Chelsea and Everton narrowly avoided humiliating League Cup exits against fourth tier opposition as they scraped into the third round on Wednesday.
At Stamford Bridge, Chelsea trailed against minnows AFC Wimbledon before recovering to win 2-1 thanks to Enzo Fernandez’s first goal for the club.
Struggling Everton came from behind in the closing stages to beat Doncaster 2-1.
Sheffield United were not as fortunate as their Premier League colleagues, losing on penalties to third-tier Lincoln.
Mauricio Pochettino made seven changes to the team that defeated Luton Town 3-0 on Friday, his first win as Chelsea manager.
Ian Maatsen, Lesley Ugochukwu, and Mason Burstow made their debuts, while Diego Moreira made his.
Pochettino, still hunting for his first title in English football following years with Southampton and Tottenham, may have worried that his first try with Chelsea would fail when Wimbledon scored in the 19th minute.
Chelsea goalkeeper Robert Sanchez clashed with Harry Pell as he attempted to receive a cross, giving up a penalty that James Tilley comfortably stroked home.
Chelsea equalized on the stroke of halftime when Noni Madueke scored from the penalty spot after Alex Pearce fouled the winger.
After coming off the bench, Fernandez gave more poise to Chelsea’s midfield, and the Argentine World Cup winner put his team ahead in the 72nd minute.
Fernandez slid home after taking advantage of a mix-up in the Wimbledon defense after joining from Benfica for £106 million in January.
Beto revives Everton
After three successive defeats to start the league season, Everton were pushed to the brink of more misery by a Doncaster side sitting bottom of fourth tier League Two.
Everton boss Sean Dyche made just four changes in a bid to avoid a giant-killing at the Eco-Power Stadium.
But Everton laboured throughout a dismal first half performance and fell behind in the 44th minute.
Despite the opponents’ claims for offside, Joe Ironside punished slack defending by heading Tommy Rowe’s cross beyond Jordan Pickford.
Dyche introduced Beto, a Portuguese striker bought from Udinese this week for £30 million, at the start of the second half.
Beto scored 21 Serie A goals in two seasons with Udinese and instantly demonstrated his predatory instincts in a Toffees shirt.
Beto raced onto Abdoulaye Doucoure’s hopeful pass forward in the 73rd minute and guided a perfect finish into the far corner for Everton’s first goal of the season.
Arnaut Danjuma then saved their blushes in the 88th minute with a controlled strike from the outskirts of the box.
Sheffield United’s poor start to the season reached a new low with a 3-2 penalty shoot-out defeat to third-tier Lincoln at Bramall Lane.
After a goalless first half, Lincoln goalkeeper Lukas Jensen saved spot-kicks from Louis Marsh and Benie Traore to inflict the Blades their fourth consecutive defeat.
Burnley triumphed 1-0 against Nottingham Forest courtesy to a close-range goal by Zeki Amdouni in second-half stoppage time.
In the night’s other tie, Championship side Blackburn thrashed fourth tier Harrogate 8-0.