League Cup roundup: Chelsea, Everton avoid massive upsets to advance
Chelsea and Everton survived major scares against fourth-tier opponents to advance to the third round of the English League Cup on Wednesday.
Ultimately, it was another Premier League team, Sheffield United, that was on the end of an unlikely upset, losing a penalty shootout to third-tier Lincoln for the biggest shock of the second round.
Chelsea fielded a heavily rotated started lineup, which was missing the likes of Raheem Sterling and Enzo Fernandez, against Blackpool and fell behind to a 19th-minute penalty at Stamford Bridge.
Noni Madueke equalized with a penalty of his own in first-half stoppage time and Fernandez, on as a 65th-minute substitute, grabbed the winner seven minutes later after a defensive mix-up to seal a 2-1 victory.
Everton left it much later for its 2-1 win at Doncaster, with Beto — a Portuguese striker who only joined the club from Udinese on Wednesday — and Arnaut Danjuma scoring in the 73rd and 88th minutes, respectively, to complete a nervy comeback.
Everton has started the Premier League with three straight losses, without scoring a goal, and the pressure would have piled on manager Sean Dyche if his team had been eliminated by an opponent sitting in last place in the fourth tier.
Like Everton, Sheffield United has no points from three games in the league but won't have League Cup games for respite in the coming weeks. After a 0-0 draw at home to Lincoln, Sheffield United lost the shootout 3-2.
Burnley scored in the 90th through substitute Zeki Amdouni, a recently signed Switzerland international, to win 1-0 at Nottingham Forest in an all-Premier League matchup and second-tier Blackburn crushed fourth-tier Harrogate 8-0.
That was Blackburn's biggest away win in its 148-year history.
Steve Douglas is at https://twitter.com/sdouglas80
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