Good evening and welcome to Sports Mole
's live text coverage of the EFL Cup
clash between Chelsea
and Manchester United
from Stamford Bridge. A spot in the quarter-finals of the competition is up for grabs in the capital tonight. It should be a cracking match between these two great clubs!
CHELSEA: Caballero; James, Zouma, Guehi, Alonso; Gilmour, Jorginho, Kovacic; Hudson-Odoi, Batshuayi, Pulisic
MAN UNITED: Romero; Maguire, Rojo, Lindelof; Wan-Bissaka, McTominay, Fred, Lingard, Williams; Rashford, James
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has made six changes from the side that started against Burnley on Saturday with Willy Caballero, Reece James, Marc Guehi, Billy Gilmour, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Michy Batshuayi all coming in. Christian Pulisic keeps his spot after netting a hat-trick against the Clarets, while Jorginho will wear the armband from the middle of the park.
As for United, their side shows four changes from the win over Norwich on Sunday with Sergio Romero, Marcos Rojo, Brandon Williams and Jesse Lingard coming in. It is a strong XI when considering that Harry Maguire, Marcus Rashford
and Daniel James all start, and it is perhaps a more experienced side than many expected Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to select.
Both teams will enter the match off the back of Premier League victories at the weekend, with Chelsea recording a 4-2 success at Burnley and United running out 3-1 winners at Norwich City. Who will advance to the quarter-finals? Stay tuned right here to find out!
KICKOFF: United kick things off in the English capital...
... it must be said that there is a wonderful atmosphere inside the stadium tonight, what a setting for this match. And both managers have selected strong sides, that is for sure.
As expected, it is a front two for United with James and Rashford in the final third, while Lingard is the midfielder looking to push forward. Chelsea are in a 4-3-3 with Pulisic to the left and Hudson-Odoi to the right. Not too much to report in the early moments!
Chelsea are the team in control of the possession at the moment as the hosts look to strike first. No chances to report, though, as United have been solid defensively thus far.
United are having to work really hard to shuffle across the pitch at the moment as Chelsea continue to dominate the ball. It has been a very sharp start from Lampard's side, who have just seen a strike by Pulisic blocked by a strong Rojo.
Chelsea threaten with two corners in quick succession, both of which are taken by Hudson-Odoi, but United clear their lines through Williams and then Maguire. The home side have had the better of the first nine minutes, still goalless in the capital, though.
Better from United in the last few minutes as they start to enjoy possession. Their only piece of real attacking intent, though, saw Lingard just lose control inside the Chelsea box.
YELLOW CARD! McTominay (Man United) is booked for a foul on Kovacic.
Very even game at the moment with United having much more of the ball. You do get the feeling that the first goal tonight - if there indeed is one - will be absolutely crucial here.
United win their first corner as Lingard has a cross cleared behind...
SHOT! ... James rolls a low corner into McTominay, and the midfielder just misses the goal with a curling attempt. Much better from the 20-time English champions there.
All United at the moment in terms of possession with Chelsea having to drop deep. James looks to strike towards goal after the ball fell for the Welshman inside the box, although his effort was always moving wide of the post. Good from the visitors again.
Brandon Williams has been nice and bright for United down the left, and it would be fair to say that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer thinks an awful lot of the young defender.
YELLOW CARD! Batshuayi (Chelsea) is booked for a foul on McTominay.
Still goalless with 20 minutes on the clock, and it has been an even game of football. United have had the best chance, though, with McTominay firing wide from a corner.
Chelsea are doing their best to get things moving in the final third, and Fred has just come across to challenge Hudson-Odoi, who powered past a few players down the left.
McTominay and Batshuayi are the two players in the book thus far, and there has been a few tasty challenges in the first 24 minutes of this match. Still goalless in the capital.
PENALTY! United have a penalty as Alonso brings James to the ground!
GOAL! CHELSEA 0-1 MAN UNITED (RASHFORD, PEN)
GOAL! United take the lead in the 25th minute as Rashford finds the bottom corner from the spot, sending Caballero in the opposite direction. Huge moment for him!
The 3-5-2 is working well for United at the moment with Chelsea finding it difficult to break through the lines. Romero has not had a save to make in the first 27 minutes here.
Little over 15 minutes of the first period remaining, and United have the lead in the capital. The counter is always on for the visitors at the moment as Chelsea continue to give the ball away in dangerous areas. Not happening for Lampard's side at the moment.
Chelsea just cannot find a route out at the moment as United continue to dominate.
You just wonder whether Solskjaer might start to use the 3-5-2 on a more regular basis in the Premier League, certainly away from home. It has worked so well tonight.
Relief for Rashford after the forward scored from the penalty spot...
Better from Chelsea in terms of possession in the last few moments, but the home side's latest move ends when Hudson-Odoi flashes a cross over the head of Batshuayi.
SAVE! Comfortable save for Caballero to keep out a strike from Lingard.
Smart defending from Wan-Bissaka to clear a low cross from Reece James after the right-back had found space in a dangerous area. Better from Chelsea at the moment.
Not quite happened for Pulisic in this first period and the American has just given a free kick away for handling the ball while Chelsea were looking to break on the visitors.
Well, this has been a very good first half from United, who lead courtesy of a penalty from Rashford. Chelsea had plenty of the ball in the early moments, but the Blues have not had a serious attempt in the first 44 minutes of this EFL Cup last-16 clash.
We are into the first of one additional minute at the end of the first period.
HALF TIME: CHELSEA 0-1 MAN UNITED
So there we have it - the referee brings the first period to a close with United leading 1-0 courtesy of a penalty from Rashford in the 25th minute. Chelsea have had decent possession in dangerous areas, but the hosts have struggled to fashion any chances here.
STATISTICS! Chelsea had 62% possession in the first period but neither of their two attempts were on target. As for United, the Red Devils hit the target with two of their four attempts. Two bookings to report here - Batshuayi for the hosts and McTominay for United.
BENCH WATCH! Chelsea have the likes of Abraham, Giroud, Mount and Pedro on a strong bench tonight, while United have options in the shape of Martial, Mata and Pereira. It is the type of match that could be won off the bench, that is for sure.
KICKOFF: Chelsea resume the action on home soil...
... no changes from either side at the break, which is not too much of a surprise. However, you do get the feeling that both managers will have alterations in mind here.
Hudson-Odoi has just fallen over the stands at the side of the pitch following a clash with Williams and Rojo. Looked a nasty one for the England international.
Hudson-Odoi is still receiving treatment while the match continues here.
Still no sign of Hudson-Odoi, but Chelsea are on the front foot at the moment. There is no question that Lampard would have had some strong words to say at the interval.
Hudson-Odoi is back on the field and fine to continue. Good news.
CHANCE! Big chance for the home side to level as Alonso delivers a dangerous low cross into Hudson-Odoi, but the attacker cannot make proper contact. Big moment!
The next goal - if there indeed is one - will be huge here. Chelsea have started the better, as they did in the first half, but United are so dangerous on the counter-attack.
Super defending from Williams to prevent a through ball from reaching Hudson-Odoi. Chelsea then have a penalty shout when Gilmour strikes towards the body of Fred, but the referee is not interested. End-to-end football at the moment here.
SHOT! Pulisic strikes wide of the post after another Chelsea break.
James delivers a dangerous low cross into the United box, but there are no takers at the far post. Chelsea are very much the team on the front foot with 57 minutes on the clock.
Romero does well to gather a cross from Hudson-Odoi after Chelsea have another shout for a penalty as a possible handball occurs. We are just entering the stage of the match where both managers will be thinking about changes - plenty of talent on both benches here.
SHOT! Hudson-Odoi fires over the United crossbar from a decent area.
Solskjaer has just clearly told his team that he wants them to keep hold of the ball - just pass it. Chelsea remain on the front foot, and it is all very frantic at the moment.
GOAL! CHELSEA 1-1 MAN UNITED (BATSHUAYI)
GOAL! Chelsea level the scores just past the hour as Batshuayi holds off the challenge of Maguire before finding the bottom corner with a super strike from distance!
Just a reminder that there will not be extra-time tonight and therefore penalties might be required to decide the contest. Little over 25 minutes of normal time remaining here.
United are preparing to make their first change of the match, it will be Martial.
Hudson-Odoi and James again combine down the right, and Rojo has to make a good clearance behind. The corner is then dealt with by the towering Maguire.
MAN UNITED SUB! Martial replaces Lindelof for the away side.
MAN UNITED SUB! Pereira is also on in place of Lingard here.
Fred flashes a low cross just wide of the Chelsea post as United enjoy a good spell.
CHELSEA SUB! Mount and Pedro replace Gilmour and Pulisic for the home side.
Batshuayi again breaks into a dangerous position for the home side, but the striker loses his footing at the vital moment and Rojo has the simple task of clearing this time.
United have a free kick in a decent area as Pedro fells Fred here...
GOAL! CHELSEA 1-2 MAN UNITED (RASHFORD)
GOAL! Oh my goodness me! That is very special! United take the lead in the 73rd minute as Rashford picks out the top corner with a quite stunning set piece - wonderful!
Rashford has been through a really tough spell this season, but the England international has been in fine form tonight, and that is a truly special goal from the academy product. Chelsea will again have to come from behind if they want to stay in the EFL Cup.
Again it is brilliant defending from Williams to deal with the danger from Hudson-Odoi, who had looked to dance around the youngster inside the United penalty box.
McTominay is a touch fortunate to stay on the field as he brings Kovacic to the ground - the Scot already has a yellow but the referee is happy for the play to continue here.
CHELSEA SUB! Abraham replaces Batshuayi for the home team.
MAN UNITED SUB! Young replaces Rashford for the away side.
SAVE! Young has gone to left-back for the visitors while Williams has moved forward. Chelsea have just had a half-chance through Alonso, but Romero made a decent save.
YELLOW CARD! Fred (Man United) picks up a booking for time wasting.
Little over five minutes of the second period remaining and just a reminder that there will not be extra-time in this match. A goal for Chelsea would force penalties here.
James runs away from a number of Chelsea players before hitting the ground, but the referee is not interested and the Blues can break down the field once again.
SHOT! Kovacic fires harmlessly wide of the United goal from distance.
SHOT! Wide of the post from Zouma this time and the clock is ticking for Chelsea.
YELLOW CARD! Kovacic (Chelsea) is booked for a foul on James.
We are into the first of four additional minutes here.
Time is running out for Chelsea and United have a free kick as Abraham fouls Rojo, who has been good for the visitors tonight despite disappointing for Chelsea's leveller here.
United clear down the field once again as the clock continues to tick towards the full-time whistle. If the hosts are going to score a second then it will have to come now.
FULL TIME: CHELSEA 1-2 MAN UNITED
So there we have it - the referee brings the second period to a close with United booking their spot in the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup courtesy of a 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge. It has been a fine night for the 20-time English champions, that is for sure.
That is just about it from me tonight, but I shall leave you with the match report
from the contest at Stamford Bridge. Thanks for joining us once again - see you very soon!