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Friday, Nov. 2, 2012
Chelsea beats Man United in thriller
LONDON — Chelsea came from behind three times against Manchester United on Wednesday before a nine-goal thriller was settled by Ramires' extra-time shot clinching a 5-4 victory and a spot in the League Cup quarterfinals.
Three days after losing an acrimonious Premier League encounter to United, Chelsea was heading out of the tournament until Eden Hazard scored from the penalty spot in 90th minute to make it 3-3.
In extra time at Stamford Bridge, Daniel Sturridge and Ramires gave Chelsea an apparently comfortable lead — until Ryan Giggs scored his second of the night for United, and the game's third penalty, in the 120th minute.
"They showed a big, big heart and passion and pride to not want to lose this game," Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo said.
"It was a very exciting game of football to watch, typical cup game, quite open at times and a lot of mistakes from both teams because there were probably a lot of young players involved."
Chelsea will now travel to Leeds in the quarterfinals.
Also Wednesday, Liverpool's title defense ended when manager Brendan Rodgers' former club Swansea won 3-1 at Anfield to set up a last-eight match against Middlesbrough.
Norwich beat Tottenham 2-1 and will play Premier League rival Aston Villa. In the other quarterfinal match drawn on Wednesday, Arsenal will travel to Bradford.
Chelsea was hosting United only three days after losing 3-2 in an intense Premier League encounter that led to another racism investigation in English soccer being opened.
United fans unfurled a banner at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday backing referee Mark Clattenburg, who has been accused by Chelsea of directing "inappropriate language" at midfielder John Obi Mikel on Sunday that has led to police opening a racism investigation.
Despite the intense focus on him, Mikel started against Chelsea but was withdrawn at halftime after being booked for a foul on United striker Danny Welbeck.
The first half hadn't gone Chelsea's way, with sloppy defending helping United hit the front.
Oriol Romeu was robbed of possession by Anderson after a short clearance from goalkeeper Petr Cech. Anderson quickly released the ball to Giggs, who swept home from outside the penalty area in the 22nd minute.