David Ngog fired Liverpool into the last 16 of the League Cup in a 1-0 victory at Leeds while Arsenal beat 10-man West Bromwich Albion 2-0 inspired by Carlos Vela’s second-half substitution on Tuesday.
Ngog scored the only goal in the 66th minute in front of 38,000 fans at Elland Road after a Liverpool side without the rested Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres and other regular starters struggled to take control against the League One side.
Arsenal also didn’t break the deadlock until the 68th minute against League Championship leader West Brom at Emirates Stadium even though the visitor was left with 10 men after the first-half dismissal of Jerome Thomas.
Playing against one of his former clubs, Thomas was sent off in the 37th minute for slapping Jack Wilshere in the face after they tangled on the ground.
“Thomas went to shake hands with Wilshere, he refused and Thomas reacted, so it was a red card,” said West Brom manager Roberto Di Matteo. “But there was an exchange of words and there was a reaction. I am disappointed Wilshere did not accept his hand, but that is part of the game.”
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger sent on Vela midway through the second half and it was his shot that led to the first goal. West Brom ‘keeper Dean Kiely blocked it but Sanchez Watt followed up to score.
Eight minutes later Mark Randall hit the West Brom bar and Vela took advantage of a tangle between Kiely and defender Leon Barnett to walk the ball into an empty net.
“When (Vela) came on, straight away he made a difference because he’s dangerous in his control, in his movement,” said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. “His class gives you something special.”
League One’s Barnsley upset Premier League’s Burnley 3-2 but Stoke hit back from two goals down at home to Blackpool to beat the Championship side 4-3. Portsmouth, last in the Premier League after six straight losses, fell behind after three minutes at Hartlepool only to win 3-1.
In meetings of topflight clubs, Sunderland ousted Birmingham 2-0 with first-half goals by Jordan Henderson and Fraizer Campbell and Bolton beat West Ham 3-1 after extra time having trailed until the 86th minute.
Kevin Davies headed the equaliser to cancel out Herita Ilunga’s strike for the Hammers and then Gary Cahill and Johan Elmander scored the extra time goals.
Blackburn won 1-0 at Nottingham Forest thanks to a first-half goal by Benni McCarthy.
Relegated from the topflight last season, Newcastle saw its chances of a trophy disappear with a 2-0 loss at Peterborough.