Fourth-tier Colchester United dumped last season’s Champions League finalists Tottenham Hotspur out of the League Cup 4-3 on penalties in the big shock of the third round on Tuesday.
While an abject Spurs side sank after a goalless 90 minutes to the lowest-ranked side in the draw, holders Manchester City powered past second-tier Preston North End 3-0 with forward Raheem Sterling scoring the opener and setting up another.
On a night with seven Premier League clubs playing lower league opposition, it was Colchester and fellow League Two giant-killers Crawley Town who rose to the challenge and went through.
Colchester managed only a handful of shots on target during their match at the Community Stadium, while Tottenham enjoyed 70% of possession and could boast the likes of internationals Dele Alli, Heung-Min Son and Erik Lamela on the pitch.
Substitute Christian Eriksen had his spot-kick saved by Dean Gerken and Lucas Moura blasted against the crossbar.
Tom Lapslie then sent Colchester into the last 16 for the first time in 44 years by scoring the decisive penalty past Paulo Gazzaniga.
“Colchester made a fantastic game, it was difficult. We are so disappointed we could not score in 90 minutes,” said Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino.
“They beat (Crystal) Palace on penalties too, that can happen. That’s the beauty of the competition, always something can happen.”
Crawley beat 10-man Championship (second-tier) side Stoke City 5-3 on penalties after the visitors had Nathan Collins sent off in the 62nd minute for violent conduct.
“We didn’t have anything to lose today,” said Crawley boss Gabriele Cioffi. “It was enough to make a statement.”
“It’s like David against Goliath. What do we have to lose? We couldn’t bring stone inside, the only thing we could bring on the pitch was bravery, belief, trust.”
Sterling sent Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City on their way with a right-foot shot in the 19th minute and then provided the pass for Gabriel Jesus to make it 2-0 in the 35th against Preston North End. A Ryan Ledson own-goal completed the scoring in the 42nd minute at Deepdale.
“They treat the Carabao (League) Cup the same way as the Champions League,” Preston manager Alex Neil told Sky Sports television. “That’s why they’re champions.”
A first-half double from Danny Ings helped Southampton to a 4-0 win at League One (third-tier) Portsmouth in the first south-coast derby in seven years between two of the fiercest rivals in English football.
Portsmouth piled on the pressure for the opening 20 minutes, when they could have been 2-0 up, but Ings took the wind out of their sails against the run of play in the 21st before adding a second just before the break.
Cedric Soares made it 3-0 in the 77th and Nathan Redmond completed Saints’ biggest away win against their neighbours, and first at Fratton Park since 1984, four minutes from time.
Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored twice in the opening 10 minutes to put the Toffees 2-0 up against Championship side Sheffield Wednesday before the goals dried up at Hillsborough.
Arsenal thrashed Nottingham Forest 5-0 at The Emirates with Gabriel Martinelli scoring twice on his first start.
“We played on Sunday but we want to do something important in this competition,” said Arsenal manager Unai Emery.
Leicester City ran out 4-0 winners at Luton Town while Premier League bottom side Watford laboured to a 2-1 home win against Swansea City.
Manchester United and Champions League winners Liverpool play League One sides Rochdale and MK Dons respectively on Wednesday.