Date: 21st December 2017 at 6:55am
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Chelsea edged into the semi-finals of the EL Cup, beating Bournemouth with an injury-time winner but, perhaps, could count themselves a little lucky to win against a Bournemouth side that bossed the second-half.

As expected, Antonio Conte shuffled his squad giving several fringe members of the squad a chance to shine, there was also a place in the heart of the defence for the 17-year-old Welshman, Nathan Ampadu.

Chelsea got off to the perfect start when, in the thirteenth minute, Willian was given the easiest of opportunities to score when a deft back-heel allowed Fabregas the time and room to play a square ball across the six-yard line for Willian to smash home.

The goal should have been the signal for Chelsea to ease through into the next round, but it wasn`t to be. Apart from a couple of half-chances Chelsea looked lacklustre for the remainder of the first-half, allowing Bournemouth to creep back into the game.

Coming out for the second-half, it was hoped that a swift half-time lecture from Conte might have seen the side start better, but it was Bournemouth that were to continue to force the action with Chelsea sitting far too deep and inviting Bournemouth to come forward.

It was a ploy that could have resulted in Chelsea exiting the competition as Bournemouth created several half-chances that saw some woeful finishing.

Just past the hour mark Conte had seen enough and made two changes, binging on Hazard and Bakayoko, but still Bournemouth looked the more likely team to score. Seeking the safety a second goal would bring, Conte introduced Morata.

But, as we entered the last minute of the game, Bournemouth got their reward for an enterprising display when Gosling`s low shot hit the back of the net and sent the travelling support wild.

The prospect of extra-time and a defeat to a side that were on top when it came to the play was looking a real possibility.

However, just a minute after Bournemouth had equalised, Hazard`s exquisite skills presented Morata with a chance and the Spaniard wasn`t going to waste it, clipping the ball past the advancing Boruc.

The goal gave Chelsea their place in the semi-finals but it`s fair to say they made heavy weather of a tie they were expected to win.

The draw later paired Chelsea with Arsenal in an all-London two-legged semi-final.

 
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