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Chelsea comeback stuns Leicester

Soccer

Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas scored twice in extra time as they fought back from two goals down to knock Premier League champions Leicester City out of the League Cup 4-2 overnight.

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Spaniard Fabregas has played a bit-part role in Antonio Conte’s Chelsea side since the start of the season, but gave the manager a reminder of his talents with two neat finishes in the space of two minutes to turn the third-round tie on its head.

Everton were dumped out 2-0 by second-tier Norwich City at Goodison Park as the club’s former striker Steven Naismith returned to torment his old employers with the opener.

Record eight-times winners Liverpool eased past Derby County 3-0 with goals from Ragnar Klavan, Philippe Coutinho and Divock Origi, while Arsenal enjoyed a 4-0 stroll at Nottingham Forest.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was happy with a professional performance as the Reds eased into the last 16 of the EFL Cup.

Ragnar Klavan’s first goal for the club was followed after the break by strikes from Philippe Coutinho and Divock Origi as the Sky Bet Championship team proved no match for Klopp’s free-scoring side.

“We were better tonight and we deserved to win, we created plenty of chances. Could we have done better? Yes, but is that important? No,” Klopp said.

“You need to be 100 per cent professional in games like this, which could be difficult, but we were ready for every opportunity.

“We could’ve been better in the first half with the last pass and in the second with our counter attack but we will take 3-0 all day.

“The pleasing thing is it’s not we are surprised by it. I have always thought the difference between home and away shouldn’t be that big when you’re a good side, which we are.

“That’s what we expect from us. Tonight was very professional from us.

“This is a very important tournament for us, for the players, and we have to show it from the first second. Let’s go for it.”

Klopp became embroiled in a heated discussion with the fourth official after seeing Coutinho on the end of a number of hefty challenges, but the German played down the confrontation.

“It is so close when someone flies in three or four times like they did, and I said to the fourth official ‘Please tell him’,” said Klopp.

“He didn’t hit the player, I saw that, but it was so close. But that’s my problem how I reacted and nothing happened.”

Derby manager Nigel Pearson, whose side are struggling for goals and are 20th in the Championship, admits they could not cope with the quality of their Premier League visitors.

“I would be first to accept there is a gulf in class tonight, and where we are and where we aspire to be is a considerable difference,” he said.

“For us to progress as a club we need to build a squad which can compete anywhere.

“All of the goals had an element of we could have done better, so that is frustrating. Mistakes cost you dearly against sides like this.

“After that it is damage limitation to make sure it is not an embarrassment.”

Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner lined up for Forest against his old club, but it was Arsenal’s new arrivals who shone.

Granit Xhaka rifled in the opener from distance and Lucas Perez scored a penalty and a fine individual goal. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain netted the fourth goal in stoppage time.

Premier League Bournemouth went out in a 3-2 defeat at home to second-tier Preston North End, whose striker Simon Makienok bagged a hat-trick including an extra-time winner.

Newcastle United progressed with a 2-0 victory at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers, having lost to the Midlands side by the same scoreline in the Championship on Saturday.

Reading won 2-1 away to Brighton & Hove Albion and Leeds United beat Blackburn Rovers 1-0 in all second-tier ties.

-Reuters

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