English Premiership

Balotelli lifts Reds over Swans

2014-10-29 00:42
Mario Balotelli (AFP)

London - Chelsea have reached the League Cup quarter-finals but had to call for reinforcements to see off fourth tier Shrewsbury Town 2-1 on Tuesday while Mario Balotelli inspired Liverpool's 2-1 comeback victory over Swansea City.

On a night when Premier League West Bromwich Albion were dumped out by second tier Bournemouth, both Liverpool and Chelsea flirted with danger.

Didier Drogba gave Chelsea the lead but the match looked to be heading for extra time when Shrewsbury's Andy Mangan swivelled to fire past keeper Petr Cech with 13 minutes to play.

Nemanja Matic and Willian were promptly summoned from the bench to help quell the uprising and the latter's superb cross caused panic in the defensive ranks and Jermaine Grandison turned the ball into his own net.

Liverpool fans have seen little in Balotelli's performances this season to convince them he could ride to the rescue when the chips were down but he came off the bench to prod home a crucial equaliser at Anfield with four minutes remaining after Marvin Emnes had put Swansea ahead.

A dramatic finale saw Swansea's Federico Fernandez sent off for a late tackle and Dejan Lovren head home the winner after four minutes of stoppage time.

West Brom probably thought they had done enough to force extra time when a Tommy Elphick own goal with five minutes to go at Bournemouth levelled the scores at 1-1.

But it was the hosts who progressed thanks to Callum Wilson's late strike, capping a superb few days for the south coast club after they beat Birmingham City 8-0 in the Championship at the weekend.

Elsewhere, Derby County came from 2-0 down to beat Fulham 5-2 and Sheffield United won 2-1 at Milton Keynes Dons.


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