Four Premier League clubs, including all three newly promoted sides, were knocked out of the English League Cup in the second round on Tuesday.
Norwich City were thrashed 4-0 at home by League One leaders the MK Dons, while Queens Park Rangers also lost at home to opponents from English soccer’s third tier, going down 2-0 to Rochdale at Loftus Road.
There was also no joy for Swansea City either following a 3-1 defeat away to League Two outfit Shrewsbury Town.
Meanwhile, established top-flight side Sunderland saw their dreams of League Cup glory ended with a 1-0 extra-time loss away to Championship high-flyers Brighton and Hove Albion.
Norwich manager Paul Lambert, showing what he thought of the League Cup, changed all 11 of his starting lineup and his Canaries were 2-0 down at halftime following goals from former Norwich player Luke Chadwick and Sam Baldock.
Chadwick’s second came on the hour mark, before Daniel Powell made it 4-0 seven minutes later.
Rochdale gave QPR early -warning as Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro scored from a rebound after five minutes and Gary Jones made it 2-0 with nine minutes left thanks to a superb shot into the top left-hand corner.
Swansea did at least take the lead, albeit through a Shane Cansdell-Sherrif own-goal, but Marvin Morgan, hero of the Shrews’ victory over Derby County in the first round, equalized midway through the first half.
Mark Wright scored in the 67th minute and Nicky Wroe sealed the victory late on.
Sunderland became the fourth Premier League team to go out on Tuesday when Brighton’s Craig Mackail-Smith headed in a 96th-minute winner to leave the visiting fans who had made the trip down to the south coast with nothing to show for their journey from the northeast.
Aston Villa struggled against Hereford United until 10 minutes from time, before goals from Eric Lichaj and Nathan Delfouneso sealed a 2-0 victory.
However, Midlands top-flight rivals West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers had an easier time of it, courtesy of 4-1 and 4-0 wins over Bournemouth and Northampton Town respectively.