Ten-man United squeak past Wolves
League leaders Chelsea made it eight wins out of eight in competitive games with a 1-0 win over west London neighbours Queens Park Rangers, Peter Crouch bagged a hat-trick as Tottenham Hotspur won 5-1 at Preston North End and Everton put Phil Brown's future in jeopardy by thrashing Hull City 4-0 away.
Aston Villa beat Cardiff City 1-0 while a near-full strength Manchester City needed extra time to beat Fulham 2-1.
Manchester United fielded an entirely changed team from that which won the Manchester derby on Sunday and the stand-ins were presented with a stiff test of their character when 18-year-old Fabio's first appearance of the season ended after 29 minutes when he was sent off for hauling down Michael Kightly.
United, with Michael Owen among the starters, remained the more dominant side though and won it in the 66th minute when Danny Welbeck finished off a neat passing move.
"That never say die attitude runs through this club and the goal was of magnificent quality," United manager Alex Ferguson told Sky Sports.
Chelsea equalled their all-time club record of 23 unbeaten matches but had to work hard for their win against QPR, secured when Salomon Kalou beat the offside trap after 52 minutes.
Chelsea welcomed back England international Joe Cole and Portuguese defender Paulo Ferreira after long injury layoffs and gave a debut for £18m summer signing Yuri Zhirkov.
Chelsea assistant manager Ray Wilkins told reporters: "It was a testimony to how well QPR played that we had to use Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and John Terry as substitutes in the second half."
Last season's runners-up Spurs chalked up their third 5-1 away win of the season at Preston, with Crouch completing his hat-trick in the last minute, while Everton made it 11 goals in three games by crushing Hull, effectively wrapping up Wednesday's win after 24 minutes when they were 3-0 up.
Manchester City boss Mark Hughes bucked the trend by making only one change from the Sunday's starting team but his side found it hard going against Fulham's second string.
The visitors went ahead with long-range Zoltan Gera shot after 34 minutes, Gareth Barry heading the equaliser after 52.
The game went into extra time and Kolo Toure won it with nine minutes to go when he thumped in a shot from close range.
The draw for the fourth round takes place on Saturday.