London, Jan 9: Shaun Wright was the hero as holders Chelsea overcame the dismissal of John Obi Mikel to snatch an injury-time winner and a 2-1 victory over Everton in their League Cup semi-final first leg on Tuesday.
The Londoners led with a first-half goal by Wright-Phillips but Mikel was sent off in the 55th minute and nine minutes later Aiyegbeni Yakubu equalised to keep alive Everton's hopes of reaching the final for the first time in 24 years. Wright then pressurised defender Joleon Lescott into heading into his own goal two minutes into injury time.
"The character and team spirit we have was shown today when we were down to 10 men," Wright-Phillips told Sky Sports. "Going to Goodison Park (for the second leg on January 23) with a lead means Everton will have to come out and attack."
Chelsea, without a host of leading players through injury, suspension and international duty, looked sharper and had far more attacking intent from the start.
They went ahead when Wright-Phillips was found by France winger Florent Malouda, back after a two-month injury absence, and the England international curled a delightful right