was the bright spark in midfield, and just on the hour mark he managed to work his way around two Chelsea players and found Lys Mousset. The young Frenchman saw his effort deflect over the bar.
Conte, who will have one eye on Chelsea’s Premier League fixture against Everton on Saturday, brought on the cavalry as he attempted to kill off the game.
Eden Hazard and Tiemoue Bakayoko were both summoned in favour of Pedro and Willian.
Howe also looked to the bench to find a way back into the game.
England under 20s captain Lewis Cook and Callum Wilson, who netted in the Cherries victory over Middlesbrough in the last round, were both brought on in place of Arter and Mousset respectively.
Chelsea also threw on Alvaro Morata as they searched for a second, killer goal.
The chances kept on coming for the south coast side, but they all followed a very similar pattern.
Defender Steve Cook found himself with space from 25 yards out but blazed his speculative effort over the crossbar and Ibe also shot wide from the edge of the area.
But then the match suddenly came to life. Dan Gosling looked to have sent the tie into extra time, sending a curling effort past Caballero after he was presented the ball by Ibe.
But just 75 seconds later, the Blues broke Cherries hearts. Hazard broke away straight from the restart to find Morata, who poked the ball past Boruc and sent the West London side into the semi-finals.
Bournemouth are back in Premier League action against league leaders Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Ethan Ampadu
Chelsea: Caballero, Rudiger, Cahill, Ampadu, Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Kenedy, Willian, Batshuayi, Pedro
Subs: Eduardo, Morata, Hazard, Bakayoko, Clarke-Salter, Sterling, Hudson-Odoi
Bournemouth: Boruc, Smith, Francis, S. Cook, Simpson, Fraser, Arter, Surman, Gosling, Defoe, Mousset
Subs: Ramsdale, Ake, Pugh, Wilson, L. Cook, Hyndman, Ibe
Referee: Lee Mason