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Match-winner Morata & unlikely Luiz replacement Ampadu provide Chelsea with timely boost

9:02 am AEDT 21/12/17
Ethan Ampadu Chelsea
The Spanish striker netted the late winner against Bournemouth but the Blues' teenage sensation turned in another hugely encouraging display

lvaro Morata and Eden Hazard stepped up when Chelsea needed them most, combining for a sublime late winner just seconds after it appeared that Dan Gosling had earned Bournemouth extra-time in dramatic League Cup tie at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.

It was a brief but decisive contribution from Spain international Morata, who had come on in the 72nd minute for the disappointing Michy Batshuayi.

Morata's dummy allowed the ball to find its way to Hazard, who took a touch before producing an audacious backheel to put his fellow foward in on goal. 

Morata prodded home to send the home fans wild and leave Bournemouth heartbroken. Indeed, there had only been 75 seconds between the winner and Gosling's equaliser. 

Given the late nature of the goal, and the fact that Morata had been struggling of late, the former Real Madrid man celebrated enthusiastically but he was booked for doing so and will now miss this weekend's Premier League clash with Everton through suspension.

In light of Batshuayi's latest failure to convince Antonio Conte of his worth, that will once again leave Chelsea without a prolific No.9 against the Toffees.

Still, there was one other big positive to come out of the quarter-final win over Bournemouth, with Ethan Ampadu having once again underlined his colossal potential with an impressive display. 

Ampadu filled the void left by the injured David Luiz and did so wonderfully well. The 17-year-old only finished school in the summer before then moving to Stamford Bridge from Exeter City and the clubs have actually yet to agree a fee for the prodigy. 

Whatever the eventual price, though, Ampadu will be worth it. The childhood Chelsea fan is not only the first player born in the 2000s to wear the shirt, he is also the first youngster to break into the side under Conte.

His evening actually started poorly, with Ampadu picking up a booking after just 80 seconds of player for a mistimed sliding challenge that forced veteran Bournemouth striker Jermaine Defoe from the field.

However, despite having the threat of a red card hanging over him for the remainder of the game, he turned in a composed, commanding display, which was made all the more impressive by the fact that this was just his second start for Chelsea.

He was undoubtedly aided by defensive duo Gary Cahill and Antonio Rudiger, who regularly advised him of the best positions to take up at the back.

Of course, that level of understanding will come with experience but his comfort on the ball and physicality really stood out against tough opposition in Bournemouth. 

There will be some consternation that he has jumped ahead of so many academy graduates at Chelsea but Conte is only interested in players he feels capable of doing a job for him.

Ampadu is clearly one such player. Indeed, on the evidence of Wednesday night, Conte may have even found the ideal replacement for the Luiz, given that Ampadu is just as adept as playing as a defensive midfielder.

All of a sudden, the prospect of the Brazilian leaving in January doesn't seem like such an issue.