Sports

Chelsea through to League Cup semis

Chelsea through to League Cup semis
Chelsea’s Eden Hazard broke the deadlock in the 84th minute of the match with a left-footed strike in the penalty area.
LONDON, Dec 20 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 12/20/2018 11:36:56 AM IST

An 84th-minute Eden Hazard goal, that spun into the net after a heavy deflection, earned Chelsea a place in the League Cup semi-finals after a 1-0 win over Bournemouth in an entertaining tie on Wednesday.

Chelsea had buzzed round the Bournemouth goal for much of the game but it was not until substitute Hazard came on with half an hour to go that they looked creative and decisive enough to break through.

Chelsea had piled on the pressure from the start and there were good chances for Olivier Giroud, Ross Barkley, who forced a diving save from Artur Boruc and Willian, who surged forward from the halfway line after 30 minutes only for Boruc to block his rising shot.

Bournemouth looked dangerous on the break and Callum Wilson ran through on goal in the 17th minute but pulled his shot wide.

A scampering run from Jordon Ibe opened up the Chelsea defence 20 minutes later and Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga had to fly to his left to keep out Lys Mousset’s curling shot.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek, playing in a forward role, looked certain to break the deadlock early in the second half after rounding two players but his shot flew inches past Boruc’s post.

Chelsea brought on first Pedro then Hazard and it was a combination of the Spaniard and Belgium’s Hazard that made the goal.

It was the first home game since alleged racist taunts against Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling prompted an outcry and Chelsea banned four fans.

Chelsea Chairman Bruce Buck took a page in the programme to condemn racism and the atmosphere in the ground was lively but appeared good humoured with no added security in evidence.

Spurs beat Arsenal 2-0

Dele Alli scored a brilliant chip as Tottenham gained vengeance for their Premier League defeat at Arsenal earlier this month by claiming a 2-0 EFL Cup quarter-final win at Emirates Stadium.

Mauricio Pochettino’s team went down 4-2 when the sides met in a fiery north London derby on December 2, but Alli’s impudent finish in the 59th minute added to Son Heung-min’s opener to send Spurs into the final four for the first time since 2014-15.

Unai Emery may step up his interest in defensive reinforcements after his makeshift backline was twice punished by clinical Tottenham counter-attacks in their second straight defeat. Henrikh Mkhitaryan was unable to beat Paulo Gazzaniga from 12 yards when one on one and Son punished him in the 20th minute, curling past Petr Cech after Granit Xhaka – deployed at centre-back – played him onside.

Moussa Sissoko contrived to blaze over at the end of a rapid Tottenham break that followed Lucas Moura’s tackle on Mkhitaryan, but Gazzaniga kept the visitors ahead by tipping Aaron Ramsey’s shot against the upright two minutes before the break on the Welshman’s 350th Arsenal appearance.

Emery switched to a back three with the introduction of Laurent Koscielny at half-time but the centre-back played Alli onside and the 22-year-old poked a delightful finish past a stunned Cech.

Alexandre Lacazette hit the post soon after replacing Alex Iwobi, while Aubameyang saw a cross from the left hit the bar after Alli appeared to be struck by a bottle thrown from the crowd. Arsenal were unable to find a way back into the game, with Gazzaniga not having to make another save before the final whistle.


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