Carabao Cup 2018-19, Chelsea 3-2 Derby County: 5 Talking Points
Chelsea registered a compelling 3-2 win over Derby County in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday. Maurizio Sarri's men were handed an early lead through Fikayo Tomori's unfortunate own goal before Jack Marriott restored parity for the visitors shortly thereafter.
However, the Rams would concede again through another own goal when Richard Keogh put the ball into his own net to restore Chelsea's lead on the night.
Frank Lampard's men continued to be brave with the ball at their feet and pulled the visitors back on equal terms yet again through Martyn Waghorn, who got on the end of a precise low cross from Mason Mount after Derby made full use of a momentary lapse in concentration from Chelsea following a throw-in.
The encounter had produced four goals within the first half-hour and there was more to come when Cesc Fabregas scored the goal that proved to be the difference between the two sides towards the end of the first half.
Fabregas got on the end of a cross from Davide Zappacosta, who had allegedly fouled Tom Lawrence in the build-up to it, to dispatch a fierce shot that hit Scott Carson on its way to the back of the net.
Derby appealed for the initial lunge on Lawrence but referee Jonathan Moss opted against seeking assistance from VAR, much to the disappointment of the visiting players and supporters alike.
The Rams almost forced the game into penalties when David Nugent, who came on as a second-half substitute, thought he had scored but saw his shot rebound off the inside of the post.
The result meant that Chelsea will now face Bournemouth in the quarterfinal of the Carabao Cup while Derby's impressive run in the competition came to an end despite all the positives that were brought to light during the game. On that note, let's take a closer look at the major talking points from the game:
#1 Frank Lampard almost bagged the ultimate prize on his special night
At some point, this fixture felt more like a celebration than just a cup tie with the number of extravagant storylines and almost comical subplots that had unfolded before our eyes at Stamford Bridge.
It was always going to be about Frank Lampard, one of Chelsea's all-time greats, returning to this part of the capital where he is still revered by many as the greatest goal-scoring midfielder of his generation.
Despite the defeat that knocked them out of the competition, Lampard and his Derby County side can keep their head up high and brimming with pride as they put in a performance that was the perfect testament to their ambition under the new manager.
The Rams might have even forced something more out of the game with a little element of luck, but it was just not meant to be for them on a night, where they will probably go down as one of the best teams to have been knocked out of the competition this year.
Lampard also conducted a post-match lap of the pitch to applaud the Chelsea supporters, who will always count him as one of their own, for their extensive support on the night.