Chelsea and Manchester United's enthralling Premier League victory was tainted by accusations and controversy, but their Capital One Cup meeting was not to suffer the same fate as they contributed almost twice as many goals in a ding-dong 5-4 win for the Blues.
The League Cup has in recent years trumped the FA Cup in terms of entertainment, arguably. Belittled since the 90s, there are no replays and, unlike the FA Cup, it is not trying to retain its 'magic' and is not regarded as 'the world's most famous cup competition'.
Thrice United lead Chelsea through goals courtesy of Ryan Giggs, Javier Hernández and Nani and thrice Chelsea came back. Eden Hazard's stoppage-time equaliser after the naive Scott Wootton clumsily bundled over Ramires was effectively match point. Both he and Ramires had come on along with Oscar to give the second string Blues a decidedly first-team look, whereas Sir Alex Ferguson had introduced Nick Powell and Ryan Tunnicliffe, with the unconvincing Federico Macheda to follow.
Daniel Sturridge, who had endured a luckless evening, capitalised on the catastrophic Wootton's feeble header to round Anders Lindegaard and give Chelsea the lead for the first time on the night before Ramires confirmed their passage into the last eight in the second-half of extra-time.
Ryan Giggs slotted home a penalty for the game's ninth goal but Chelsea held off any potential United comeback with ease.
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