Alvaro Morata came off the bench to score an injury-time winner for Chelsea in their Carabao Cup quarter-final over Bournemouth but the Blues’ win was marred by the fact that the Spaniard was cautioned for his celebrations and will subsequently miss their Premier League clash with Everton on Saturday.
According to FA rules, if a player receives five yellow cards in the first-half of the season (August-December), they are automatically suspended for one game.
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Morata was on four yellows after getting booked against Arsenal, Watford, West Bromwich Albion and Swansea.
And since the Premier League, the Carabao Cup and the FA Cup are competitions under the jurisdiction of the FA, the the Spaniard will miss Chelsea’s trip to Goodison Park.
After signing for a club-record fee of £60 million in the summer, Morata has hit the ground running despite missing a spate of games with niggling injuries and has been their most effective attacking outlet by far.
Kept on the bench by Conte for the mid-week tie, Morata was introduced late in the second-half as the Blues searched for a winner and while the Spaniard did his job, the fact that he kept the ball underneath his shirt after scoring did not go down well with the Bournemouth players. As the Cherries attempted to wrest the ball back in a bid to re-start the game without further delay, Morata was involved in a tussle with with Bournemouth midfielder Lewis Cook and referee Lee Mason promptly cautioned the Blues striker for wasting time.
With a tally of 11 goals and 4 assists (all competitions), Morata has been one of the signings of the season, quickly quelling doubts over his ability to cope with the rigours of the Premier League.
Everton, under new manager Sam Allardyce, will be tough opponents for the defending champions and it remains to be seen wether the Blues will be able to cope without their star forward.
In Morata’s absence, Antonio Conte is expected to play winger Eden Hazard as a false-nine as the Blues attempt to keep pace with second-placed Manchester United.