Daniel Sturridge helped Liverpool knock Tottenham out of the EFL Cup, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain starred for Arsenal against Reading. There were also wins for Hull City, Newcastle United and Leeds United on Tuesday in the tournament formerly known as the League Cup.
The big game on Tuesday in the EFL Cup fourth round was the one at Anfield, and it was Sturridge, who took the plaudits, scoring two goals, one in each half, to drive Liverpool past Tottenham 2-1. The Spurs goal came when they were already 2-0 down, via the penalty spot from summer signing Vincent Janssen.
Sturridge opened the scoring in just the ninth minute, when Liverpool took advantage of a slip from Georges Kevin-Nkoudou. Marko Grujic took possession, drove into the Tottenham's area, fired in a low cross, which fell to Sturridge to complete a nice chipped finish over goalkeeper Michel Vorm.
This was a good, flowing match of football, and while Spurs were in the game for large periods, Liverpool always looked like the team with the better cutting edge. So, it came as no surprise when Sturridge made it 2-0, running clear off a through ball from Georginio Wijnaldum to finish with aplomb again.
Spurs made the game interesting again when Janssen scored a penalty after Lucas Leiva was penalised for a push on Erik Lamela, but Liverpool, who could have easily won by a bigger margin, with Sturridge hitting the post and Divock Origi and Danny Ings coming close as well, settled for the 2-1 result with Jurgen Klopp now looking forward to a quarterfinal.
At the Emirates, there was a double as well, from Oxlade-Chamberlain, who fired in two well-taken efforts in a comfortable 2-0 result for Arsenal. Arsene Wenger's side barely had to get out of second gear in their fourth round match, with Reading, who looked nice in possession, unable to really threaten the Arsenal defence.
Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has found it difficult to get consistent minutes this season, made a case for inclusion in the bigger games by netting a brace. The first one came in 33rd minute, before the match was wrapped up 22 minutes from the 90.
Results: EFL Cup fourth round: Arsenal 2-0 Reading; Bristol City 1-2 Hull City; Leeds United 2-2 Norwich City (Leeds won 3-2 on penalties); Liverpool 2-1 Tottenham; Newcastle 6-0 Preston North End.