Carling Cup 2011, Round 3: Manchester United, Arsenal Through While Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa Knocked Out

Manchester United cruised to victory against old rivals Leeds thanks to a brace from Michael Owen and a lovely goal by Ryan Giggs in the first half before a sedate second period sealed the Championship club's fate. Sir Alex Ferguson took the opportunity to blood several young players, including ace midfielder Paul Pogba and Larnell Cole, but an injury to centre back Ezekiel Fryers meant that the visitors spent the last few minutes of the match playing Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Carrick as a defensive pairing, which was interesting. Anyway, an easy 3-0 win for United, and they advance to the fourth round.

Arsenal had a much harder time of things at the Emirates against League Two Shrewsbury, going down early on to James Collins' header before Kieran Gibbs puleld one back for the Gunners, but they turned on (some of) the style in the second half and a well-taken strike by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain gave the hosts a lead, with on-loan Chelsea midfielder Yossi Benayoun making it 3-1 late on and sealing the win.

Bolton and Aston Villa might have been scoreless and fairly pathetic in the first half, but it got far more interesting in the second, with the visitors scoring twice to no reply. The Trotters went ahead though Chris Eagles early in the half before Gael Kakuta capped off the 2-0 win with a lovely left-footed volley from the edge of the area which gave Shay Given no chance at all.

Wolverhampton, meanwhile, have absolutely destroyed Millwall, going ahead 3-0 at half time and tacking on two more to earn a 5-0 win with five goalscorers. Elsewhere, Burnley staged a home comeback to edge out MK Dons 2-1, although Kieran Tripper's equalising goal was controversial, to say the least, appearing to come off a free kick awarded for an imaginary handball. Oh, and Aldershot beat Rochdale 2-1 in a game I know nothing about, as did Crystal Palace Middlesbrough.

Blackburn Rovers and Leyton Orient at Ewood Park took its time to get going, with a late first half penalty converted by Jason Roberts the only real action, but the second half was exciting. Orient got a goal back through David Mooney, but a quickfire Blackburn double took the hosts back in front, only for Dean Cox to make it interesting late on. Blackburn, however, managed to hold on for a 3-2 win.

Stoke City and Tottenham Hotspur went to penalties after what was described as "120 minutes of I-use-the-term-loosely football" by the radio announcer. Eventually, after misses by Jermaine Pennant and one of the worst penalties of all time by Roman Pavlyuchenko, Massimo Luongo missed the sixteenth of the evening to allow Stoke to advance 0-0 (7-6). Turns out it's not just Lionel Messi who can't play on a cold, rainy Tuesday evening at the Britannia - nobody can.

Nottingham Forest and Newcastle United went to extra time as well, but unlike the previous match, this one was a thriller. Newcastle emerged from the first half with a 1-0 lead, but that was soon cancelled out by Robbie Findley. A penalty got the visitors back on track, but six minutes later, Matt Derbyshire equalised for Forest, making it 2-2 and forcing the game to extra time. Danny Simpson gave the visitors another lead in the 93rd minute, but Forest struck back again with a very late equaliser when Marcus Tudgay was left unmarked to head home a cross. Not late enough, though - Fabricio Colocini gave the Magpies the win just as Lee Mason was about to blow for penalties, and Newcastle emerged from the City Ground with a 4-3 win.

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