The League Cup has already seen Manchester City dumped out at the first hurdle, and several more Premier League sides were dispatched during Tuesday's fifth round action. Arsenal managed to claw their way back from a 4-0 deficit against Reading at the Madejski Stadium to win 7-5 in extra time -- a bizarre match that deserves its own, lengthy report -- but many of the other teams that went down early weren't so lucky
Southampton continued their horrendous form with a 3-0 loss to Leeds United at Elland Road, with Michael Tonge netting in the 35th minute before a pair of stoppage time goals put paid to any thought of a Saints comeback, and Sunderland were surprisingly downed by Middlesborough at the Stadium of Light, a close-range goal from James MacDonald just before halftime enough to see the visitors through to the sixth round.
Aston Villa nearly managed to blow a two-goal lead when strikes from Christian Benteke and Gabby Agbonlahor were canceled out by a late brace from Swindon Town's Miles Shorey, but the cracks in a miserable performance were papered over by Bentake's 90th minute winner. Wigan Athletic, meanwhile contrived -- at the DW Stadium, no less -- to spend 120 minutes locked in a scoreless draw with Bradford Town before the match was put out of its misery by penalties, with Shaun Maloney and Jordi Gomez missing to send the underdogs through.
Leeds United 3-0 Southampton
Reading 5-6 Arsenal (aet)
Sunderland 0-1 Middlesbrough
Swindon Town 2-3 Aston Villa
Wigan Athletic 0-0 Bradford Town (2-4 penalties)