Wednesday 31st September

NOTABLE FIRSTS

Craig Bellamy repaid Kenny Dalglish for giving him his first Liverpool start with a goal inside 10 minutes to help beat Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1 in the third round of the Carling Cup.

Bellamy linked up with strike partner Luis Suarez to put Liverpool ahead in the seventh minute when his low strike went in off the far post. Dirk Kuyt doubled the lead in the 81st minute before Brighton pulled one back when Ashley Barnes scored from the spot after Jamie Carragher fouled Vicente Rodriguez.

Steven Gerrard came on as a substitute for the last 15 minutes after spending six months on the sidelines with a recurring groin injury.

Owen Hargreaves scored on his Manchester City debut to help dump holders Birmingham out of the Carling Cup in a convincing 2-0 win.

Hargreaves' impressive strike put City ahead in the 17th minute before Mario Balotelli doubled the lead before half-time with a precise low strike.

Birmingham had no answers to the multi-million pound strike-force and saw their quest to retain the silverware end at the Etihad Stadium.

SPOT-KICK SUCCESS

Chelsea's penalty shoot-out curse ended in the most dramatic fashion as they survived the sending-off of Alex to beat Fulham.

Pajtim Kasami hit the crossbar with a second-half spot-kick after Alex saw red and Bryan Ruiz did the same in the subsequent shoot-out, with replays inconclusive as to whether the ball crossed the line.

Chelsea's win, which came after a goalless two hours at Stamford Bridge, improved their miserable record of seven penalty shoot-out defeats from their previous eight and gave manager Andre Villas-Boas another chance to blood his youngsters in the next round.

Paul Quinn scored the decisive spot-kick as Cardiff City won 7-6 on penalties against Leicester following a 2-2 draw.

Quinn, who had been nursing a groin injury for most of extra-time, slotted home the winner after Gelson Fernandes had missed for the Foxes.

Don Cowie opened the scoring for Cardiff with a header, only for Steve Howard to poke home his first goal of the season to equalise. Lloyd Dyer slammed in Leicester's second before Rudy Gestede's first goal for Cardiff forced extra-time. Fernandes skied his penalty, allowing Quinn to win the match with the 14th spot-kick.

ELSEWHERE IN THE CUP

Everton captain Phil Neville put the disappointment of losing his first-team place behind him to score the goal which beat West Brom 2-1 and put his side into the fourth round.

The 33-year-old had watched the last two matches as an unused substitute but when recalled for the visit of West Brom the defender was the unlikely match-winner. Various attacking combinations had failed to find a breakthrough after Chris Brunt's penalty midway through the second half had given the visitors the lead.

But Marouane Fellaini gave Everton a lifeline they barely deserved with an unstoppable 89th-minute volley. And Neville, who has fallen behind Tony Hibbert in the pecking order for the right-back spot, showed his forwards how it should be done with a quality left-footed finish from outside the area in the first half of extra-time.

Championship leaders Southampton beat League 1 side Preston North End 2-1 thanks to goals by Jos Hooiveld and Adam Lallana.

Hooiveld put the Saints in front with a header from close range before Adam Barton equalised for Preston in the 52nd minute. Substitute Lallana sealed the win in the 66th minute with a stooped header.

Tuesday 20th September

MIXED FORTUNES FOR BIG BOYS

Arsene Wenger survived a mighty scare as James Collins' early header gave npower League 2 Shrewsbury the lead at the Emirates Stadium before Arsenal recovered to book their place in the Carling Cup fourth round with a 3-1 victory.

Just when Wenger must have thought things could not get any worse in a nightmare start to the Gunners' new campaign, Collins pounced to head home a superb 16th-minute cross from Marvin Morgan.

But the youthful Gunners hit back through Kieran Gibbs' 33rd-minute equaliser and second-half goals from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - on his full debut - and Yossi Benayoun wrapped up victory.

Michael Owen marked his first start of the season with a first-half double as Manchester United made light of a traditionally hostile environment at Elland Road to ease past Simon Grayson's Leeds United 3-0.

Owen scuffed home a 15th-minute opener before adding a stunning second just past the half-hour mark. Ryan Giggs ended the contest on the stroke of half-time when he blazed into the box to fire home.

Alex McLeish will not win the Carling Cup for a second successive year as his Aston Villa were knocked out 2-0 at home to Bolton.

McLeish led Villa's rivals Birmingham City to the trophy last season but second-half goals from Chris Eagles and on-loan Gael Kakuta earned the Trotters some respite from their recent Barclays Premier League struggles.

LEAVING IT LATE

Fabio Coloccini's header in the dying seconds of extra-time earned Newcastle United a thrilling 4-3 victory over Steve McClaren's struggling Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.

Forest had twice battled back from behind with first Robbie Findley then Matt Derbyshire cancelling out two Peter Lovenkrands strikes, the second a penalty just past the hour mark.

Newcastle regained the lead when a cross from Danny Simpson sailed into the net three minutes into the extra period, but Marcus Tudgay appeared to have forced penalties until Coloccini's intervention.

Goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen was Stoke City's hero as his diving save to deny Massimo Luongo gave his side a thrilling 7-6 penalty shoot-out win over Tottenham Hotspur after a goalless draw at the Britannia Stadium.

Peter Crouch started on the bench against his old club but played his part in the Potters' triumph by scoring his side's fifth penalty, after Stoke's Jermaine Pennant and Spurs' Roman Pavlyuchenko had missed earlier.

League 1 strugglers Leyton Orient put up a brave fight against Steve Kean's Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park but were undone by a brace of late goals from Ruben Rochina and Simon Vukcevic.

The visitors, without a win so far this season, had grabbed a 64th-minute equaliser through David Mooney after Rovers had gone ahead one minute before the break through a Jason Roberts penalty.

But Rovers pressed on in the second half with the promising Rochina side-footing his side back in the lead in the 71st minute and Vukcevic making it 3-1 four minutes later. Dean Cox added a late consolation for the visitors.

ELSEWHERE IN THE ROUND

Mick McCarthy's Wolverhampton Wanderers scored twice in the first 10 minutes en route to hammering npower Championship Millwall 5-0 with goals from David Edwards, Adam Hammill, George Elokobi, James Spray and Adlene Guedioura.

Championship table-toppers Middlesbrough were undone by goals from Wilfried Zaha and Calvin Andrew as Crystal Palace won 2-1 at Selhurst Park. Merouane Zemmama replied for Boro.

Burnley nudged past League 1 promotional hopefuls Milton Keynes Dons 2-1 at Turf Moor. Daniel Powell put the visitors ahead after six minutes before Kieran Trippier equalised and Andre Amougou grabbed the winner one minutes from time.

League 2 Aldershot Town caused a minor upset with a 2-1 home win over League 1 Rochdale. Ashley Grimes put Rochdale ahead but second-half strikes from Michael Rankine and Danny Hylton won it for the Shots.