There were no big upsets in today's edition of the League Cup. With Manchester City going out yesterday, however, it looked as though there'd be a decent chance that neighbours Manchester United would succumb to the same fate. Newcastle United, after all, are nobody's idea of a cakewalk.
But the home side managed to break the deadlock via Anderson just before halftime, and Tom Cleverley managed to create enough of a cushion for them to survive the Newcastle onslaught. Alan Pardew threw Papiss Cisse on, which had the expected result -- the Senegalese striker scored within a minute of his introduction and nearly equalised with a brilliant overhead kick shortly thereafter. Ultimately, however, it wasn't enough, and it was Sir Alex Ferguson's men who went through to the fourth round with a 2-1 win.
Manchester United weren't the only team with a closely-fought 2-1 win. Liverpool returned to the scene of their humiliation in the opening match of the Premier League season. Having lost 3-0 against West Bromwich Albion a few short weeks ago, the Reds and manager Brendan Rodgers had a point to prove, and they overcame an early error from goalkeeper Brad Jones to secure an impressive away win. Nuri Sahin grabbed both goals, his first for the club.
Elsewhere, Arsenal grabbed six against Coventry City, with Olivier Giroud notching his first goal for the Gunners (the French striker, however, did go on to miss a penalty). Much-maligned Russian playmaker Andrei Arshavin ruled the roost at the Emirates -- he was instrumental in most of the goals and generally tore the terrified visitors into little pieces. Coventry did manage a consolation, but a 6-1 win's not much better than 6-0.
Tottenham won their third in a row by dispatching Carlisle United away from home. Jan Vertonghen grabbed the opener, Andros Townsend made it safe just after halftime, and Gylfi Sigurdsson added some gloss just before the whistle to make it a 3-0 win.
Premier League strugglers Norwich City and Reading both managed to earn narrow victories, with the Canaries edging out Doncaster Rovers 1-0 at Carrow Road thanks to a 26th-minute goal by Alexander Tettey and the Royals emerging as winners of a 3-2 thriller against Queens Park Rangers. QPR twice took the lead only to be pegged back in a matter of minutes, and a late goal from Pavel Pogrebnyak won the day for the visitors. He did miss an injury time penalty that would have made things more comfortable, however.