Frank Lampard’s return to Stamford Bridge ended in defeat as his brave Derby side were beaten 3-2 by Chelsea in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup.
Two own goals cost the Rams in the first half, as both Fikayo Tomori, who is on loan from Chelsea, and his centre-back partner Richard Keogh managed to put the ball past their own goalkeeper.
Maurizio Sarri made eight Chelsea changes as only N’Golo Kante, Alvaro Morata and Willian survived from the weekend. There were starts for Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Andreas Christensen.
Derby were unchanged but Fikayo Tomori and Mason Mount started against their parent club.
On both occasions, Derby responded, with strikes from Jack Marriott and Martyn Waghorn, but Cesc Fabregas struck the eventual winner shortly before half-time to send Chelsea into the quarter-final, where they’ll face Bournemouth at home.
Tomori may have dreamt about his first Chelsea goal, but he probably did not imagine it coming in these circumstances.
The defender was under little pressure in the fifth minute as he attempted to clear Davide Zappacosta’s cross, but he miscued it, managing to skew the ball past his own goalkeeper and into the net.
Derby’s heads didn’t drop, however, and they were level four minutes later. Tom Huddlestone took advantage of some slack play at the back from Chelsea to pick the ball up in midfield and feed Marriott to his left. The striker, a lifelong Chelsea fan, then darted into the box before finishing low past Willy Caballero.
More misfortune was to come for Derby, and for the third time in two games one of their defenders managed to find the back of their own net. First it was Jayden Bogle at Middlesbrough, then it was Keogh who followed Tomori at Stamford Bridge, the Derby captain steering another Zappacosta cross past his own goalkeeper after 21 minutes.
Chelsea: Caballero (7), Zappacosta (7), Cahill (5), Christensen (4), Emerson (5), Kante (6), Fabregas (7), Kovacic (6), Loftus-Cheek (6), Morata (4), Willian (6)
Subs: Azpilicueta (n/a), Luiz (n/a), Pedro (n/a)
Derby: Carson (7), Bogle (6), Keogh (6), Tomori (6), Malone (7), Huddlestone (7), Mount (7), Wilson (6), Waghorn (6), Lawrence (6), Marriott (8)
Subs: Forsyth (n/a), Bennett (n/a), Nugent (n/a)
Man of the match: Jack Marriott
Derby were soon level again. Waghorn had missed a glorious opportunity to put the Rams ahead at 1-1, but he was not going to be denied again in the 27th minute as Mason Mount, Chelsea’s other loanee, slid a perfect ball across the box for him to tap home.
They couldn’t hold out until half-time, though, as Fabregas arrived in the box to first in and make it 3-2 in the 41st minute.
Derby had two glorious opportunities in the second half to find the goal to send the game to penalties. But Marriott, again through on goal, couldn’t beat Caballero midway through the half, before substitute David Nugent hit the post in the 90th minute.
Post-match Opta stats
- Chelsea have now won 11 of their last 12 home games against Derby County in all competitions, netting 37 goals in those matches (3.1 per game).
- This was Derby boss Frank Lampard’s first defeat at Stamford Bridge as either a player or manager since September 2013 when Chelsea lost 1-2 to Basel in the Champions League.
- Chelsea have won 11 of their last 12 home League Cup games against sides from outside of the Premier League, drawing the other 1-1 with Burnley in November 2008 before being eliminated on penalties.
- Derby County are the first team to score two own goals against Chelsea since Stoke City did so in the Premier League in January 2013.
- Jack Marriott has been directly involved in six goals in his last five games for Derby County in all competitions (four goals, two assists).
- Cesc Fabregas has had a hand in seven goals in his last seven League Cup appearances for Chelsea (three goals, four assists).
Man of the match – Jack Marriott
Derby may have been the losing side at Stamford Bridge but they had several superb performers on the evening. Marriott was probably the standout as he took his goal superbly in the first half and worked tirelessly throughout to give Chelsea’s defence a difficult game.
Chelsea face Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports Premier League, while Derby host Birmingham in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday.
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