LONDON (AFP) - Avram Grant admitted Frank Lampard had saved Chelsea's blushes after the England midfielder's hat-trick inspired a dramatic 4-3 League Cup win over Leicester.
Grant's side were pushed all the way by the managerless Championship outfit, who led by three minutes to play at Stamford Bridge.
Fortunately for Chelsea, Lampard is back in form and his first goals since August sent the League Cup holders through to the quarter finals.
After Andriy Shevchenko had equalised in the 87th minute, Lampard popped up to head home the winner in stoppage time.
Grant said: "Frank Lampard played very well. He showed he is in good shape physically and mentally.
"Leicester fought all the way. They were fantastic. We needed good character and I'm happy that we showed it. I never gave up until the last moment."
Leicester had taken a shock sixth minute lead through Gareth McAuley. But Chelsea equalised in the 20th minute through Lampard, who scored again nine minutes later.
But Leicester weren't prepared to throw in the towel and they drew level in the 69th minute through DJ Campbell before Carl Cort put the visitors ahead.
Then Shevchenko equalised and Lampard broke Leicester's hearts with a close range header.
Rafa Benitez admitted he was delighted to have Harry Kewell back as the Australia winger finally returned from injury in his side's 2-1 win over Cardiff.
Kewell made his first appearance since May's Champions League final after a groin injury as a second half substitute at Anfield.
After an injury-plagued 18 months, Kewell should feature again when Liverpool face Blackburn on Saturday and Benitez reckons it is like having a new signing.
"It was important for Harry and for us that he went on," said Benitez. "He could be like a new signing for us.
"I'm really pleased for him and hopefully now he can kick on."
Moroccan forward Nabil El Zhar scored his first Liverpool goal in the 48th minute. Darren Purse headed Cardiff level midway through the second half before Steven Gerrard's winner a minute later.
Juande Ramos enjoyed a winning start to his reign at Tottenham as his new club beat Blackpool 2-0.
Goals from Robbie Keane and Pascal Chimbonda were enough to give the former Sevilla coach the perfect debut at White Hart Lane and secure Tottenham's first win in seven matches at the expense of the Championship strugglers.
The Spanish coach named a strong side, making only two changes to the team beaten by Blackburn on Sunday, with England internationals Paul Robinson and Jermaine Jenas coming back into the side.
Keane gave Ramos a dream start when he cooly converted Dimitar Berbatov's pass after a long punt by Robinson in the 18th minute.
French right-back Chimbonda put the result beyond doubt when he met Steed Malbranque's corner with a thumping header in the 58th minute.
Eduardo da Silva's double strike sent Arsenal cruising through as the Premier League leaders beat Sheffield United 3-0 at Bramall Lane.
As usual Arsene Wenger gave his fringe players a chance and they responded in style to maintain Arsenal's unbeaten start to the season.
It took last season's runners-up only eight minutes to take the lead when Eduardo lashed in a superb strike from the edge of the penalty area.
The Croatian forward doubled Arsenal's advantage after 50 minutes when he sprinted through to poke a shot past Ian Bennett before Denilson got on the scoresheet in the 69th minute.
Tim Cahill gave Everton a 1-0 extra-time win at League One side Luton.
Cahill pounced in the 101st minute with a close range finish to end Luton's brave resistance.
South African striker Benni McCarthy helped Blackburn to a 2-1 win at Portsmouth.
McCarthy got his eighth goal of the season in the 11th minute and Mark Hughes's side went further ahead through Morten Gamst Pedersen in the 77th minute before Nwankwo Kanu's last minute reply for Portsmouth.
Manchester City bounced back from their Chelsea nightmare as Elano's 86th minute penalty clinched a 1-0 win at Bolton.
|UEFA Europa League Review: Lovren misses crucial spot kick as Liverpool crash out|
|Rodgers rues lack of Liverpool guile|
|Pochettino laments ´key´ Soldado miss|
|Everton 3 Young Boys 1 (7-2 agg): Tormentor-in-chief Lukaku on song again|
|Serie A games to start late in show of support for Parma|
|Mancini irked by mistakes despite win|
|Besiktas 1 Liverpool 0 (aet, 1-1 agg, 5-4 pens): Lovren misses decisive spot-kick|
|Chelsea agree record sponsorship deal|
|Fiorentina 2 Tottenham 0 (3-1 agg): Gomez and Salah eliminate Spurs|
|Inter 1 Celtic 0 (4-3 agg): Guarin stunner sees Mancini´s men through|
|Manchester United v Sunderland: Poyet eyeing another Old Trafford upset|
|Monk has no problem with Van Gaal|
|Borussia Dortmund v Schalke: Di Matteo buzzing ahead of derby debut|
|Poyet not prepared to risk returning duo against United|
|Sherwood seeks six wins for survival|
|Championship Preview: Neil relishing East Anglian derby|
|Newcastle United v Aston Villa: Carver praises rejuvenated visitors|
|Granada v Barcelona: Catalan giants aiming to put pressure back on Real|
|Burnley v Swansea City: Monk targets 40 points in record time|
|Stoke City v Hull City: Meyler focused on maintaining resurgence|
|West Brom v Southampton: Pulis warns of continued dogfight|
|Police identify Chelsea fans over racist chanting|
|Guardiola warns against complacency|
|West Ham v Crystal Palace: Allardyce wary of being caught on counter|
|Parma GM compares club to the Titanic|
|Alderweireld close to Southampton return|
|Dyche keen to move on from Barnes furore|
|Gutierrez in Newcastle squad for Villa clash|
|Union chief urges action over Serbia gun threat|
|Berahino doubtful for Southampton clash|
|German citizenship? Why not? - Ribery|
|League Two Preview: Bury hope winning environment rubs off, Burton host Newport|
|Klopp hoping to avoid any nasty surprises after bomb discovery|
|Blackett pens new United deal|
|Sakho to return to training|
|Flores quits Getafe for personal reasons|
|Busquets agrees new Barcelona deal|
|Martino ´could not be happy´ at Barcelona|
|Allardyce striving to develop more Nobles|
|Nani hopeful of United return|
|Unexploded bomb found near Dortmund stadium|
|Lippi leaves Evergrande for personal reasons|
|Chelsea issue cup final warning to fans|
|Ancelotti has no intention to re-sign Morata|
|Dunkin´ Donuts sorry after Liverpool fans slam alternate club crest|
|Noble signs new West Ham contract|
|Sterling hopeful of contract resolution|
|Ali renews UAE contract|
|Deportivo Saprissa 0 America 3: Visitors win with late blitz|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Pato´s streak continues|
|Chievo v Milan: Abbiati wants consistency from Inzaghi´s men|
|Valverde wants momentum ahead of ´crucial´ week|
|Deila challenges Van Dijk, Denayer|
|Serie A Preview: Roma in crucial clash with Juve, resurgent Inter at home|
|Prince Albert: I feel for Wenger|
|Jardim salutes Monaco´s game plan|
|Schmidt dreaming of UEFA Champions League quarter finals|
|Arsenal face ´extremely difficult´ challenge - Wenger|
|Simeone rues missed Atletico opportunities|
|Berbatov questions Arsenal mentality|
|Calhanoglu confident Leverkusen can progress|
|Nottingham Forest 2 Bournemouth 1: Freedman´s dream start continues|
|Gabi upbeat despite Leverkusen defeat|
|Ligue 1 Preview: Monaco host PSG, Lille look to arrest slump|
|Arsenal 1 Monaco 3: All to do for Wenger´s men after limp first-leg display|
|Bayer Leverkusen 1 Atletico Madrid 0: Calhanoglu gives hosts narrow advantage|
|AFC Champions League Review: Western Sydney off to winning start|
|Piszczek blow for Dortmund|
|Bayern Munich v Cologne: Lewandowski wants more of the same from champions|
|Totti: Feyenoord win can be turning point|
|Icardi can be one of world´s best - Mancini|
|Crowe could ride to Leeds´ rescue|
|Martinez to keep faith with Howard|
|O´Brien fined for dissent in UAE victory|
|La Liga Preview: Messi aims to bounce back from penalty miss, leaders Real host Villarreal|
|Eredivisie Preview: Last chance saloon for De Boer´s Ajax|
|Amnesty International: Qatar must improve labour conditions|
|Greek professional football suspended|
|Liverpool trio out of Besiktas clash|
|Bundesliga Preview: Dortmund set for Ruhr derby, Bayern host Cologne|
|Rami to miss Chievo clash|
|Genoa game will go ahead, says Manenti|
|Neymar involved in spat with City fan|
|Steaua receive stadium ban from UEFA|
|Giaccherini out for majority of season|
|Brighton fined £90,000 for breach of agent rules|
|Chelsea try to identify seven over alleged racist chanting|
|No compensation for clubs over 2022 World Cup|
|Suarez: City fans´ boos helped inspire double|
|Not the right time for Gutierrez yet, says Carver|
|Naismith happy to be in the wars|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Pachuca reel in Montreal|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Another Bou hat-trick sees Racing win|
|A-League Preview: Sydney wary of Wanderers ahead of derby|
|Qatar 2022 date change strengthens calls for FIFA overhaul|
|Pellegrini: Champions League tie not over|
|Bresciano calls time on Australia career|
|Barcelona defend Messi´s penalty miss|
|Football League Review: Derby stay two points clear, Middlesbrough bounce back|