In Diego Costa's absence, veteran striker comes good for Chelsea in 2-1 win over Shrewsbury
Shrewsbury: Jose Mourinho saluted his special golden oldie after Didier Drogba helped spare Chelsea's blushes at Shrewsbury.
Shrewsbury Town's Jermaine Grandison (left) scores an own goal as Chelsea's Didier Drogba (centre) watches on at Greenhous Meadow on Tuesday. Pic/Getty Images
The striker fired in his third goal in as many games as the Blues edged into the League Cup quarter-final with a 2-1 win at Greenhous Meadow. Jermaine Grandison's late own goal won it following Drogba's opener, which followed the Ivorian's strikes against Maribor and Manchester United in the last week.
Diego Costa is expected to return against QPR on Saturday following a virus and hamstring and groin problems. But boss Mourinho said Drogba was an example to his squad after his key impact.
He said: "Yes, I was worried when they equalised but we go through and Didier played a massive part in that.
"Hopefully he will be good for the weekend but we will have to see because right now his character is stronger than his body. Maybe what he has done today is through his character — not his body. That's what makes players special and any of the young players lucky enough to play alongside him, learn from that."
Andy Mangan's 77th-minute equaliser — just 84 seconds after he came on — rocked Chelsea before Grandison's gaffe when he turned in Willian's cross settled the game for the EPL leaders.
Mourinho admitted he feared extra-time, though. "Yes I was worried when they equalised. Shrewsbury put up a great fight. They are what the cups are all about," he said.
"I expect players to give me problems. I love problems. But a lot of them didn't and they've made it easy to choose my team for Saturday."
Drogba added: "I played here before, with Galatasaray. Shrewsbury have improved since then. It was difficult with the weather. I wouldn't say I enjoyed the game. It was difficult but I started playing in places like this."
Shrewsbury scared Chelsea and impressed in the first half with Nathaniel Knight-Percival forcing Petr Cech into a save and Bobby Grant going close.