Ten-man Chelsea survived a third round scare against Fulham to advance in the League Cup with a 4-3 penalty shoot-out win after a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge, Wednesday.
Defender Alex was sent off at the start of the second half after a clumsy challenge on debutant Kerim Frei, but Pajtim Kasami hit the crossbar with the resultant penalty.
Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas fielded a young side, with summer signings Oriol Romeu and Romelu Lukaku handed starts alongside Josh McEachran.
McEachran created Chelsea's best chance of the first-half, his brilliant run and through-ball was converted by Daniel Sturridge only for the goal to be pulled back for offside.
Chelsea goalkeeper Ross Turnbull, who replaced the injured Petr Cech at half-time, kept the home side in the game with a string of fine saves in the second half before the match drifted towards a penalty shoot-out.
Frank Lampard missed the Blues' first penalty but Moussa Dembele and Bryan Ruiz squandered their kicks to send Chelsea through to the fourth round.
Villas-Boas was satisfied with his side's performance after a difficult second half.
"It was a superhuman effort during 70 minutes.
"To be with 10 men for 70 minutes and to hold Fulham's goal and still to create the most amount of opportunities and the best opportunities is out of this world.
"I'm very, very happy with the display of everybody, commitment-wise, effort-wise, concentration-wise."