Chelsea’s defence was highly culpable as Shinji Okazaki ended a 13-game goal drought with two first-half goals for the Premier League champions, but two of Antonio Conte’s back four were able to make amends either side of the interval.
Captain Gary Cahill headed home a Cesc Fabregas corner in first-half stoppage time before Cesar Azpilicueta – who tried in vain to hack both Okazaki goals off the line – elevated a pulsating match further with a spectacular long-range volley in the 49th minute.
Leicester City were forced to play the additional half-hour with 10 men after Marcin Wasilewski struck substitute Diego Costa with a forearm and Chelsea made merry against reduced numbers as Fabregas struck twice inside the opening four minutes of extra-time to complete a thrilling 4-2 comeback win.
The match took place following conflicting reports of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich’s displeasure regarding last Friday’s 2-1 loss to Liverpool, meaning Conte’s men turned in a timely showing of character and class.
Marcos Alonso was selected for his Chelsea debut as both managers made seven changes.