A late goal from Ravel Morrison helped Derby boss Wayne Rooney avoid an embarrassing Carabao Cup first-round exit at home to Salford after the Championship club won 5-3 on penalties following a six-goal thriller.
There were shocks elsewhere with Blackburn, Luton, Bristol City, Barnsley, Hull and Peterborough all knocked out by lower-league opposition on a night where 27 ties took place.
Pride Park was the home for an intriguing clash between Rooney and Salford, who are co-owned by several fellow ex-Manchester United players.
After 14 minutes it appeared the ‘Class of 92’ would have the last laugh after goals from Jordan Turnbull and Josh Morris but Derby, who have endured a tumultuous summer due to a transfer embargo, hit back only for Morris to grab his second 16 minutes from time.
It was left to ex-Man United youngster Morrison to save his old team-mate with a stunning drive in the 82nd minute on his debut before the Rams converted all five penalties and Ryan Allsop denied Luke Burgess to give Rooney a much-needed lift.
Fellow Championship side Blackburn were not so fortunate and suffered a 2-1 loss to Morecambe on the same day they sold forward Adam Armstrong to Southampton.
Tyrhys Dolan put Rovers ahead in the first half but goals from Cole Stockton and Adam Phillips at Ewood Park gave Stephen Robinson his first win in charge of the League One Shrimps.
Barnsley, who lost in the play-offs last season, were knocked out after a 6-5 loss on penalties at Bolton. Joel Dixon denied Devante Cole from 12 yards after the tie had ended goalless.
Stevenage goalkeeper Joseph Anang made two saves in the shootout as the League Two outfit beat local rivals Luton 3-0 on penalties after a 2-2 draw.
Another Championship side lost on spot-kicks to lower opposition as Hull were beaten by League One Wigan.
After 14 successful penalties, Manchester United loanee Di’Shon Bernard missed and Jordan Cousins secured the Latics an 8-7 victory after the contest had finished 1-1.
Bristol City were another Championship side to taste defeat. Forest Green’s Regan Hendry netted in the sixth minute of stoppage-time to force penalties, which they won 6-5 to knock the Robins out.
Sutton’s first EFL Cup tie ended in a 3-2 defeat at Championship Cardiff after they had taken an early lead through Donovan Wilson with Marley Watkins’ double and Josh Murphy doing the damage despite Coby Rowe’s late strike.
Ryan Hardie hit a double for Plymouth in a 4-0 thrashing at newly promoted Peterborough.
Rhian Brewster ended his long wait for a first Sheffield United goal with the winner in a 1-0 victory over Carlisle while Stoke beat Fleetwood 2-1.
Swansea eased past Reading 3-0 and Scott Sinclair scored twice as Preston beat Mansfield by the same score.
Jobe Bellingham, the younger brother of England international Jude Bellingham, was an unused substitute during Birmingham’s 1-0 win over Colchester.
Aged only 15-years-old, the academy star would have broken his sibling’s record as the club’s youngest player if he entered the pitch but Lee Bowyer had to wait until the 75th minute for Marcel Oakley to break the deadlock on his debut and send Blues into the next round.
Millwall responded to going behind early to see off Portsmouth 2-1 while AFC Wimbledon beat Charlton 1-0.
Shrewsbury needed penalties to beat Lincoln while Colby Bishop scored four minutes from time to earn Accrington a 2-1 triumph at Rotherham.
Cheltenham edged a West County derby with Bristol Rovers 2-1, while Doncaster needed penalties to beat Walsall after a 0-0 draw.
Gillingham beat Crawley 10-9 on spot-kicks and Wycombe goalkeeper David Stockdale saved three penalties and scored one in their shootout success victory at Exeter.
There were also triumphs for Crewe, Cambridge, Newport, Oldham and Barrow at the expense of Hartlepool, Swindon, Ipswich, Tranmere and Scunthorpe, while Rochdale were handed a bye due to an outbreak of coronavirus at opponents Harrogate.
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