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.
|Frankfurt capture Castaignos|
|Bastia face relegation over debt|
|Bahlouli makes Monaco switch|
|Pearson sacked by Leicester|
|Rekik set for Marseille switch|
|Ranocchia and Carrizo sign new Inter deals|
|Crespo handed Modena role|
|Cech reveals work permit prevented past Arsenal move|
|Ivory Coast cut coaching shortlist down to five|
|McCarthy satisfied with Mings sale|
|Heaton commits to Burnley|
|Bowyer: Rhodes and Gestede will not come cheap|
|Burton and Day depart West Brom|
|Mendilibar makes Eibar return|
|Milan agree to terminate Muntari contract|
|Copa final a dream come true for Sampaoli|
|CSKA Sofia demoted due to financial crisis|
|Wolfsburg warn off De Bruyne suitors|
|Kone: I want to prove I can cut it at Everton|
|West Ham v Lusitans: Bilic set for first game in charge|
|Millennium Stadium to host 2017 UEFA Champions League final|
|Ronaldo a ´possibility´ for Portugal´s Olympics squad|
|Liverpool should get rid of Sterling - Grobbelaar|
|Miranda arrives for Inter medical|
|Arsenal can challenge the best - Cech|
|Real star Bale can be better than Ronaldo, says Keegan|
|UEFA approves changes to FFP rules|
|Honduras v Mexico: Moreno´s injury may force Mexican rethink pre-Gold Cup|
|Hiddink was the wrong man for Netherlands - De Boer|
|Vargas: I was scoring with every shot at training|
|Zambrano red rocked Peru - Gareca|
|Paraguay to change tack against Argentina|
|Sampaoli thrilled with substitutes´ influence, applauds Peru|
|Martino rues Copa America date with former side Paraguay|
|Former Birmingham City player Thwaites among Tunisia victims|
|Chile 2 Peru 1: Zambrano´s red card helps hosts into Copa final|
|Thiago Silva: ´I didn´t even know the ball had hit my hand´|
|Ronaldinho set to sign for Antalyaspor|
|Jara ban reduced on appeal by one match|
|Hiddink leaves Netherlands post|
|Cresswell pens new five-year deal at West Ham|
|Koeman: No serious United bid for Schneiderlin|
|Barbados eliminated from World Cup qualifying after fielding ineligible player|
|Former Catania president admits buying matches|
|Jones agrees Manchester United deal|
|Argentina v Paraguay: Valdez hoping not to need another comeback|
|Milan seal Bertolacci signing|
|Cech grateful to Abramovich and Chelsea fans|
|UEFA Champions League Preview: Brotherly pride at stake as B36 play TNS|
|UEFA Europa League Preview: Tommasi set to aid La Fiorita qualifying bid|
|Cech leaves Chelsea to join Arsenal|
|Paulinho ends Spurs frustration with Guangzhou move|
|Sampdoria confirm Eto´o exit amid Antalyaspor talk|
|Garcia departs Espanyol ahead of expected Qatar move|
|Watford to delay Doyley decision|
|Schlupp agrees new Leicester deal|
|Schweinsteiger hints at Bayern stay amid United links|
|Bertolacci thrilled ahead of Milan move|
|Langerak leaves Dortmund for Stuttgart|
|Muniain extends Athletic contract|
|Youngsters to get chance on US tour - Van Gaal|
|La Liga chief hits out at Real Madrid over TV rights opposition|
|Villa confirm Wilkins as assistant manager|
|Dicks joins West Ham coaching staff|
|Heldt enters to jeers, exits to cheers|
|Paraguay pride has grown at Copa America - Aguilar|
|Van Gaal tight-lipped on De Gea|
|Bacca confirms Milan agreement|
|Weight of expectation on hosts Chile to benefit Peru - Gareca|
|MLS Review: Timbers thump Sounders thanks to Adi´s double|
|Dzeko ´would run to Roma´ - Pjanic|
|Peru won´t sit back - Sampaoli|
|Zenga: Cassano, Balotelli will not be joining Sampdoria|
|Victory to start A-League defence away to Adelaide|
|I want to play MLS ´at the peak of my career´ - Johannsson|
|Allegri: I like Isco and Oscar|
|CAF Champions League Review: Comeback kings Smouha go top of Group A|
|Pirlo in attendance for New York derby|
|No Bayern deal yet, states Costa|
|Jara handed three-game ban|
|Sunderland striker Defoe sets 20-goal target|
|Leicester offer condolences to Albrighton and family after Tunisia attack|
|Chile v Peru: Potential Jara sanction hangs over semi-final|
|Sweden U21 v Portugal U21: History beckons for Jorge´s men|
|Neville appointed Valencia number two|
|Work halted at Olympic Stadium after fatality|
|Ibrahimovic in the same league as Messi - Sacchi|
|Giggs: United want to add winners|
|Turan sets record straight over transfer talk|
|Low keen for new Germany leaders to emerge|
|Tunisia part company with Leekens|
|Evans: Sterling´s Anfield exit must be a done deal|
|FIFA audit chief urges Blatter to stick by decision|
|Hrubesch urges caution after Germany U21s humbled|
|Taarabt hits out at ´very bad manager´ Redknapp|
|Bruce: I´m lucky I wasn´t sacked after Hull relegation|
|Van Hooijdonk warns Van Gaal over Depay tactics|
|SPFL looking into winter break|
|MLS Review: Earthquakes win California Clasico, Vancouver claim top spot in West|
|Muto must toughen up to succeed at Mainz - Ficcadenti|
|Diaz: Paraguay refuse to lose|
|Tragedy strikes for Paraguay match-winner Gonzalez|
|Robinho rues substitution, wanted to take penalty|
|Dunga: Brazil squad hit by virus|
|Fiorentina make ´insane offer´ to Salah|
|Women´s World Cup Review: England reach maiden semi-final|
|Mexico 2 Costa Rica 2: Herrera´s men recover after half-time|
|ES Setif 1 USM Alger 2: African champions beaten|
|Paraguay 1 Brazil 1 (4-3 on penalties): History repeats as Dunga´s men bow out|