Cesc Fabregas showed why he should be one of the automatic choices in the Chelsea lineup with a brilliant match-winning brace, while Lucas Perez opened his scoring for Arsenal in a comfortable win. The Jurgen Klopp-Liverpool train continued to roll along smoothly, but the Everton express was stopped in its tracks by Norwich City in an exciting day of EFL Cup third round fixtures.
Leicester vs Chelsea was the standout fixture of the third round, when the draw was made, and the match duly delivered. After Shinji Okazaki put the Premier League champions into a 2-0 lead just past the half hour, with a brace, Leicester looked like they would cruise into the fourth round of the EFL Cup, only for Chelsea to produce a wonderful comeback.
It began in first half stoppage time with Gary Cahill, before another defender – Cesar Azpilicueta – equalised four minutes into the second 45. The match went into extra time, after Marcin Wasilewski was sent off in the 89th minute, and that was where Fabregas, who has played just 32 minutes in the Premier League this season, stamped his authority.
In the 92nd minute the midfielder made it 3-2 to Chelsea, taking a brilliant backheel pass from Eden Hazard to coolly slot the ball home, before, two minutes later, adding his second by thumping the ball into the back of the net to complete the comeback in emphatic fashion and dump the Premier League champs out of the tournament.
Another London club – Arsenal – took a more comfortable route to the fourth round, easing past Nicklas Bendtner's Nottingham Forest 4-0. After a bit of a slow opening, Granit Xhaka gave Arsenal the lead in the 23rd minute with another strike from distance. Having opened his Arsenal account with a 35-yard thunderbolt in the Premier League win over Hull at the weekend, the summer signing decided to try his luck again, and while this strike was nowhere near as powerful, it still found its way in, via a deflection and iffy keeping from Vladimir Stojkovic.
Lucas Perez was given his first Arsenal goal from the penalty spot on the hour, after Michael Mancienne was deemed to have brought down Chuba Akpom inside the box, with a 71st minute strike then doubling his tally. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain added the icing in the third minute of stoppage time as a much-changed Arsenal unit eased into the fourth round of the EFL Cup.
At the Pride Park Stadium, Liverpool made light work of Derby County, thanks to goals from Ragnar Klavan, Philippe Coutinho and Divock Origi. Coming off a satisfying win over Chelsea in the Premier League last Friday, Liverpool barely put a foot wrong in this EFL Cup third round match, hardly needing to get out of second gear.
Their Merseyside rivals Everton, though, were at the wrong end of an upset, as Norwich, a Championship club now, knocked them out of the EFL Cup with a 2-0 result. Everton favourite Steven Naismith scored the opener for Norwich four minutes before halftime, with Josh Murphy then making the game safe in the 71st minute to pull Ronaldo Koeman's men, currently sitting second in the Premier League table, only behind the perfect Manchester City, back down to earth.
Results: Bournemouth 2-3 Preston; Brighton 1-2 Reading; Derby County 0-3 Liverpool; Everton 0-2 Norwich City; Nottingham Forest 0-4 Arsenal; Leeds United 1-0 Blackburn Rovers; Leicester City 2-4 Chelsea (AET); Newcastle United 2-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers.