Manchester City produced a blistering first-half performance to win 4-1 at Sunderland in the English football League Cup third round, inflicting more misery on Dick Advocaat's struggling side.
Premier League Swansea City suffered a 1-0 defeat at second-tier Hull City, but Everton avoided a similarly embarrassing fate as second-half goals from Ross Barkley and Gerard Deulofeu helped them come back to beat Championship side Reading 2-1.
Aston Villa came through a testing clash at home to local rivals Birmingham City with a 1-0 victory courtesy of a second-half goal from Rudy Gestede, while Stoke City booked their spot in the next round by winning 1-0 at second-tier Fulham.
Sunderland, without a win in six Premier League games, fell behind after nine minutes to a Sergio Aguero penalty after Patrick van Aanholt clattered into Jesus Navas and the Argentine forward stepped up to dispatch the spot kick with a deft chip.
The floodgates then opened as three goals in 11 minutes from Kevin De Bruyne, an own goal by Sunderland keeper Vito Mannone and a Raheem Sterling strike put City 4-0 ahead at halftime, before Ola Toivonen headed a consolation in the second half.
Hull's David Meyler struck four minutes before half-time for the side relegated from the top flight last season and that was enough to down Swansea, with the midfielder stretching to reach a rebound and sweeping the ball into the corner.
Everton were also trailing to second-tier opposition at half-time, but Barkley netted with a low volley and Deulofeu curled home a free kick to settle the tie with Reading.
Villa's Midlands clash at home to Birmingham proved to be a predictably scrappy dogfight with the Premier League side having played poorly before Gestede powerfully headed Jordan Amavi's cross into the net after 62 minutes.
Peter Crouch scored Stoke's winner against Fulham in the first half, steering his finish into the net from 10 metres after a neat one-two in midfield.
Leicester City's home tie against West Ham United went to extra time, with the teams drawing 1-1, as did Preston North End's match against Bournemouth with the same scoreline.
Middlesbrough beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-0 in an all-Championship clash.