Chelsea and Everton endured tense moments but ultimately triumphed over their lower-tier opponents in the League Cup second round on Wednesday.
The Premier League outfits secured hard-fought 2-1 victories against AFC Wimbledon and Doncaster Rovers, respectively, while Sheffield United faced a penalty shootout loss to third-tier Lincoln City after a goalless draw.
At Stamford Bridge, a shock came when Wimbledon took a 19th-minute lead from the penalty spot after a foul by Chelsea’s Robert Sanchez. However, the Blues rallied, with England under-21 forward Noni Madueke netting an equalising penalty just before half-time.
Substitute Enzo Fernandez then clinched the win for Chelsea with his first goal for the club in the 72nd minute.
Everton, facing a difficult start to the Premier League season, fell behind against Doncaster, but new signing Beto turned the tide with a 73rd-minute goal. The 25-year-old, making his debut for Everton, showcased his potential by netting a low shot past Doncaster’s keeper. The victory was sealed by forward Arnaut Danjuma in the dying moments.
In contrast, Sheffield United’s struggles continued as they were eliminated by Lincoln in a penalty shootout.
Other noteworthy outcomes included Burnley’s 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest and Blackburn Rovers’ remarkable 8-0 triumph against Harrogate Town.
Looking ahead, the third round promises exciting matchups such as Newcastle United facing Manchester City, Chelsea taking on Brighton & Hove Albion, and a London derby between Arsenal and Brentford.