Chelsea boss Antonio Conte admitted the importance of not being taken to extra time in their 2-1 League Cup win over Bournemouth.
Alvaro Morata’s stoppage-time strike sent the Blues into the Carabao Cup semi-finals.
Willian had given Chelsea a 13th-minute lead but the Blues invited pressure and Dan Gosling equalised in the 90th minute.
Chelsea attacked from the restart and Eden Hazard back-heeled into the path of fellow substitute Morata, who tucked in to send the Blues through.
The much-changed home side struggled to assert themselves against the Cherries but eventually prevailed, extending the visitors’ winless run to seven games ahead of Saturday’s trip to runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City.
“Most important thing is we’re in the semi-finals. Last year we lost in the second round,” Conte told the media after the game.
“It’s great for us. We reached the semi-finals with a lot of rotation. Against Nottingham Forest I made a lot of rotation.
“I’ve had a good response from my players and I hope to continue in this way.”
The Italian also praised his side for avoiding extra time ahead of busy festive period.
“I think it was important to not go and play 30 minutes more. It was a bit dangerous,” he continued.
“We are pleased. It’s not good to concede in the last minute but we have great character.
“We must be pleased.”