Zola hails match-winner Eden Hazard
Chelsea progressed to the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup with a 1-0n victory over Bournemouth on Wednesday night, thanks to a late goal from Eden Hazard. The game looked like it was heading towards a penalty shootout but Hazard came off the bench to set up a semi-final clash with Tottenham Hotspur next month.
Bournemouth, who were aiming for a semi-final berth for the first time in their history, had some glorious chances to seal the game. Callum Wilson shot just wide and Lys Mousset’s effort was kept out by Kepa Arrizabalaga.
However, it was the Belgian maestro who came to the Blues’ rescue not for the first time this season. He had a couple of close call after coming on and combined with Pedro to send Maurizio Sarri’s side through to the last four.
Assistant manager Gianfranco Zola showered his praise on the Belgian.
Zola said: “The difference was the changes we made. When Pedro and Eden came on, they gave us an extra gear.
“Eden is the type of player who can make a big difference when he comes on, even for 20 minutes.
“He’s certainly one of the players who has given this club a lot of satisfaction. He is 27, and hopefully, he will stay long with us and become even bigger.”
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe also acknowledged the fact that the substitution of Hazard turned the game on its head.
Howe said: “We put in a disciplined defensive display, counter-attacked well and we used the ball well. The result could’ve been different and I’m so disappointed for those players who gave their all out on the pitch.
“At 0-0 we looked more than capable and had our moments, we just couldn’t get that one moment to score.
“Hazard always has a habit of scoring against us, he’s a quality player who made the difference.
“We knew we were going to be tested but when you go against the best that’s the best way to judge yourselves.”