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Ivanovic sends Chelsea into League Cup final, clinching 2-1 aggregate win over Liverpool

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LONDON — Branislav Ivanovic scored on a header from Willian's free kick in the fourth minute of overtime, and Chelsea beat Liverpool 1-0 Tuesday night to reach England's League Cup final on 2-1 aggregate.

By denying Brendan Rodgers a first final as Liverpool manager, Jose Mourinho can now prepare for the first of his second spell at Chelsea. The Blues won the competition in 2005 and 2007 under Mourinho.

Tottenham leads Sheffield United 1-0 going into their second leg Wednesday at Bramall Lane. The final is March 1 at Wembley Stadium.

The Premier League leaders were fortunate to complete the heated and compelling game with 11 men after Diego Costa stamped on Liverpool's Emre Can and Martin Skrtel but was not punished by referee Michael Oliver. The stamp of Can's right ankle occured in front of the benches and fourth official Phil Dowd, but Costa avoided even a yellow card.

PHOTO: Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic, top, heads the ball and scores during the English League Cup semifinal second leg soccer match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge stadium in London, Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic, top, heads the ball and scores during the English League Cup semifinal second leg soccer match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge stadium in London, Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

In the second half, Costa stepped on Skrtel's left boot after the defender's sliding tackle.

ITALY

Lazio won 1-0 at AC Milan to reach the Italian Cup semifinals as Lucas Biglia converted a penalty kick in the 38th minute after a hand ball by Michelangelo Albertazzi. The visitors played a man short after defender Lorik Cana was given a red card in the 45th for fouling Jeremy Menez from behind.

Milan had a goal from Giampaolo Pazzini waved off for a hand ball by the forward in the 69th.

Lazio plays Inter Milan in the semifinals.

The Roman team defeated AC Milan 3-1 in Serie A last weekend. Milan defender Philippe Mexes was suspended for four matches for grabbing Lazio's Stefano Mauri by the neck on Saturday.

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