Rams comeback fired up by Dawkins double
STEVE McCLAREN’S Derby blew Fulham away with a stunning fivegoal blast to claim a place in the quarter-finals.
McClaren’s side looked to be in big trouble when Fulham’s teenage striker Moussa Dembele put the Cottagers two up just before the break.
But a Chris Martin penalty in first-half added time brought County back into the tie.
And the visitors simply crushed Kit Symons’ side with four more goals in the opening 20 minutes of the second half.
Johnny Russell, Jeff Hendrick and a double from Simon Dawkins did the damage to leave Fulham wondering how the game had turned around so dramatically.
Fulham have been on the up since their 5-1 defeat at Derby in late August and Friday’s 3-0 victory over Charlton meant they came into this clash on a high.
And the a young Cottagers side showed no fear as they tore into County during the opening half and should have been well in control before Dembele finally struck in the 27th minute.
The teenager had tested Derby keeper Kelle Roos with a snapshot, before making a mess of a clear chance when he found himself one on one with the shotstopper moments later.
But he made no mistake when he latched onto Craig Forsyth’s poor back-pass, rounded Roos and slotted home.
Derby finally stepped up the pace, but gifted Fulham a second BAD-BOY Mario Balotelli finally repaid Brendan Rodgers’ faith as he handed him a League Cup lifeline.
And Dejan Lovren wrapped up a great escape deep in stoppage-time to carry Liverpool through to the last eight.
Keeper Gerhard Tremmel was at fault for the winner when he misjudged Philippe Coutinho’s free-kick and the defender headed in.
The Reds looked on their way out of the Capital One Cup as they trailed to an opener from Marvin Emnes.
But Balotelli – who was left on the bench until getting the nod from his boss with 12 minutes to go – timed his run perfectly to meet Fabio Borini’s superb cross and bundle the ball home in the 86th minute.
It cancelled out the opener from Emnes, who has only netted one other goal this season – in the 3-0 Capital One Cup win over Everton
It looked like he was about to put another Mersey club to the sword when he hooked in a sweet 65th-minute volley from Neil Taylor’s threaded through-ball.
To make matters worse for Swansea, as extra-time loomed, defender Federico Fernandez was shown a straight red for a foul on Coutinho just before the winner.
Rodgers made NINE changes to the line-up that drew at home with Hull at the weekend.
It was a gamble by Rodgers given his team’s mediocre start in the league, with the cup offering the chance of silverware.
Still, it was all Liverpool in the early stages with Jordan Henderson sending a 20-yard free-kick sailing high over the top.
And a good move ended with Coutinho slipping the ball through for Lucas whose shot was straight at Tremmel.
Another long-ranger from Coutinho flew wide.
But the two strikers with most to prove to Rodgers – Rickie Lambert and Borini – were having a quiet first half.
There was a rare glimpse of goal for Lambert from a 22nd-minute corner, but he headed well over.
The next chance fell to
with another cock-up in the 44th minute.
This time midfielder Omar Mascarell was caught out and Dembele again showed great composure to finish in style.
But the Rams were thrown a lifeline when Tim Hoogland handled and Martin converted the penalty.
Russell levelled within two minutes of the restart and Dawkins put the Rams in front with a superb run and shot.
Then Kendrick and Dawkins both converted close-range chances as Fulham fell apart.
YOU REALLY ARE SUPER MARIO: Glen Johnson and