Big Match: Chelsea vs Newcastle
Event: Carling Cup
Location: [Stamford Bridge]
Time: 19:45 GMT
After what may be perceived as a fantastic start to the season for Chelsea, manager Carlo Anchelotti rang the changes and gave the youth and fringe players a bit of playing time.
However, while there were no Drogba, Malouda, Lampard, Cole, Ivanovic, Essien, Mikel, or Cech, Carlo did field a few experienced players as they were replaced by Anelka, Benayoun, Zhirkov, Ferreira coupled with youngsters Kakuta, Sturridge, Bruma, and Van Aanholt.
Chris Hughton took a similar approach. He made 10 changes from the the side that beat Everton at the weekend. Fabricio Coloccini was the only player who started at the weekend and again tonight.
Chelsea started brightly and quickly went into passing mode. With Kakuta pulling the strings and his teammates willingly giving him the ball at every opportunity, one could sense it would a great night for him.
Just five minutes into the match, Chelsea took the lead and Kakuta claimed the assist.
Van Aanholt pounced on a defensive lapse and played in Kakuta, who in turn pulled the ball back beautifully to leave Van Aanholt with the simple task of side-footing the ball home.
The youngsters seemed to be enjoying themselves.
A few minutes later, Kakuta intercepted a loose pass but in doing so, he was clattered into by Ryan Taylor. So much so that Kakuta flew high up in the air, spinned awkwardly and then landed hard on his back.
However, just as Chelsea were beginning to monopolize possession, Newcastle equalized on the back their own Arsenal-like keep ball.
After a sequence of 15-odd passes, the ball was crossed into the box and turned into the net by London-born youngster Nile Ranger.
Literally four minutes later and it was 2-1 Newcastle. Bruma with a clumsy foul on Ameobi a few feet outside the box and Taylor thumped in the resulting freekick. Bruma received a booking for his troubles.
Carlo made two changes at half time. He brought on Kalou and Alex to replace Kakuta and Terry. Kakuta never really recovered from Taylor's robust challenge, citing back pains.
Nevertheless, there was a match to be won and Chelsea needed to find three goals from somewhere, if they wanted to progress.
Three become four as Newcastle extended their lead. A terribly loose pass from stand-in captain Ferreira was intercepted by Ameobi and a couple of touches later, it hit the back of the net.
Things quickly took a turn for the worse as Kalou pulled a muscle and was replaced by 17-year-old Josh McEachran and it got even worse when Benayoun suffered a similar looking injury 10 minutes later.
He wasn't able to continue either but Chelsea had used all of their three substitutes. All of a sudden, they found themselves two goals down and a man down as they were forced to play with 10 men for the remaining 25 minutes.
With 70 minutes on the clock, 10-man Chelsea grabbed a goal! Anelka reduced the deficit when Van Aanholt crossed from the left and Anelka hit a first time shot past Krul.
20 minutes to go, could Chelsea pull level?
Less than 10 minutes left to play and Chelsea get a penalty. Alex went down, pretty softly under a challenge from Tiote. Anelka stepped up, and converted the most casual penalty you will ever see...3-3!
A minute later, Ferreira hit the post! Anelka did brilliantly down the left and crossed to Ferreira at the far post who hit it so sweetly first time, but it just glances the post and goes wide!
What a game!
With the clock ticking past the 90 minute mark, Newcastle took the lead once more. Ameobi powered in a Guttierez corner in what proved to be the winner..
Carlo Anchelotti seemed more concerned about the injuries to his players than being eliminated from the cup.
"I'm not so disappointed. It's not our priority, we have a very important game this weekend," the Chelsea coach said.
"We have three injuries. Kalou a thigh injury—I don't think he will be available for the next few games. Benayoun also has a massive problem with his calf. Both need to have more time to rest. We will see in the next day or so how long they will be out for. We will know more tomorrow but they do not look good.
"Kakuta also has a back problem."
Anchelotti then apologised for waving an imaginary yellow card when Ryan Taylor clattered into Kakuta.
"This is something from Italian football, maybe that's the last time I will do that here and I'm sorry for that," he said.
Meanwhile, Chris Hughton was delighted with his side's performance..
"We showed great character and good finishing to get back into the game. But both of us could have done without extra time, especially them as they were down to 10 men.
"The equaliser was as soft a penalty as you see.
"At that stage, we hang on to the game and win 3-2. Had we not gone through, it would have been a travesty." Hughton told reporters after the game.