Michael Owen struck twice in his first game of the season as Manchester United thrashed bitter rivals Leeds United 3-0 in their League Cup third-round tie at Elland Road on Tuesday.
Arsenal had to come from behind to beat League Two's Shrewsbury Town 3-1 at The Emirates while Bolton Wanderers won 2-0 at Aston Villa.
Former England striker Owen put Manchester United ahead after 15 minutes at Championship (second division) side Leeds with a scuffed shot that trickled in off the far post.
Owen grabbed his second goal in the 32nd minute with a superb right-foot strike from just inside the area.
Ryan Giggs put United three goals ahead just before the break when he cut in from the left and struck a delightful shot with the outside of his left foot to put the tie beyond Leeds.
Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson made 11 changes from the side that beat Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday but they still had too much quality for a workmanlike Leeds side.
Arsenal's terrible start to the domestic season looked like continuing when they fell behind to James Collins's 16th minute header for Shrewsbury but Kieran Gibbs levelled in the 33rd.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain put last year's runners-up ahead just before the hour and Yossi Benayoun also got his first Arsenal goal to ease the pressure on Arsene Wenger.
In other ties, Wolverhampton Wanderers beat Championship team Millwall 5-0 and Indian-owned Blackburn Rovers battled past stubborn League One (third division) Leyton Orient 3-2.
Inter drop gasperini
Rome: As expected Inter Milan on Wednesday sacked Gian Piero Gasperini from his coaching role following the previous day's 3-1 Serie A defeat at newly-promoted Novara.
The club has been put in the temporary charge of assistants Giuseppe Baresi and Daniele Bernazzani.
Gasperini lasted only three months in the job, taking charge of three league games and one match in the Champions League, losing three and drawing one.
Spain back on top
Paris: England have dropped four places to eighth in the latest FIFA rankings released on Wednesday with Uruguay, Portugal, Italy and Brazil overhauling them in standings based on results over a four-year timeframe. World and European champions Spain have meanwhile leapfrogged Holland to take back top spot following a friendly win over Chile and a Euro 2012 drubbing of Liechtenstein.