Late cup exit for spirited Cherries at Chelsea
- Lee Mason
The Cherries exit the Carabao Cup at the quarter-final stage despite a spirited and at times dominant display at Chelsea.
The Blues were ahead early on when Willian topped off a swift attacking move with a simple finish.
Following the interval the Cherries piled on the pressure, repeatedly worrying the Chelsea defence and Dan Gosling's crisp last-minute strike seemed to be taking the tie to extra time.
However, moments later Chelsea claimed their place in the semi-finals as Alvaro Morata broke visiting hearts with a striker's finish, confirming result that was hard on the away side, who dominated for long spells in the capital.
It was a strong but much-changed line-up for the visiting Cherries. Jack Simpson, a goalscoring hero in the last round, came into the backline with Lys Mousset, Gosling, Ryan Fraser, Artur Boruc, Steve Cook and Harry Arter also coming into the starting 11.
Kicking-off with a three-man defence, Bournemouth threatened six minutes in when a flowing forward move saw the ball played into the path of Gosling 20 yards out, though the midfielder slashed his shot off target.
The hosts took the lead on 13 minutes after a fine team move, finished off by Willian.
In the build-up Kenedy deliciously back-heeled through for Cesc Fabregas, the World Cup winner drawing Boruc out before putting the ball on a plate for his Brazilian team-mate to tap home into an empty net.
Jermain Defoe was soon withdrawn and replaced by Jordon Ibe - the frontman had received an early whack from teenage Blues defender Ethan Ampadu that he was unable to shake off.
Hunting a quick leveller, a good passing combination led to an Adam Smith cross that Mousset was able to head down and on target, though it lacked the power to trouble Willy Caballero.
Willian hesitated on the ball in midfield and it allowed Ibe to burst through into the box, he sidestepped into space with Ampadu ahead of him but smashed his shot wide from eight yards.
Steve Cook made a fine block to deny Michy Batshuayi in the box but in terms of play it was even stevens approaching the break, with neither side able to craft a clear opening.
The second period opened with a surging Mousset run down the right, the French forward engineered space smartly for a cross, though the ball was headed behind and the visitors couldn't capitalise from the corner.
A second Bournemouth corner was soon inches out of reach of Simpson's head, the Cherries direct and getting their travelling fans behind them with their attacking intent.
Ibe shuffled past double defensive attention and cut back for Mousset but, the visiting pressure continuing to rise, the shot was blocked at the last.
Fraser sliced an effort wide from range, Eden Hazard soon coming on for the hosts, recognition that the Premier League champions were under the cosh.
Steve Cook connected an attacking header to a Cherries free-kick, Caballero easily saving, before a wonderful piece of skill from Mousset allowed space for Gosling to fire in, only for a poor connection to flounder the scoring chance.
Callum Wilson came on in place of the impressive Mousset with 20 minutes remaining, Lewis Cook also soon entering the fray with Eddie Howe's final change.
Steve Cook fired a yard over after picking up possession and striding forwards, Ibe soon whistling a shot inches wide as Bournemouth got closer in their dominant second-half search for a goal.
Wilson turned well in the box, forcing in a cross-shot that Caballero needed to get down onto quickly to avert an equaliser.
With 90 minutes ticking onto the Stamford Bridge clock the Cherries forced the goal their display had warranted.
A throw from Steve Cook was worked to Gosling and the midfielder's finish was excellent as it beat the 'keeper and found the corner.
The away celebrations were ecstatic but also short lived as from the kick-off the hosts suddenly reclaimed their lead.
Hazard's backheel was inspired and fellow substitute Morata was clinical in finishing under Boruc.
The pressure was piled on late in injury time, including Boruc coming up to attack a Bournemouth corner, but a second equaliser didn't come as the Cherries bowed out despite their strong performance.