- Capital One Cup
Arsenal produce incredible fightback in 12-goal thriller
Arsenal completed an incredible comeback from 4-0 down at Reading to win 7-5 in the Capital One Cup, while League Two Bradford stunned Wigan in a penalty shootout.
Theo Walcott and Marouane Chamakh both netted twice as Reading blew the chance to record a first-ever win over Arsenal in a jaw-dropping fourth-round match at the Madejski Stadium.
The Gunners looked shaky at the back in the early stages, and were punished when Jason Roberts lost Laurent Koscielny in the area and slid in to convert Hal Robson-Kanu's fine cross. And Koscielny was again at fault as the Royals doubled their lead, turning into his own net with Damian Martinez beaten at his near post.
Reading stormed into a 3-0 lead before 20 minutes had elapsed, Mikele Leigertwood's shot from 20 yards slipping into the net after Martinez made a mess of keeping the shot out, getting his angles wrong and punching the ball into the net. Arsenal were unable to stem the tide, and it was four when Noel Hunt beat Carl Jenkinson to bury a far-post header.
Walcott pulled one back in stoppage time at the end of the opening period, running through on goal and dinking over Adam Federici, while substitute Olivier Giroud netted a header in the second period to spark hopes of a comeback.
Koscielny, who had been given a torrid time by Roberts, gave the Gunners a further injection of hope by scoring a header on 88 minutes, before Jenkinson intervened in the sixth minute of stoppage time - after Ian Harte had appeared to handle Walcott's goalbound shot on the line - to complete the remarkable turnaround.
The scoring in extra time was started by Chamakh, who netted for the first time in over a year. Pavel Pogrebnyak's reply with only a few minutes remaining seemed to have forced penalties, only for Walcott and Chamakh to put the game out of the Royals' reach.
Bradford won at the home of Premier League Wigan via spot-kicks following a 0-0 draw after extra time. The Latics' Shaun Maloney fired over from the spot and Matt Duke saved from Jordi Gomez to send Bradford into dreamland.
Aston Villa are through to the last-eight of the Capital One Cup for the third time in four seasons after Christian Benteke scored a late winner in a 3-2 triumph against Swindon at the County Ground.
Villa looked to be cruising to victory as goals from Benteke - a £7 million summer signing from Genk - and Gabriel Agbonlahor earned them a 2-0 half-time lead.
But the League One side, who had already overcome Stoke in this season's competition, fought back through two goals from substitute Miles Storey before Benteke had the final say.
It was his third goal in two games and Villa boss Paul Lambert will hope his side can build on this success after their worst start to a league campaign in 43 years. Stephen Ireland also impressed in the play-maker role and set up the opening two goals.
Scott McDonald earned Middlesbrough a quarter-final place in a hard-fought derby with Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, which finished 1-0 to the visitors.
The striker, who was handed a start by Boro boss Tony Mowbray after he scored both of the goals in last weekend's 2-1 Championship win over Bolton from the bench, scrambled the ball home from six yards at the near post late in the first half.
It was enough for Middlesbrough to progress as Sunderland lacked the cutting edge that has seen them draw six of their eight Premier League games so far this season.
Southampton were unable to find sanctuary from their Premier League woes, with manager Nigel Adkins' decision to make 11 changes backfiring on him as Leeds secured another top-flight scalp by triumphing 3-0.
The Saints have found life tough since leaving the likes of Leeds behind in the Championship in the summer, accruing just four points from a possible 27, and even the bounty of a quarter-final berth could not chivvy them up as goals from Michael Tonge and El-Hadji Diouf, as well as Luciano Becchio's penalty, saw the home side through.