Chelsea 3 Derby 2
Cesc Fabregas scored the winner as Chelsea secured a place in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup, where they will be at home to Bournemouth.
Stamford Bridge welcomed back Blues legend Frank Lampard, whose side twice equalised after own goals – one of them by Derby’s on-loan Chelsea youngster Fikayo Tomori.
Tomori inadvertently opened the scoring after five minutes and Jack Marriott levelled for the Championship team four minutes later.
Another own goal, this time by Richard Keogh, put the hosts back in front before Mason Mount – also on loan from Chelsea – set up Martyn Waghorn to haul the Rams level again.
But Fabregas’ goal four minutes before the interval proved decisive, with Chelsea able to protect their lead during a much less eventful second half – although Derby came desperately close to a third equaliser when David Nugent fired against the post in the 89th minute.
Derby manager Lampard, Chelsea’s all-time record goalscorer, was inevitably given a rousing reception by the home fans.
His team showed plenty of resilience, having found themselves behind early on.
Tomori attempted to clear Davide Zappacosta’s cross but the ball bounced off the defender’s standing leg and rebounded into his own net.
Derby hit back, with Tom Huddlestone capitalising on Gary Cahill’s slip and playing the ball through to Marriott, who fired past keeper Willy Caballero.
They then missed a chance to go ahead when Waghorn shot straight at Caballero.
After that let-off, Chelsea were given another gift, this time by Derby’s other centre-back.
Again the error came while trying to clear a cross from Zappacosta, with Keogh nudging the ball past keeper Scott Carson.
But Derby levelled again. Mount found space on the left and delivered a perfect low cross for Waghorn, who atoned for his earlier miss by scoring from close range.
Fabregas, however, restored the lead when Huddlestone intercepted Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s pull-back to Zappacosta and the ball ran to the Spaniard, whose shot beat Carson at his near post.
Cabellero produced second-half saves to deny Marriott, Keogh and Mount before Nugent hit the woodwork.
Chelsea: Caballero, Zappacosta (Azpilicueta 78), Cahill, Christensen (Luiz 66), Emerson, Kante, Fabregas, Kovacic, Loftus-Cheek (Pedro 69), Morata, Willian
Subs not used: Bulka, Drinkwater, Barkley, Hudson-Odoi.