Fabregas scores twice in Chelsea cup victory


Leicester 2 Chelsea 4 (after extra-time)

Cesc Fabregas scored an extra-time double as Chelsea came from 2-0 down to move into the fourth round of the EFL Cup.

Leicester led thanks to two Shinji Okazaki efforts following defensive errors, but Gary Cahill’s header in first-half injury time gave the Blues hope and Cesar Azpilicueta’s breathtaking 20-yard volley drew Chelsea level just after the interval.

Substitute Diego Costa had several chances to snatch the win before Marcin Wasilewski was sent off when he caught Costa in the face with his arm near the touchline.

And the Blues cruised through against 10 men in extra time thanks to Fabregas.

Chelsea began well enough, with Pedro having an effort ruled out for offside, but their defensive weaknesses were exposed when Okazaki headed in the opener from a tight angle after debutant Marcos Alonso and Azilicueta both failed to clear their lines.

And it was 2-0 when the Japan striker forced another effort just over the line following a poor Pedro clearance.

But Cahill rose to head home a late corner, David Luiz ensuring the ball went over the line when the clearance crashed back off the Brazilian into the net and Azpilicueta’s superb shot restored parity.

Costa came on in the final quarter and could have had a hat-trick in a typically barnstorming performance.

The Spain striker wasted a great chance when through on goal, sliding the ball past the far post from a fine Luiz pass, and he also drew two fine saves from goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler.

Michy Batshuyai’s blistering shot also saw a fingertip save, while at the other end a Luiz mistake almost allowed to put the Foxes ahead but Asmir Begovic made an outstanding save to keep out Ahmed Musa‘s effort.

Wasilewski then saw red when he led with his arm on Costa, who could have won the match in stoppage time only to crash the ball into the side netting from a tricky angle.

But a minute into the extra 30 minutes, Costa combined cleverly with fellow substitute Eden Hazard, whose back-heel was expertly curled in by Fabregas.

Soon afterwards he crashed in his second and celebrated by running the length of the pitch to savour the moment with the 3,300 Chelsea fans who had been singing his name throughout the match.

Chelsea: Begovic, Azpilicueta, Cahill, David Luiz, Alonso, Moses, Fabregas, Matic, Pedro [Pedro 89], Loftus-Cheek [Costa 67], Batshuayi [Chalobah 80].
Subs not used: Courtois, Aina, Kante, Willian.