Chelsea 1-0 Bournemouth: Eddie Howe's side beaten - Now to revenge against Tottenham.

Eden Hazard came off the bench to strike late in the game to beat a plucky and well drilled Bournemouth side last night. Victory moves us...

Eden Hazard came off the bench to strike late in the game to beat a plucky and well drilled Bournemouth side last night. Victory moves us into the Carabao Cup semi-final and a chance for revenge against Tottenham. 

It has to be said that Chelsea were made to work hard for the win last night as Eddie Howe (who remains one of the most underrated managers in our game) always gets the best from his players who all identify with his methods. I've already said it but they are so well drilled, they all work hard for him and for each other knowing the role they each play within their tactical shape. Once again and for the second time this season at Stamford Bridge, they came here to play when they had the opportunity and created some good chances to score but to be denied by tackles in the box or a lack of potency. They continue to make excellent progress under Howe and I hope it continues.

As for Chelsea, we played well here apart from the odd moment when we looked a little shaky at the back. Andreas Christensen (who picked up what looked like a pulled hamstring and had to be replaced by David Luiz late on) and Emerson came into our back four and did well enough. Cesc Fabregas came into the side in the Jorginho role and did well with the ball at his feet, making the most tackles I have ever seen from him in a Chelsea shirt. Ross Barkley did OK but was replaced later in the game by Eden Hazard, whereas Mateo Kovacic was outstanding and my man-of-the-match. He was brilliant with the ball, excellent without it and looks like he is really beginning to find his feet now.

Up top Willian played well until he was taken off and replaced by Pedro, Ruben Loftus-Cheek did OK starting wide left but played better when he came into the middle of midfield, and Olivier Giroud had a good game being denied on more than one occasion by Boruc in goal.

Chelsea started on the front foot and I am pleased to say that it generally lasted throughout the game but for one or two dodgy moments as Bournemouth counter-attacked us. At the end, as they pressed us looking for an equaliser it turned into chaos and a few hearts in mouths moments but we stood firm and saw out the win.

We had numerous chances but to be denied by the outstanding Boruc or Nathan Ake who impressed on the night winning tackles and possession away from us. Willian, Giroud and Emerson were all denied by Boruc from point blank range when it looked easier to score but again, credit to Bournemouth, they held their defensive line, had plenty of bodies back in and around our possession to make it really difficult for us to get that goal to settle everything down.

With around 25 minutes to go Eden Hazard came on and as he normally does, changed the game. He was busy constantly moving around in different areas, sometimes dropping deep, sometimes in behind and gave Bournemouth real problems. The magical Belgian finally got the goal we needed late on after some interplay down our left hand side saw Pedro waltz into the box and flick the ball backwards. Hazard, who had drifted from out wide left had come inside and managed to seize the opportunity to strike the ball towards goal taking a massive deflection away from Boruc and into the opposite corner of the net to make it 1-0 and win the game.

It was tough on Bournemouth on the night but on clear-cut chances created and the fact we had dominated the game it was well deserved and now sees us face Tottenham in the semi-final over two legs with the first away at Wembley the week beginning Jan 7th with the return leg at Stamford Bridge two weeks later. It gives Maurizio Sarri and the Chelsea players an opportunity for revenge after what happened a couple of weeks ago!

Onwards and upwards!

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