The Carabao Cup third round action threw up plenty of talking points, with favourites Manchester City among the sides to exit the competition.
Pep Guardiola failed to progress past his team’s opening round of a domestic cup competition for the first time in his managerial career, while Luton suffered a shock exit after defeat at third-tier Exeter City.
Elsewhere there wins or Manchester United, Chelsea, Everton, West Ham, Liverpool and Arsenal, while Port Vale reached the fourth round of the League Cup for just the second time in their history.
Following the midweek action, we’ve picked out six stars who impressed.
Six players who impressed in the Carabao Cup third round:
Andrew Moran – Blackburn
The teenager enhanced his growing reputation as Blackburn thrashed Championship rivals Cardiff to reach the fourth round.
Moran has made a strong start to his loan spell at Blackburn from Premier League Brighton and was at the centre of the club’s best football, scoring twice and providing two assists, during the 5-2 win at Ewood Park.
The 19-year-old capitalised on a defensive error to put Blackburn ahead for a third time after Cardiff had twice come from behind to level, before putting the game beyond the visitors with a long-range effort.
⚽️⚽️ Two goals.
🅰️🅰️ Two assists.
— Blackburn Rovers (@Rovers) September 27, 2023
The Republic of Ireland under-21 international produced a complete creative performance and will hope to build from here, after his first senior goals in English football booked Blackburn a fourth-round tie at Chelsea.
Anass Zaroury – Burnley
Anass Zaroury’s return could provide Burnley with the spark the Clarets badly appear in need of, with the Moroccan sending a statement to Vincent Kompany with a creative masterclass against Salford.
Zaroury’s season got off to a false start after he was sent off after coming on as a substitute against Manchester City on the Premier League’s opening weekend. He made his first start of the campaign on Tuesday evening and was involved in all four goals as Burnley swatted aside Salford City to reach the fourth round.
— Burnley FC (@BurnleyOfficial) September 27, 2023
An excellent set-piece delivery was headed home by Sander Berge for the opener, before Zaroury’s brilliant pass over the top released Jacob Bruun Larsen for the second. The winger’s free-kick was then eventually turned in by Dara O’Shea for Burnley’s third of the evening and Zaroury claimed his hat-trick of assists with a fine cross to pick out Wilson Odobert.
After early season frustration, Zaroury looks ready for a run in the Premier League.
Cole Palmer – Chelsea
Cole Palmer’s move to Chelsea caught many by surprise this summer, as the west Londoners spent £42.5m to sign the England u-21 international from Manchester City.
Palmer had struggled for opportunity given the calibre of attacking options at the Etihad, but showed he is ready for regular involvement at Chelsea after shining on his first start for the club.
Palmer was impressive in a central role behind Nicolas Jackson and produced the game’s real moment of quality against Brighton, when he turned smartly and freed Jackson for the winning goal.
The pivotal moment! 🥅 pic.twitter.com/ncX4UrZEs0
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) September 28, 2023
It was an encouraging combination for Mauricio Pochettino, who has seen Chelsea struggle for goals so far this season. Palmer’s creativity might just go some way to solving those issues.
Curtis Jones – Liverpool
Curtis Jones continues to grow at Liverpool and showcased his maturity with an accomplished performance out of position against Leicester.
Jones was named at right-back for the visit of the Championship leaders, but – wearing the captain’s armband at Anfield – handled the unfamiliar role well as he inverted into midfield and linked up well with Harvey Elliott and Ben Doak down the right-hand side.
Jones’ career appeared to be in danger of stagnating last season, but he impressed during the run-in and has continued that form into the new season. His ease at adapting to a new role will only add to his appeal for Jurgen Klopp, while the home crowd were appreciative of his effort after handing the stand-in captain a standing ovation upon his substitution.
Casemiro – Manchester United
Casemiro has had hit critics during the opening weeks of the Premier League season, with the midfielder having appeared off the pace for much of the campaign to date.
The Brazilian was back to his best as Manchester United beat Crystal Palace 3-0 in convincing fashion this week, providing presence in midfield that has often been lacking in recent performances.
Casemiro headed home the host’s second goal at Old Trafford after meeting Mason Mount’s corner emphatically, before turning provider with a pinpoint cross to pick out Anthony Martial at the back post.
Casemiro has three goals and an assist in his last three games for Man United 😤
Back to his best 💫 pic.twitter.com/8ce18QPRbG
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) September 26, 2023
Suggestions the 31-year-old is slowing down are perhaps premature, with Casemiro dominant alongside the increased energy of Mount, Hannibal Mejbri and Sofyan Amrabat in midfield.
Tino Livramento – Newcastle
Tino Livramento made his first start for Newcastle in midweek as the Magpies beat Manchester City 1-0 at St James’ Park.
The right-back has had to be patient for his chance given the presence of Kieran Trippier in Eddie Howe’s squad, but proved his qualities with a shut-down performance on Jack Grealish.
Tino Livramento completed 8/10 tackles and 11/18 ground duels against Manchester City, more than any other player.
Defensive masterclass. 🤩 pic.twitter.com/QMitzFy8hV
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) September 27, 2023
Livramento was full of tenacious work and made one superb recovery challenge on Matheus Nunes, in a performance full of defensive grit for a Newcastle team finding form. The 20-year-old was immaculate for much of the evening.