There seems to be no respite for Jose Mourinho's Chelsea as Stoke City inflicted more misery upon them at the Britannia Stadium after Mark Hughes and his side progressed to the quarter-finals of the League Cup on penalties after a 1-1 draw.
The visitors showed some promise in the first half and ought to have been ahead, though Stoke will have had Jack Butland to thank for a couple of fine stops, while Ramires will have felt he should have given the Blues a first half lead after he rounded the Potters keeper only to hit the side netting. Former Potter Asmir Begovic was also forced into action at the opposite end of the field
Diego Costa added to Chelsea's woes after he was forced off with what looked like a rib injury before John Terry had a goal chalked off for offside.
The start of the second half saw Stoke take the lead through a terrific Jonathan Walters strike but Chelsea had the Lions' share of the player from then on in. Kurt Zouma hit the post while Butland pulled off some more heroics in the Stoke goal, until injury time when Loic Remy equalised to take the tie into extra time. There was still time for Phil Bardsley to get sent off for the hosts for a second bookable offence.
Neither side were able to force a winner in extra time so the lottery of the penalty shootout was bestowed upon the two teams. After nine perfect penalties, it was left to Eden Hazard to take the game into sudden death, only for Butland to be the hero and deny Chelsea a place in the quarter-finals, and relinquish their grip on the League Cup.
Here are some of the best images from last night's action: