Chelsea scraped past Brentford 2-0 in the EFL Cup quarter-finals after Pontus Jansson scored an own goal and Jorginho converted a penalty in the final 10 minutes.
Just as they did in the Premier League meeting between these sides back in October, Chelsea dominated possession but struggled to create any decent openings.
Kepa Arrizabalaga did well to keep out Yoane Wissa and Mathias Jensen in the first half, with Thomas Tuchel forced to call upon senior players as he chased the game in the second period.
The contest looked destined for penalties until Jansson put through his own net in the 80th minute and Jorginho put the result beyond doubt when he slotted home a spot-kick.
Kepa produced a fantastic save to stop Wissa finding the back of the net with a free header from six yards out inside 12 minutes, though he may well have been deemed offside had VAR got involved.
Jensen warmed the gloves of Kepa and Xavier Simons – one of three debutants for the Blues alongside Harvey Vale and Jude Soonsup-Bell – had Chelsea’s first shot on target in the 39th minute, but he allowed Rico Henry to surge in behind him seconds later and needed his keeper to bail him out.
Vale failed to make the most of a glorious delivery from Cesar Azpilicueta before the break and Tuchel introduced Christian Pulisic and Jorginho for the second half.
Henry almost scoring an own goal in the 53rd minute was as close as Chelsea went to breaking the deadlock, so Mason Mount and Reece James were sent on after the hour mark.
It proved key as N’Golo Kante – who made his return from a knee injury as the final sub – released James, whose low delivery to the near post was sent into the top-right corner by Jansson.
The game was put to bed after Alvaro Fernandez felled Pulisic in the box and Jorginho confidently dispatched the 85th-minute spot-kick to put Chelsea in the semi-final draw.
What does it mean? Chelsea avoid another shoot-out
The Blues had required a shoot-out to advance in their previous two EFL Cup matches this season – and six of their past seven in total – and looked set to be heading for penalties once more.
However, their late double saw them edge another fortunate result against Brentford, who missed out on making the final four for the second season running having failed to do so once in their first 60 campaigns in the competition.
He may not have been able to replicate left wing-back Ben Chilwell’s winner at this ground back in October, but Marcos Alonso was a real bright spark for Chelsea. His driving runs were a consistent source of danger as he drew three fouls and supplied two key passes.
No bite from Barkley
As the only senior player in the three-man attack named by Tuchel, the onus was on Barkley to lead by example. However, he struggled to really make a mark on the game and none of his five attempts on goal were very convincing.
Chelsea travel to Aston Villa in the Premier League on Boxing Day, when Brentford face a trip to Brighton and Hove Albion.