Fabregas inspires Chelsea comeback
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — With no European competitions clogging up their schedules, Chelsea and Liverpool are placing more importance on the English League Cup than usual this season.
They both advanced to the last 16 yesterday but took different routes.
Chelsea came from two goals behind at Premier League champions Leicester, taking an end-to-end game to extra time at 2-2 thanks to goals from defenders Gary Cahill and Cesar Azpilicueta before Cesc Fabregas' double clinched a 4-2 win.
Liverpool had it much easier, dispatching second-tier Derby in a 3-0 victory with Ragnar Klavan, Philippe Coutinho and Divock Origi scoring the goals.
Chelsea and Liverpool both rested key players but still fielded strong lineups in a bid to stay alive in one of three competitions they'll enter this season. Liverpool is a record eight-time League Cup winner, while Chelsea is joint-second in the all-time list of trophy winners with five titles.
Japan forward Shinji Okazaki took advantage of defensive errors to score twice for Leicester at King Power Stadium, but the hosts were undermanned in extra time after Marcin Wasilewski collected his second yellow card in the 89th for elbowing Diego Costa in the face.
Lucas Perez, a recent signing from Spanish side Deportivo La Coruna, scored twice in the second half for his first goals for Arsenal.
Granit Xhaka scored from long range — as he did against Hull in the Premier League on Saturday — to put Arsenal ahead and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain wrapped up the victory for a visiting team featuring a mix of youth-team players and fringe squad members.
Other results: Bournemouth 2 Preston 3; Brighton 1 Reading 2; Leeds 1 Blackburn 0; Newcastle 2 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0.