Arsenal see off Spurs, Everton humbled
Harry Redknapp taunted Arsene Wenger by claiming fans prefer to win trophies than watch youngsters, but it is Arsenal who have more silverware to play for this season after they beat Tottenham 4-1 to reach the Carling Cup fourth round.
The Gunners required extra time to clinch victory at White Hart Lane, and they were grateful for two unnecessary tugs of the shirt as Samir Nasri converted twice from the penalty spot in the 92nd and 96th minute.
Wenger opted for a far stronger side than Arsenal fans have become accustomed to in recent Carling Cup campaigns, naming Nasri, Tomas Rosicky, Laurent Koscielny and Denilson all in the starting XI. However, it was 19-year-old Henri Lansbury who broke the deadlock, poking home his first Arsenal goal after a fine cross from Jack Wilshere.
The Gunners enjoyed 67% of possession in the first half, but Redknapp introduced Robbie Keane at the interval and he equalised within three minutes, sliding a shot past the weak left hand of Lukasz Fabianski who should have saved it.
Both sides had chances to finish the match inside 90 minutes, but extra time was needed to separate the teams. Sebastien Bassong and Steven Caulker both conceded penalties in the five first minutes of the additional period, with Nasri sending Spurs' new goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa the wrong way on both occasions to carry Arsenal into round four. Andrei Arshavin then fired home a fourth for a jubilant Gunners side.
Brentford produced the shock result of the night, beating Everton 4-3 on penalties after holding the Merseysiders to a 1-1 draw. David Moyes must have had a few choice words with his side following the weekend defeat to Newcastle, and they responded with a bright opening at Griffin Park, taking the lead when Diniyar Bilyaletdinov set up Seamus Coleman to smash home.
However, Brentford were level by the break, with Gary Alexander heading home following a magnificent burst of speed from Miles Weston. No goals followed, which meant penalties, and Jermaine Beckford and Phil Jagielka both missed for the Premier League club.
It was a disappointing return to Turf Moor for Owen Coyle as his Bolton side were beaten 1-0 by Burnley. Coyle was greeted by plenty of jeers and bank notes as he returned to his former club, where the Burnley faithful still haven't completely forgiven him for jumping ship last season. But things got worse for the Bolton manager as Wade Elliott controversially grabbed the only goal of the game on the stroke of half time, the linesman judging that the ball had marginally crossed the line.
West Ham built on their first point of the season, earned at Stoke on Saturday, defeating Sunderland 2-1 to advance to the fourth round of the Carling Cup. The Hammers left Carlton Cole on the bench for their trip to the North East, and they were rewarded with a brilliant finish from Frederic Piquionne as they stunned the home crowd on 35 minutes.
The lead lasted all of six minutes as Asamoah Gyan, making his first Sunderland start, headed home an equaliser before half time. But Scott Parker and Pablo Barrera continued to play some quality football after the break, and on the hour they got their reward as the latter set up Victor Obinna to net the winner for West Ham.
Wolves were forced to come from behind to beat Notts County 4-2 after extra time at Molineux. Former West Brom striker Lee Hughes received abuse all night from the home crowd, but it was he who broke the deadlock in the second half, heading home before receiving a yellow card after he revealed a "Boing boing" message to the home fans on his t-shirt.
Wolves struggled to fashion chances as they battled for a way back into the match, but Liam Chilvers was sent off with seven minutes remaining for a foul that led to a Wolves penalty, and Nenad Milijas converted from 12 yards to force extra time. The numerical advantage told during the additional period, with Kevin Doyle (2) and Steven Fletcher both getting on the scoresheet for Wolves.
Stoke made the most of Fulham's weakness at set-pieces, exposed by Blackburn at the weekend, booking their place in the fourth round with a 2-0 victory. The first half became a feisty affair at the Britannia Stadium following a poor challenge on Moussa Dembele, and Danny Murphy may count himself fortunate to have only seen yellow after throwing the ball in the face of Ryan Shawcross.
Stoke did punish the Cottagers before half time through Danny Higginbotham, who arrived unmarked inside the area to head home Matthew Etherington's deep corner. And then Rory Delap launched a trademark long throw deep into the second half for Kenwyne Jones to kill the game off.
Birmingham enjoyed a Tuesday night stroll past MK Dons, with summer captures Alexander Hleb and Jean Beausejour shining in an easy 3-1 victory for the Premier League side. Blues blitzed their visitors in a marvellous first 45 minutes at St Andrew's that saw Beausejour instantly make himself a fans' favourite.
The Chile international provided assists for the opening two goals, supplying a cross for Hleb to score on his home debut and then for Nikola Zigic to convert a carbon copy second. Craig Gardner then bagged his fourth goal of the season after replacing the injured Michel, before Aaron Wilbraham netted a late consolation for the visitors.
Millwall completed a horror week on home turf by crashing out 2-1 to fellow Championship side Ipswich. The Lions were looking to bounce back from their 6-1 weekend defeat to Watford, but there were more boos from the New Den crowd by half time after a much-changed Ipswich side built a two-goal lead.
Boasting eight changes, Roy Keane's side led through Tamas Priskin's header, and then Gareth McAuley's shot slipped through the goalkeeper's grasp as things went from bad to worse for the home side. Steve Morison outmuscled his marker to halve the deficit on the hour, but Ipswich deservedly advanced to the next round.
Elsewhere, Swansea had Scott Sinclair to thank as they beat Peterborough 3-1. Sinclair has been in sparkling form this season, and it was he who made the difference, bagging a hat-trick to take his personal tally to seven in the last six games. Craig Mackail-Smith scored for Peterborough.
And Portsmouth came off second best against Leicester, missing a host of chances in a 2-1 defeat at Fratton Park. Michael Morrison opened the scoring for the Foxes, who doubled their lead through Lloyd Dyer before Richard Hughes earned a straight red card for foul and abusive language. Liam Lawrence halved the deficit with eight minutes remaining, but Leicester clung on for victory.