Fernando Torres made the most of a rare Chelsea start yesterday by scoring one and setting up another in a 2-0 victory over third-tier club Swindon in the League Cup, while Manchester City and Tottenham advanced with stylish wins.
Torres slotted in from close range in the 29th minute and then wriggled through the defence six minutes later before slipping the ball through to Ramires to dink the ball into the net.
"For the players who have not played in the last few matches it was good to play - everyone is happy," Torres said. "It is one step forward."
It was the Spain striker's first domestic start since the opening game of the season more than a month ago.
"Hopefully I'll have more chances to play in the Premier League games," he said.
Likewise for Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe after netting twice in a 4-0 victory over Aston Villa.
In the other all-Premier League clashes, Everton's unbeaten start ended in a 2-1 loss at Fulham and West Ham edged Cardiff 3-2 to reach the fourth round.
All the top-flight sides avoided embarrassment against lower-league opposition, Norwich winning 3-2 at Watford in extra time, Hull beating Huddersfield 1-0, Southampton overcoming Bristol City 2-0 and Sunderland ousting Peterborough by the same scoreline.
Man City avenged last season's FA Cup final loss to Wigan by routing the second-tier side 5-0, with Stevan Jovetic scoring his first goals since joining from Fiorentina.