Goals; Chelsea- Hazard (84’)
A late Eden Hazard goal was enough for a laboured Chelsea side to overcome a resolute Bournemouth side, as the Blues progress to the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup.
Maurizio Sarri’s side now face Tottenham Hotspur over 2 legs in the Carabao Cup semi-finals. The first game will be played at Tottenham’s home ground for the tie, and the second leg will be played at Stamford Bridge.
The early signs for Bournemouth in this quarter final were worrying after a dominant start from the Londoners in the early parts of the first half. The Blues nearly took the lead in the seventh minute when Barkley’s curling effort from outside the box was tipped over the bar by Boruc.
However, after the first ten minutes of the first half, Bournemouth grew into the game and created a chance in the fifteenth minute from a counter attack, which led to Mousset feeding through Wilson, and the English strikers effort arrowed wide of Kepa’s far post from inside the Chelsea box.
Both teams had big chances before half-time to take the lead. Firstly, for Chelsea, Willian was played through on goal after a lovely through ball by Loftus Cheek, and his effort was saved by Boruc, and his follow up effort was flashed across the goal, but there were no Chelsea players to tap in to give the Blues a valuable lead at half-time.
Minutes later, down the other end- Mousset’s curling shot from the outside of the box was heading into the far corner, but Kepa saved brilliantly to prevent Bournemouth from taking a shock 0-1 lead going into the half time interval.
The second half started the same way as the first half did, with Chelsea being in total control, however they didn’t create many chances in the early parts of the second half. Loftus-Cheeks shot from outside the box grazed the outside of Boruc’s post.
The game then really went into standstill, with Chelsea playing at a relaxed pace, whereas Bournemouth looked very dangerous on the counter attack, but always lacked the final ball to cause Chelsea problems.
The game changed when Hazard came on, and in the 84th minute, Hazard’s deflected shot from a Pedro flick nestled in the back of the Bournemouth net past a helpless Boruc to give Chelsea the lead in the quarter final.
Bournemouth had a few half-chances to level the game at 1-1. Steve Cook had an attempt from a cleared long throw which was easily held by Kepa. And in the dying moments of the game, The Cherries, with keeper Boruc joining the attack, had a chance from a free-kick in the 94th minute but shots from Ryan Fraser and Wilson were blocked.
Chelsea also had multiple chances the extend the lead to 2-0 before the game ended, however Giroud and Emerson failed to convert their chances. Those missed chances didn’t matter though as the 1-0 scoreline was enough to send Sarri’s Blues into the Carabao Cup semi-final.
This result means that Bournemouth have still failed to reach the semi-finals of a major cup competition, as they have now fallen to Chelsea two times at the quarter-final stage; Today and last season in the Carabao Cup. Whereas Maurizio Sarri remains on track for a cup final in his first season in English Football.
Talking points from the game
- Hazard proves to be the difference again for the Blues, showing how vital he is to Sarri’s team.
- Ruben Loftus-Cheek was Chelsea’s best player before Hazard came on.
- Most of Chelsea’s fringe players fail to impress again.
- Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth were very resolute in defence but didn’t offer enough in attack to fully threaten and expose Chelsea’s defensive frailties.
- Chelsea play with too much of a relaxed tempo. They need to play with higher intensity in future games to kill games off earlier.
- Christensen suffered a hamstring injury late on in the game and had to be replaced by David Luiz.
- Brooks looked like suffering a minor injury in the second half, and that led to him getting withdrawn in the second half.
- Kepa completed 30 passes in this game and had a 100% pass accuracy. He also made three saves in this game
Match Statistics (Source- BBC Sport)
Possession (%) 73 27
Shots 25 11
Shots on Target 12 3
Corners 6 2
Fouls 6 8
Kepa- 7 (Made a world class save from Mousset in the first half to prevent Chelsea conceding a goal)
Azpilicueta- 7 (Made a vital block near the end of the game)
Rüdiger- 6 (Wasn’t tested enough by the Bournemouth attack)
Christensen- 7 (His best performance of the season so far. Looked much more confident. However, he wasn’t tested enough by Bournemouth’s attack)
Emerson- 6 (Good in the attacking sense when Hazard came on)
Kovacic- 5 (Doesn’t shoot enough when he gets into good positions)
Fàbregas- 4 (Too casual in his approach. Kept giving the ball away and was the weakest link in that midfield)
Barkley- 5 (Started the game well, but faded out of the game quickly and was rightly substituted early on in the second half)
Willian- 7 (Should have scored when he was put through one on one. But he was one of Chelsea’s best attackers in the first half)
Giroud- 6 (Didn’t impact the game enough in the first half but played better when Hazard came on. Should have scored 2 goals)
Ruben Loftus-Cheek- 8 (Chelsea’s best player for most of the game. Nearly had an assist in the first half after playing through Willian. Also hit the outside of the post in the second half)
Pedro- 7 (Got the assist for Hazard’s goal)
Hazard- 8 (Made the difference again for Chelsea by scoring the goal that takes them through to the semi-finals)
David Luiz- 5 (Wasn’t on long enough to impact the game)
Manager Rating: Maurizio Sarri- 8- picked his strongest teams and made subs early when he saw that it wasn’t really working out for his side. However, he completely left Ampadu out of the squad which was a bizarre decision.
Boruc- 9 (Made some excellent saves from Willian, Giroud and Emerson. Bournemouth’s man of the match)
Daniels- 7 (Solid in the back 3)
Simpson- 8 (Excellent performance from a youngster in the back 3)
Steve Cook- 7 (Solid in the back 3)
Ibe- 4 (Didn’t really do much during the game)
Stanislas- 5 (Average performance)
Brooks- 6 (very dangerous for Bournemouth on the counter-attack)
Aké- 6 (Solid in the makeshift midfield position)
Rico- 5 (Aimless crossing)
Mousset- 7 (Good link-up play with Wilson. Had a brilliant chance which was well saved by Kepa)
Wilson- 6 (Caused a few problems for the Chelsea defence, but didn’t have the great game that was expected of him)
Fraser- 6 (Had a few chances when he came on)
King- 5 (Didn’t really impact the game when he came on. Aimless pass out wide led to a counter attack headed by Pedro)
Defoe- 5 (Didn’t have enough time to impact the game. Was Brought on too late by Howe)
Manager Rating: Eddie Howe- 7- Set up his team to frustrate Chelsea which they did. However, he will be disappointed that Bournemouth didn’t create enough in the attacking phase of the game for the Cherries.
What’s next for both teams
Both teams are back in action on Saturday. Chelsea face Leicester at Stamford Bridge, and Bournemouth face Brighton at the Vitality Stadium. Both games will be played at 3pm (UK time) on Saturday 22nd December. These next League games for both teams on Saturday will be their last before Christmas day.
By Danyal Khan