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Chelsea knockout league champs

Cesc Fabregas scored twice in extra time as Chelsea came from two goals down to beat 10-man Leicester 4-2 and reach the EFL Cup fourth round Tuesday.

Shinji Okazaki’s header and instinctive strike put Leicester in control, but Gary Cahill nodded in before the break.

Cesc Fabregas scored a brace for Chelsea Tuesday.

Cesc Fabregas scored a brace for Chelsea Tuesday.

Cesar Azpilicueta equalised with a long-range strike before Foxes defender Marcin Wasilewski was sent off.

Fabregas’ clipped finish put Chelsea ahead early in the first extra period and his powerful strike sealed the win.

It had been a pulsating cup tie – particularly in the second half – with chances at both end but Wasilewski’s dismissal for elbowing Diego Costa ultimately proved costly.

Chelsea deserved the win in the end but Claudio Ranieri will perhaps be buoyed by his side’s performance for much of the game, with glimpses of their incisive attacking and compact defending that helped them win the title last season on show.

Chelsea have scored in every game this season and their attacking strength came to the fore towards the end of this game.

However, their defensive frailties should continue to be a cause for concern for boss Antonio Conte.

Only once in their previous 14 games in all competitions have the Blues managed to keep a clean sheet – and they were needlessly exposed in the first half of this game.

Meanwhile Lucas Perez scored his first Arsenal goals as they reached the fourth round of the competition with a comfortable 4-0 win at Championship side Nottingham Forest.

Granit Xhaka’s stunning 30-yard strike gave the Gunners the lead.

Former Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner shot wide for Forest before Lucas doubled Arsenal’s lead from the penalty spot after Chuba Akpom was fouled.

Lucas then rounded the goalkeeper for his second before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain drove in a late fourth.

The Spanish forward, who joined from Deportivo La Coruna in August, impressed with his pace and strength throughout, with both qualities particularly evident for the second goal.

He chased a ball down the left, brushed off Forest defender Michael Mancienne before bursting past goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic and then poking home.

Bendtner, meanwhile, was making his first appearance against his old club, where he spent nine years between 2005 and 2014.

Liverpool continued their good recent form by brushing Championship side Derby aside 3-0 to reach the fourth round also.

Ragnar Klavan gave the visitors the lead, slotting in his first Reds goal from a Philippe Coutinho corner.

Coutinho got the second after a one-two with Roberto Firmino, before setting up Divock Origi to lash in a third.

Derby offered little throughout, producing only two shots to test keeper Loris Karius on his Liverpool debut.

This was the fourth match the Reds have scored three goals or more this season – and they have netted 19 times in seven games overall.

Even seven changes from Friday’s 2-1 Premier League win at Chelsea did not halt their momentum.

One of those players to come in – Estonia defender Klavan – became the club’s 10th different goal scorer this season.

Other scores today: Bournemouth 2, Preston 3; Brighton 1, Reading 2; Everton 0, Norwich 2; Leeds 1, Blackburn 0; Newcastle 2, Wolves 0.

Source: (BBC)

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