Saturday 15 December 2018

Morata snatches instant winner as cavalry deliver for Conte

Chelsea 2 Bournemouth 1

Spanish striker Alvaro Morata (left) celebrates scoring Chelsea’s winning goal. Photo: Getty Images
Spanish striker Alvaro Morata (left) celebrates scoring Chelsea’s winning goal. Photo: Getty Images

Matt Law

Alvaro Morata stepped off the substitutes' bench to net a last-gasp winner and send Chelsea into a Carabao Cup semi-finals against Arsenal.

Morata got Chelsea out of jail, as he scored less than a minute after Dan Gosling had appeared to send the tie into extra-time.

The striker was set up by fellow substitute Eden Hazard after head coach Antonio Conte felt it necessary to send on the cavalry.

Willian had given Chelsea a first-half lead, but the Blues were below par and can count themselves fortunate to reach the last four.

Bournemouth's Simon Francis battles with with Chelsea's Kenedy. Photo: Eddie Keogh/Reuters
Bournemouth's Simon Francis battles with with Chelsea's Kenedy. Photo: Eddie Keogh/Reuters

Conte handed Ethan Ampadu his second senior start for the club, as the 17-year-old was given the responsibility of playing in the centre of Chelsea's back three.

Ampadu had previously appeared mostly in midfield for the Blues, but it is in defence where the club see his long-term future.

The teenager wiped out Bournemouth striker Jermain Defoe in just the second minute with a wild challenge, which earned him a yellow card.

Defoe tried to play on after receiving lengthy treatment, but went down again in the 15th minute.

Ampadu appeared to apologise to the 35-year-old before he was forced off, replaced by Jordan Ibe.

Bournemouth had fallen a goal behind two minutes before Defoe limped off, thanks to a wonderfully-worked goal scored by Willian.

Chelsea’s Ethan Ampadu clashes with Bournemouth's Lys Mousset. Photo: Paul Childs/Reuters
Chelsea’s Ethan Ampadu clashes with Bournemouth's Lys Mousset. Photo: Paul Childs/Reuters

Michy Batshuayi passed to Kenedy, who back-heeled the ball into the path of Cesc Fabregas.

The midfielder drove into the penalty area before finding Willian, who easily beat goalkeeper Artur Boruc.

Conte was concerned enough that he felt the need to call for Hazard and Tiemoue Bakayoko in the second half.

Hazard replaced Willian, who, apart from his goal, had been poor, and Bakayoko took over from Pedro.

The changes did not knock Bournemouth out of their stride, however, and Gosling was the next visiting player to worry the Chelsea defence, but his shot was too high.

It was evident that Conte did not want extra-time, as he sent the last of his big guns on with 17 minutes remaining.

Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas in action with Bournemouth's Andrew Surman at Stamford Bridge. Photo: Eddie Keogh/Reuters
Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas in action with Bournemouth's Andrew Surman at Stamford Bridge. Photo: Eddie Keogh/Reuters

Morata replaced Batshuayi, who had done little to suggest he deserves a greater chance in the Premier League.

Gosling looked to have secured extra-time with a 90th-minute curling shot that left Willy Caballero clutching at thin air, but Chelsea went straight up the other end and Hazard and Morata combined for the Spaniard to snatch the winner. (© The Daily Telegraph, London)

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