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Lampard hat-trick for Chelsea, Ramos gets winning start in League Cup soccer

31 October 2007 23:56

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.

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Info

Competition
League Cup
Date
31 October 2007
Kick-off
20:45
Full-time
4 - 3

Saturday 30 August

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