Reece James steps up shootout again to help Chelsea advance to Carabao Cup quarter-finals


Chelsea advanced to the Carabao Cup quarter-finals with a 4-3 penalty shootout victory over Southampton at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.

Reece James, who scored the winning free kick in the previous round against Aston Villa, repeated his feet as he calmly sent Fraser Forster into the scythe. The two sides had drawn 1-1 in regulation, with Forster and Kepa Arrizabalaga making several saves.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel rotated some of his key men for the visit to Southampton and made six changes.

James, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Kai Havertz were among those who retained their starting places in the 7-0 win over Norwich. Marcos Alonso became captain of the XI and Kepa, Malang Sarr, Saul, Ross Barkley and Hakim Ziyech were also recalled.

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl made nine changes to the squad which were held to a 2-2 home chess against Burnley on Saturday.

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Stuart Armstrong returned after a calf injury for captain with Che Adams and Adam Armstrong also gave opportunities up front. Fraser Forster started with the goal.

Chelsea broke the deadlock against Southampton a minute before half-time when Kai Havertz walked to the bottom corner.

The German had come close with two previous attempts and eventually scored his goal when Ross Barkley’s corner was met by the forward, who guided his header past Fraser Forster to make the score 1-0 .

It didn’t take long for Southampton to restore parity after half-time, with Che Adams equalizing two minutes after the start of the second period.

Kyle Walker-Peters ran into the box and although his weak effort was saved by Kepa, Adams was on hand to score his first goal of the season to make it 1-1.

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Adams then knocked Alonso down just outside the box on the left. James took the free kick and fired a shot that dipped under the crossbar until Forster knocked him down.

And a few moments later, at the hour mark, Havertz brought the ball back to Barkley on the right of the box. But at a narrow angle, Forster smothered it.

Chelsea moved closer again after a break on the counterattack. Havertz was forced away. His withdrawal, however, chose Saul Niguez on the edge of the box, but drilled a weak effort right next to it.

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Saul denied

Two minutes later, with 75 minutes on the clock, Saul almost scored again. From the edge of the box he looped a brilliant shot to the top corner, but Forster was up to it.

Saints substitute Will Smallbone then headed for a cross goal from Shane Long, but Kepa kept the ball out of reach.

Hudson-Odoi then passed two Southampton defenders to enter the box, but could only shoot into the side net from a tight angle.

Lyanco came close to winning for the Saints, however, with a thumping header from a corner that Kepa knocked down. And from that resulting corner, Mohammed Salisu gave a header and Kepa made another vital save.

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