31st October, 2012
London (AFP) – Chelsea claimed partial revenge for their stormy loss to Manchester United at the weekend by prevailing 5-4 when the teams resumed hostilities in an end-to-end fourth-round League Cup tie on Wednesday.
United led three times at Stamford Bridge, but each time Chelsea responded, with Eden Hazard’s 94th-minute penalty taking the game to extra time before goals from Daniel Sturridge and Ramires put the hosts in the quarter-finals.
There were shocks in the night’s other ties, meanwhile, as Swansea City won 3-1 at Liverpool to knock former coach Brendan Rodgers out of the competition and Norwich City came from behind to eliminate Tottenham Hotspur.
United’s controversial 3-2 win in the Premier League on Sunday ended with claims that referee Mark Clattenburg had abused Chelsea’s John Mikel Obi, but Wednesday’s game was a gripping contest more in line with Arsenal’s astonishing 7-5 win at Reading the night before.
United made 10 changes to the side that won on Sunday, but they went ahead in the 22nd minute when Anderson robbed the dallying Oriol Romeu on the edge of the box and Ryan Giggs coolly shaped a shot past Petr Cech.
The lead last only 11 minutes, David Luiz scoring from the penalty spot, but more defensive sloppiness from the home side allowed the visitors to restore their lead just before half-time.
Luiz lost the ball after one of his trademark romps up the pitch and when Anderson fed Javier Hernandez, the Mexican held his nerve to beat Cech and claim his sixth goal in nine games against Chelsea.
Gary Cahill replied with a 52nd-minute header, but United soon moved ahead again, as Nani exchanged passes with Anderson, skipped past Luiz and then delicately lofted the ball over Cech.
Chelsea were aggrieved that referee Lee Mason declined to award a penalty after an apparent handball by Michael Keane, but redemption arrived with the last kick of normal time.
Keane’s centre-back partner, Scott Wootton, was penalised for blundering into the back of Ramires, and Hazard belied the pressure of the situation to roll a cocksure penalty down the centre of the goal.
Wootton, 21, was also at fault for Chelsea’s fourth goal, miscuing an attempted back header and then watching on in horror as Sturridge rounded Anders Lindegaard before tucking the ball home.
Ramires made the game safe four minutes from the end, collecting Hazard’s pass, rounding Lindegaard, and slipping the ball into the net, before Giggs scored from the spot to take the incredible goal tally to nine.
Collated English League Cup fourth-round results on Wednesday:
Chelsea 5 (Luiz 31-pen, Cahill 52, Hazard 90+4-pen, Sturridge 97, Ramires 116) Manchester United 4 (Giggs 22, 120-pen, Hernandez 43, Nani 59) — after extra time
Norwich City 2 (Vertonghen 84-og, Jackson 87) Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Bale 66)
Liverpool 1 (Suarez 76) Swansea City 3 (Chico 34, Dyer 72, de Guzman 90)
Leeds United 3 (Tonge 35, Diouf 88, Becchio 90-pen) Southampton 0
Reading 5 (Roberts 12, Koscielny 18-og, Leigertwood 20, Hunt 37, Pogrebnyak 116) Arsenal 7 (Walcott 45, 90+5, 120, Giroud 64, Koscielny 89, Chamakh 103, 120) — after extra time
Sunderland 0 Middlesbrough 1 (McDonald 39)
Swindon Town 2 (Storey 78, 81) Aston Villa 3 (Benteke 30, 90, Agbonlahor 39)
Wigan Athletic 0 Bradford City 0 — after extra time
Bradford City won 4-2 on penalties