Bolton Wanderers' manager Owen Coyle, who had seen his side slide to four Premier League defeats in a row, gained some welcome relief last night as they upset the form book 2-0 at Villa Park – and ended Alex McLeish's grip on the Carling Cup.
After a largely uneventful first half, the away side, fielding eight changes from their defeat to Norwich, sparked into life when the former Manchester United youth player Chris Eagles latched on to a mistake from Marc Albrighton in the 54th minute and drove home from 20 yards. Gaël Kakuta doubled Bolton's advantage 13 minutes from time with a volley from the edge of the penalty area.
It was a frustrating night for McLeish, who won the trophy with Birmingham last season, as his near full-strength line-up did not force Adam Bogdan into a meaningful save until the 87th minute.
"We were not good enough on the night and did not deserve it," McLeish said, while Coyle was full of praise for midfielder Stuart Holden, who made his first appearance after a serious knee injury in March.
Wolves responded to Saturday's 3-0 home defeat to QPR by thrashing Millwall 5-0 at Molineux, Adlene Guedioura impressing for Mick McCarthy's side, while Blackburn edged out struggling League One side Orient 3-2 at Ewood Park.
Fabricio Coloccini struck right at the end of extra time to give Newcastle victory at Nottingham Forest, the Argentine defender's header two minutes into injury time clinching a pulsating tie 4-3 after Steve McClaren's team had equalised three times.
Burnley were stunned when League One high fliers MK Dons took the lead after just six minutes at Turf Moor through Daniel Powell. But second-half strikes from Kieran Trippier and Andre Amougou put the Championship side through 2-1.