Alvaro Morata scored an injury-time winner as Chelsea reached the Carabao Cup semi-finals with victory over Bournemouth.
Willian opened the scoring, capping a fine team move which resulted in Cesc Fabregas squaring for the Brazilian to tap home.
Bournemouth thought they had forced extra-time when Dan Gosling curled home from the edge of the box in the final minute after being picked out by Callum Wilson.
But substitute Morata sent Antonio Conte’s into the last four when he finished from Eden Hazard’s backheel.
Bristol City, Manchester City and Arsenal are the other three sides in the draw.
Chelsea fringe players win – but don’t shine
All seven Premier League teams in the quarter-finals made wholesale changes, an average of 8.3 per side. And Chelsea were no exception, making eight switches from Saturday’s 1-0 win over Southampton.
The Blues will be delighted to be in the semi-finals of a cup they have won five times, although an experienced team of fringe players did not do much to stake a claim for a Premier League spot. Teenager Ethan Ampadu, one of only two players in the team aged 21 or under, was impressive at centre-back, though.
Striker Michy Batshuayi and Kenedy were both involved in the goal for Willian, one of the few Premier League regulars in the team, and both recalled players missed chances.
Batshuayi was denied by a couple of last-ditch Steve Cook interceptions in the first half, with left wing-back Kenedy screwing a shot well wide after winning the ball from Adam Smith on the halfway line.
The Blues sat back in the second half, and invited pressure from Bournemouth.
Conte was obviously not too impressed with what he saw, and brought on Hazard, Tiemoue Bakayoko and then Morata in a bid to turn the tide.
And it was his star players who sent them into the last four. Moments after Bournemouth’s equaliser, Morata let a ball forward run to Hazard and moved towards the penalty spot, where he received the Belgian’s backheel before firing past Artur Boruc.
Bournemouth give it a good go – but can now focus on league
Perhaps if Bournemouth were comfortable in mid-table, they could have given the EFL Cup a real crack this season. But the Cherries sit just one point above the relegation zone – and manager Eddie Howe decided to rest players with the festive fixtures in mind.
Defoe was one of the four players to keep his place from the 4-0 defeat by Liverpool, but hobbled off following Ampadu’s mis-timed first-minute challenge.
The Cherries offered little in the first half – although Lyn Mousset headed at goalkeeper Willy Caballero and Jordon Ibe shot wide after Willian had mistakenly waited for a free-kick to be awarded.
They caused more problems after the break, with Mousset having a shot deflected for a corner, Lewis Cook firing over and Ibe firing wide after Wilson found him following a slick team move.
Bournemouth deserved their equaliser when Gosling scored from 20 yards – but their joy lasted precisely 75 seconds with Morata scoring a late, late winner.
Man of the match – Ethan Ampadu (Chelsea)
Match stats – four shots on target, three goals
- Chelsea have reached the EFL Cup semi-finals for the 13th time – they have progressed to the final on four the last five occasions they have reached this stage.
- There were just four shots on target in the entire match, with three of them being scored – the two in the 90th and 91st minute were the only shots on target in the second half.
- Willian has scored in both of his EFL Cup appearances this season, after failing to score in each of his first nine in the competition.
- Cesc Fabregas recorded his 52nd assist in all competitions for Chelsea, at least 20 more than any other player at the club since he signed in 2014-15.
Chelsea go to Everton in the Premier League on Saturday at 12:30 GMT, with Bournemouth away to unbeaten leaders Manchester City at 15:00.