MX23RW : Sunday, December 16 23:29:45

Live Commentary: Chelsea 2-1 Bournemouth - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live text coverage of Chelsea's 2-1 win over Bournemouth, as Alvaro Morata scored a dramatic late goal to send the Blues through.
Live Commentary: Chelsea 2-1 Bournemouth - as it happened
© SilverHub

Alvaro Morata scored in stoppage time, seconds after Bournemouth had levelled up the match, to earn Chelsea a 2-1 win in Wednesday's EFL Cup quarter-final tie.

For much of the contest Willian's early opener looked like being enough to send the Blues through, with the Brazilian converting from close range after being picked out by Cesc Fabregas.

Dan Gosling deservedly levelled up for the Cherries in the final minute of normal time, only for Alvaro Morata to score a winner 14 seconds after play resumed.

Relive how the 90 minutes of action unfolded with Sports Mole's live text coverage below.

6.45pmHello and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of the EFL Cup quarter-final tie between Chelsea and Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge. The Blues are seeking an eighth success in this competition, and a sixth since the start of the millennium, while the Cherries are competing at this last-eight stage for just the second time in their history.

6.47pmWe already have two of our semi-finalists, with Arsenal overcoming West Ham United in the most forgettable of London derbies, while Manchester City were pushed all the way before beating Leicester City on penalties. Manchester United face Bristol City in the other last-eight tie taking place this evening, and the draw is scheduled for shortly after full time in that one.


STARTING XI: Caballero; Rudiger, Ampadu, Cahill; Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Kenedy; Willian, Batshuayi, Pedro

SUBS: Eduardo, Clarke-Salter, Sterling, Bakayoko, Hazard, Hudson-Odoi, Morata

6.51pmStarting with a look at the home team, manager Antonio Conte has stuck to his word by giving Michy Batshuayi a chance to audition for a more regular starting role. The Belgium international has scored five goals in five EFL Cup games since joining the Blues, including a treble against Nottingham Forest in round three, while overall he has four goals to his name in 12 Champions League and Premier League outings this term - just three of those starts.

6.53pmConte appears to have gone with a 3-4-3 formation once again this evening, with versatile young defender Ethan Ampadu selected alongside Antonio Rudiger and Gary Cahill. Davide Zappacosta starts at right wing-back, meanwhile, and on the other flank - again, as expected - is young Brazilian Kenedy. Conte has used Kenedy sparingly this season; this just the third time he has been used since a high-profile incident that led to him being sent home from the club's pre-season tour.

6.55pmDanny Drinkwater comes into midfield to partner Cesc Fabregas, meanwhile, and there is a very talented front three of Pedro, Willian and the aforementioned Batshuayi. In terms of the last round, when overcoming Everton 2-1 here, Conte has made just a couple of tweaks to his starting lineup - Ampadu replacing Andreas Christensen and Fabregas taking over from the injured Charly Musonda.


STARTING XI: Boruc; A.Smith, Francis, S.Cook, Simpson; Surman, Arter, Gosling; Mousset, Fraser, Defoe

SUBS: Ramsdale, Ake, L.Cook, Hyndman, Ibe, Pugh, Wilson

6.59pmIn terms of the visitors, Eddie Howe has made seven changes on the back of the 4-0 defeat to Liverpool at the weekend. Artur Boruc, Jack Simpson, Steve Cook, Dan Gosling, Harry Arter, Ryan Fraser and Lys Mousset all come back into the fold, with rotation obviously being key at this point in the season. Boruc comes in for his fourth EFL Cup start of the season in goal, taking over from Asmir Begovic who is given the night off.

7.01pmThis will essentially be a 4-5-1 hybrid fielded by Howe, with Fraser and Mousset helping out Jermain Defoe up top. Gosling, Surman and Arter will have to work overtime in the engine room, particularly when up against Drinkwater and Fabregas who will look to start attacks from deep. A big night for 20-year-old defender Jack Simpson, meanwhile, who will start at full-back in direct competition with Willian.

7.03pmHowe's hand was forced somewhat before the game with news that Joshua King and Charlie Daniels are facing a spell on the sidelines. Callum Wilson, who has scored in three of his last four EFL Cup tie for Bournemouth stretching back to August 2014, is only among the subs for this evening's trip to West London. Should the Cherries be chasing the game we will surely see Wilson at some point, though, and Jordon Ibe is another attacking option.

7.05pmEthan Ampadu comes in for a second Chelsea start this evening and will look to push on from where he left off last time out. The Wales international, who is comfortable carrying the ball forward into midfield, is one of a number of changes made by Antonio Conte tonight following the weekend win over Southampton. A total of seven alterations made by Bournemouth, who have Jermain Defoe in attack.

Ethan Ampadu in action during the EFL Cup game between Chelsea and Nottingham Forest on September 20, 2017© SilverHub

7.07pmChelsea still on course for an eighth EFL Cup success, then, having come through two home ties already to reach this stage. Championship side Nottingham Forest offered little competition, in truth, as they went down 5-1 to the Blues' second-string side in September, before Everton left here with a 2-1 defeat a little over a month ago - Antonio Rudiger, in the starting XI tonight, among those on the scoresheet.

7.09pmThe win over Forest was all about Batshuayi, who registered three goals to leave him with that tally of five in five. Conte has told the striker to prove that he deserves to start more regularly over Alvaro Morata, although that is only half the challenge now. Conte appears to favour a false nine system at the moment, giving Eden Hazard plenty of licence to cause trouble through the middle.

7.10pmConte may well have bumped the EFL Cup up slightly in his list of priorities this term, as his side have next to no hope of retaining their Premier League title. A slow start to their defence, when losing three and drawing one of their first eight games, has left the Blues 14 points off pacesetters Manchester City and effectively in a race for second place. They will not stop fighting, of course, but it does appear a formality for the Citizens at this point.

7.12pmYet for all the talk of doom and gloom, not helped by defeat away to West Ham United recently, Chelsea are not doing too badly in the Premier League. Not since going down to Crystal Palace in mid-October, at least, as they have dropped points in just two matches since then - one of those being away to Liverpool; the other that loss to West Ham - and are within three points of second-place Manchester United.

7.14pmAs Cesar Azpilicueta pointed out earlier this week, though, the gap on Man City have actually grown by five points over the last couple of months despite some fairly consistent form from the Blues. Second place seems like a good target to aim for at this point, especially with a clutch of teams right behind and looking to make up ground in the race for a Champions League spot.

7.16pmIt is very difficult to ascertain exactly what the mood is like around Stamford Bridge at the moment, with the Blues picking up a decent number of points and progressing in Europe, yet still looking short of the levels set at this stage 12 months ago. The draw against Atletico Madrid here earlier this month did not help matters, ensuring that the English champions will face Barcelona in the last 16 of the Champions League.

7.18pmOf course, it has to be remembered that Conte is balancing domestic matters with European football this season, unlike a year ago when storming their way to the title with a record number of wins. Progressing further in the Champions League will be a priority for the Italian, who ended his maiden season in English football with a Premier League crown to his name. The EFL Cup and FA Cup will be nice added bonuses.

7.21pmSpeaking of the FA Cup, Chelsea have a favourable third-round draw as they head to Championship side Norwich City next month. This Bournemouth tie was also near enough as good as they could have hoped for - it is arguable that Man United, who travel to a Bristol City high on confidence this evening, have a tougher fixture. Conte's XI certainly suggests that he is not prepared to sacrifice this competition, either.

7.23pmConte does now have the advantage of bringing in Morata or instead going with no recognised striker, while Batshuayi will also be hoping to get some further league starts under his belt over the festive period. Rotation really is key at this point in the season, with four games to come between now and New Year's Eve and a possible 11 in the next month or so should they progress tonight.

7.25pmDID YOU KNOW? Chelsea have won seven of their last eight EFL Cup home games, scoring 24 goals in the process. The Blues have been eliminated from their previous three quarter-final appearances, however, and they failed to even make it this far last term as West Ham United knocked them out in the round prior.

Marcos Alonso celebrates scoring with Cesar Azpilicueta and Tiemoue Bakayoko during the Premier League game between Chelsea and Southampton on December 16, 2017© Offside

7.27pmHowe spoke in the week about wanting to create history tonight, knowing that Bournemouth have never previously made it through to the semi-finals of a major cup competition. The Cherries are hardly flying ahead of this fixture, however, as they are languishing down in 16th place in the Premier League after failing to win any of their last six top-flight outings.

7.29pmBournemouth are in the midst of a tough run, to say the least, as they suffered defeat away to Man United and home to Liverpool, and now face the prospect of back-to-back away games at Chelsea and Man City. Tonight is a little less stressful, however, with this being in the cup, and this competition has certainly provided a welcome respite as far as the Cherries are concerned throughout the season.

7.31pmBirmingham City and Brighton & Hove Albion were beaten in the early rounds, before overcoming Middlesbrough last time out. Howe is in a bit of an awkward position at the moment, though, as he must simply prioritise his side's fight for Premier League survival, while at the same time knowing just how important a cup run is to supporters. Having made it this far - just the second time they have done so, remember - Howe must surely have been tempted to name his first-choice XI.

7.33pmBournemouth were a little unfortunate not to come away from Old Trafford with a share of the spoils last week, though that was largely due to how bad Man United looked on the night, fresh on the back of having their confidence zapped by Man City. The Liverpool match at the weekend was a little more one-sided, with the Reds being given the chance to run riot at the Vitality Stadium en route to a 4-0 win.

7.35pmHowe was criticised by Graeme Souness, now a season-ticket holder at the Vitality Stadium, after shipping four goals to Liverpool. Souness felt that the Cherries leave themselves too open against the bigger sides and need to adopt a more reserved approach, but Howe was having none of it when asked to respond in the week. The young English coach would rather stick to his guns, so expect more of the same tonight.

7.37pmNo win in six is a concern for Howe whichever way he looks at it, particularly with Man City away up next in the league. There is a very good chance that the Cherries could find themselves in the bottom three come Boxing Day when they play host to a revived West Ham United. Stoke are currently level on points in 17th; Newcastle and West Brom, in 18th and 19th respectively, are one and two points worse off. It really is incredibly tight at the foot of the division.

7.39pmDID YOU KNOW? This is just the second time these two sides have met in the EFL Cup, with Chelsea prevailing when they last faced off in the 1994-95 campaign. Bournemouth have won only one of their nine meetings with the Blues in all competitions, in fact, though that did come at Stamford Bridge a little over two years ago.

7.41pmWith kickoff in West London now less than five minutes away, let us check out some pre-match thoughts from both camps.

Antonio Conte: "Every competition is serious, our task is to try to win the game, to reach the semi-final. At the same time, it is right in this competition to give the opportunity to the players who are not playing regularly. Bournemouth are a really good team and we must be prepared to fight."

Eddie Howe: "We need to make sure we leave Stamford Bridge feeling good about ourselves again and having given a good account. This year, the top teams have been absolutely ruthless. Of course there are going to be upsets, but more consistently they have put their dominance together against the lesser sides."

7.43pmBournemouth have failed to win in 15 previous away League Cup ties against top-flight opposition during normal or extra time. They did prevail on penalties against Blackburn Rovers in September 2004, though, when a certain Eddie Howe played the full 120 minutes and also converted the winning penalty in the shootout. As mentioned, this is their second appearance in the quarter-finals - the last time they reached this stage they lost 3-1 to Liverpool in 2015.

Eddie Howe greets Antonio Conte ahead of the Premier League game between Bournemouth and Chelsea on October 28, 2017© SilverHub

1 minKICKOFF! We are up and running at Stamford Bridge, where Bournemouth - sporting their traditional home strip tonight - will kick from left to right in the first half. Home side Chelsea expected to see plenty of the ball tonight.

3 minYELLOW CARD! Ampadu mistimes his challenge quite badly and catches Defoe. The English striker remains down and will require treatment. Referee Lee Mason decides to book Ethan Ampadu - a little harsh, so early in the contest.

5 minFollowing some on-field treatment, Defoe seems OK to continue for the time being. Kenedy charges down the left and gets on the end of a nice pass, but the Chelsea attack finally ends with Artur Boruc collecting the ball once it entered the box.

7 minSHOT! Just about half a chance for Dan Gosling, who put his foot through the ball 20 yards from goal but got his contact all wrong, failing to test Wilfredo Caballero in the end. That is the first shot of any note at either end of the field.

9 minNice skill from Rudiger to keep the Chelsea momentum going. Cahill and Rudiger moving high up the field in the early stages, leaving Ampadu as the only defender at times. Bournemouth, so far, are standing strong to the challenge.

11 minPlenty of bodies down the left so Pedro pings the ball down the opposite flank to Zappacosta. Chelsea, as expected, seeing far more of the ball so far but they have been unable to create any sort of shooting chance. Still plenty of time to go.


14 minThey have remained incredibly patient so far, probing away and finally creating a chance for Willian to make the most of. Kenedy made the goal by back-heeling it through for Fabregas once spotted by Batshuayi, and the Spaniard unselfishly squared for Willian to convert from close range.

16 minAn impressive team goal as far as the hosts are concerned, and a major blow for Howe's plans. Bournemouth did not look under too much threat early on, but now that they have conceded they will have to change their gameplan a little.

18 minBOURNEMOUTH SUB! Defoe never truly recovered from the injury picked up a minute or so into the match. Not only will the Englishman sit out the remainder of this one, with Jordon Ibe now on to replace him, he may also miss the festive period should it be half-serious.

20 minA slight reshuffle for Bournemouth after losing Defoe and they are enjoying their best spell of the match at the moment. Arter with a chested pass just outside the box, which breaks loose and is hooked well clear by goalscorer Willian.

22 minAmpadu is clearly not worried about the early yellow he picked up, as he goes right through Smith inside the box. The Wales international timed the tackle to perfection, though, and received a strong applause from the home supporters.

24 minMore than a quarter of the match played and, while they have not exactly created a great deal, Chelsea will argue that they are good value for this slender lead. Bournemouth have started attacking a little more since going behind and it is now evenly matched.

26 minSAVE! Ibe snatches the ball off Willian - who pulled up in the process - and gets a shot away, which ended in the stands. Mousset came closer prior to that, heading a cross into the ground and into the hands of Caballero.

28 minQuite a bizarre one, that, as Willian just completely stopped once Ibe took the ball off him. The Brazilian walking around the pitch a little gingerly at the moment, but he has not signalled to be taken off so it must be one he can run off.

30 minA cross into the box is not quite latched on to by Batshuayi, who we have not seen a great deal of so far. Chelsea been a little underwhelming since edging ahead, with the Cherries arguably looking the better side over the last 15 minutes.

32 minBLOCK! Vital block by Cook to get in the way of Batshuayi's close-range shot. Francis then blocked a second shot and Cahill thumped it over the crossbar from the edge of the box. Chelsea's best moment since Willian's opener.

34 minFabregas very unlucky with his searching pass for Batshuayi, which was headed clear by Francis at full stretch. The visitors then put an attack together and, after the ball bounced around in the box, Ampadu was there to clear it away.

36 minCertainly a far more balanced to the game compared to the opening 15 minutes, when Chelsea were given the chance to probe away under little pressure. Bournemouth now putting attacks together and asking questions of the Blues' backline.

38 minThe momentum is with the Cherries for the time being, as they look to level things up before the interval. Ironically, they could now down with Defoe - injured early on - on the field making some runs in behind the Chelsea backline.

40 minYELLOW CARD! Kenedy does well to win the ball but fails to find the target with his shot. Cesc Fabregas joins teammate Ethan Ampadu in the referee's book following his challenge. Half time now just five minutes away here.

42 minOne shot on goal apiece as we close in on half time - the difference being that Willian's effort from close range ended in the back of the net, while Mousset's was easily saved by Caballero. This quarter-final tie is far from over at this stage.

44 minBournemouth playing some nice stuff in the final third, without being able to find that killer pass - not easy when you do not have your first, second or third-choice striker on the field! We may well see Callum Wilson in the second half.


8.34pmReferee Lee Mason blows his whistle for half time, meaning that the Premier League champions have one foot in the semi-finals. Willian with the only goal of the opening 45 minutes, finishing off a nicely worked team move early on.

8.37pmThe Cherries, aiming to make it through to their first semi-final of a major competition, allowed their opponents to enjoy plenty of the ball in the first half. A wayward Dan Gosling shot aside early on, it was backs-to-the-wall stuff and they were behind with 13 minutes played in West London.

8.40pmHaving been made to remain patient in search of an opener, Kenedy injected a bit of quality on his third start of the season by back-heeling the ball into the path of Cesc Fabregas, who in turn picked out Willian for a simple finish. Things got worse for the visitors soon after, as Jermain Defoe failed to shake off an injury picked up 115 seconds into the match and was replaced by Jordon Ibe.

8.43pmThe replacement attacker wasted Bournemouth's first real chance of the game, shanking the ball into the stands when pouncing on a Willian error, while Lys Mousset could only pick out the hands of Wilfredo Caballero with his downward header. Chelsea continued to see more of the ball, coming close to a second when Gary Cahill belted the ball over the crossbar after Steve Cook and Simon Francis put their bodies in the way to block a couple of attempts.


CHELSEA SUBS: Eduardo, Clarke-Salter, Sterling, Bakayoko, Hazard, Hudson-Odoi, Morata

BOURNEMOUTH SUBS: Ramsdale, Ake, L.Cook, Hyndman, Pugh, Wilson

Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson celebrates after scoring his side's fifth goal in their 6-1 victory over Hull City at the Vitality Stadium on October 15, 2016© SilverHub

46 minRESTART! Chelsea get us back under way at Stamford Bridge in this EFL Cup quarter-final tie. No changes made at the interval, though Bournemouth have already brought on Jordon Ibe for injured striker Jermain Defoe.

48 minAmpadu heads the ball behind to concede a corner, which Caballero is able to collect. Rudiger then looked for an angled pass over the top, taking on the role usually associated with Azpilicueta, but it was well overhit.

50 minThe Cherries enjoying a fair bit of the ball since the restart and they are causing some panic in the Chelsea defence. Another corner was swung into the centre, which Simpson was desperate to get on the end of. In the end he only collided with Kenedy.

52 minChelsea unable to really get any momentum going pretty much ever since opening the scoring. Bournemouth really are dominating at the moment, with Fraser's cross being cleared away to give the hosts a chance to counter.

54 minBournemouth with 62% of the ball in the 10 minutes since the restart, emphasising just how dominant they have been. Still unable to create chances, but they are looking a lot livelier and have just won yet another corner kick.

56 minHowe's men have failed to score in nine of their 21 games this term but, with more than half an hour to go here, they do look as though they will find a way through at this rate. Surprised that Conte has not changed things around slightly.

58 minIbe gets away from Fabregas and smashes the ball towards goal but Ampadu, who is having a stormer, gets in the way around 17 yards from goal. Zappacosta collides with Fraser and instantly signals to the bench while clutching his ribs.

60 minCHELSEA SUBS! Conte has clearly seen enough, as he has turned to Hazard and Bakayoko for Willian and Pedro. Zappacosta is seemingly OK to continue, because there are no other players out warming-up at the moment.

62 minCHANCE! Chelsea fans starting to grow frustrated now. Ibe somehow got away from his man and picked out Mousset, who could not direct his shot on target. Instead its a corner, which works its way to Fraser to blast wide.

64 minYELLOW CARD! Zappacosta with a nasty challenge on Fraser, perhaps letting frustration get the better of him. Bournemouth really do deserve to be level here, with Chelsea yet to get in the final third of the Cherries' half since the restart.

66 minSHOT! Yet another half-chance goes begging for the visitors, with Gosling horribly skewing his shot high and wide from inside the box. Chelsea just need to get their foot on the ball or else this one is going to extra time.

68 minDespite being second best, Chelsea are now just 22 minutes away from joining Arsenal and Man City in the last four. Bristol City may be in the hat, too, as they lead Man United 1-0 at Ashton Gate in tonight's other quarter-final fixture.

70 minConte has one more change available to use - two if it goes to extra time - but Morata is the only remaining big hitter left to bring on. Howe has Wilson among his back-up options - surely time to bring him on, with 20 minutes to go.

72 minKenedy with some lovely trickery, only for his run to be halted by Adam Smith. Not a great deal in it, and Lee Mason clearly felt likewise as he waved away the penalty appeals. Morata is being readied to come on by Conte.

74 minSUBS! Morata, the last of the big hitters, is brought on for the final 16 minutes or so. Howe also makes his second and third changes of the evening, with Wilson and Lewis Cook on for Mousset and Arter. In between that, Surman was cautioned.

76 minYELLOW CARD! Simon Francis the latest player to be booked for halting Kenedy, with the game being broken up all too regularly now. Bournemouth have lost their momentum, but there is still enough time for them to snatch a goal.

78 minCook very nearly in behind, but Fabregas read the danger well and was able to pass his way out of danger. Chelsea, like Arsenal and Man City last night, not exactly doing this in style but they will not exactly care if they can hold on.

80 minCLOSE! Hazard with some good footwork before laying it off for Fabregas, who was unable to get the ball through a sea of bodies. Bournemouth counter and Ibe sends the ball narrowly wide after a smart touch from Wilson.

82 minSAVE! Bournemouth very much knocking on the door for a leveller, as Wilson turns and gets away the shot from a tight angle. Caballero worked for near enough the first time tonight to help keep the ball out of the goal.

84 minYELLOW CARD! Adam Smith is the third Bournemouth defender to be cautioned in the last nine minutes. Howe will be disappointed if his men do not find a leveller, having seen his side outplay Chelsea at times in the second 45 minutes.

86 minGood running from Fraser down the left, only for his cross to - again - be cut out by Zappacosta for a corner. Bringing on Hazard and Morata has made very little difference for the Blues, who will be happy to hear the full-time whistle.

88 minJust a constant onslaught from the visitors as we enter the final two minutes. Chelsea fans reluctant to leave, knowing that we may still see a period of extra time. Cook brings down Ampadu in the hosts' box to concede a free kick.


90+1 minTo say this goal had been coming is an understatement. Bournemouth, in the final minute of normal time, find a deserved leveller through Dan Gosling's beauty of a strike. Caballero with little chance of keeping out the shot from the edge of the box.


90+3 minAbsolutely incredible! This is near enough the first sight of goal Chelsea have had all half, surely sending them through to the semi-finals. Straight from kickoff Hazard run into space and laid it off for Morata, who had the simple task of beating Boruc.


9.48pmAnd breathe! Just fourteen seconds between the restart and Chelsea scoring that all important third goal of the night through Alvaro Morata. The Blues are into the last four of the EFL Cup, although they have to thank their lucky stars that they got the job done in normal time.

9.50pmThat concludes Sports Mole's live text coverage of events from Stamford Bridge. An on-the-whistle report can be viewed right here, while updates from the other quarter-final tie between Bristol City and Manchester United - now into the final stages - can be followed here. Enjoy!

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Michy Batshuayi nabs the second during the EFL Cup game between Chelsea and Nottingham Forest on September 20, 2017
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