Chelsea clinched a place in the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup with a comfortable win over Derby on Tuesday evening. Goals from Eden Hazard, Filipe Luis and Andre Schurrle helped the Blues through, with Craig Bryson scoring for the home side. Adam Buxton was sent off for Derby, while Chelsea had Kurt Zouma taken off with a head injury.
Chelsea fielded a strong side for the game, with only a few changes made and only one young player included, in the aforementioned Zouma. The likes of Didier Drogba and World Cup winners Andre Schurrle and Cesc Fabregas came into the side, showing that Mourinho is taking this competition seriously as he looks to bring an end to his two year spell without a trophy. Of course, the time gap between this game and Monday’s meeting with Stoke will have played a part.
There was a slow start at the iPro as neither side really did much in the game during the opening exchanges, but the Blues managed to seize on a Derby mistake to make a breakthrough. The visitors pressed from the start, and Eden Hazard picked up on a slip from Andy Keogh. He then attempted to make up for his mistake and clear the ball, which landed right at the feet of Fabregas. He gave the ball back to the Belgian, who found himself some space in the box and applied the finish.
The Premier League leaders took control from that point on, but they were unable to take advantage. Derby had a late rally in the first half, and after they got a corner Zouma was involved in a collision with Petr Cech, leaving him on the floor for several minutes before being stretchered off. Branislav Ivanovic came on to replace him.
Will Hughes went close for the Championship side, with Petr Cech and John Obi Mikel getting in the way of his shot. They found themselves two goals behind just 10 minutes into the second half, after Hughes fouled Drogba. It was Luis who stepped up to take the free kick, curling in a fantastic effort to open his account for the club in impressive fashion.
The hosts pulled a goal back when Bryson swept a shot home from just outside the area, which looked like it would set up a grandstand finish. Before they could really push for an equaliser, however, Remy ran through on goal and was dragged back by Buxton, who was then sent off. While it looked harsh at the time, replays suggested the referee made the right call.
That allowed Chelsea to pour forward again, and the game was sealed when Schurrle added the third goal. Fabregas played in Remy, who saw his shot saved, before the German slotted the ball home to restore their two goal lead. That was enough to put the Blues through to the next round, with the semi-finals due to be played next month.
LCN Man of the Match: Cesc Fabregas