Ashton Gate wasn’t the only place producing the late drama last night as Chelsea needed their own injury time goal to win 2-1 against a stubborn Bournemouth side, to book their place in the Semi-finals against Arsenal in the new year.
Summer signing Alvaro Morata scoring his 11th goal of the season, late in the game proved the difference and allowing Chelsea to avoid what Manager Antonio Conte described as a “Dangerous period of extra time”.
As promised Conte did make several changes, giving his fridge player the chance to impress ahead of a busy Festive Schedule and it didn’t take Chelsea long to open the scoring, Willian being on the end of some good team work which allowed Cesc Fabergas to gift the Brazilian an easy tap in.
Despite the changes it was still an experienced Chelsea side, but they couldn’t seem to shake a plucky Bournemouth team that kept themselves in the game with some fine last-minute tackles and the odd excursion towards the Chelsea goal.
With a 1-0 lead at the break, the home side seemed to sit back on that goal inviting Bournemouth to apply pressure at will and this is when Conte decided to make the chances that would eventually see them through bringing on Eden Hazard, Morata and Tiemoue Bakayoko.
From then the game started to swing back into Chelsea’s favour, until the final minute of normal time when Bournemouth equalised through Dan Gosling, who curled home a cracking effort from the edge of the box to stun the home fans and but the prospect of extra time into play!
But the Chelsea players had other ideas and after only 75 seconds, a cheeky back heel from Eden Hazard found Morata who restored Chelsea’s lead and ensured their name would be in the hat for the next round.