Newcastle beat Bournemouth to reach the League Cup quarter-finals, with Southampton, Wolves and Leicester City also qualifying.
Eddie Howe named a strong line-up for the first match since the end of the World Cup with England internationals Callum Wilson, Nick Pope and Kieran Trippier all in the starting XI.
There was a place for the in-form Miguel Almiron on the right wing, too.
Newcastle are in the hunt for a Champions League spot this season but up against Bournemouth, struggling for survival, they struggled to find a way through the Cherries’ defence, relying on a 67th minute Adam Smith own goal as the right-back turned the ball into his own net.
Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers was under pressure after a poor start to the season and while they have managed to climb to 13th, a loss to MK Dons would have threatened to wipe out any momentum they had going into the second half of the Premier League season.
They were able to secure a comfortable 3-0 wins in Milton Keynes after Youri Tielemans – who may soon attract bids from clubs such as Arsenal, due to his contract coming to an end next summer – opened the scoring, before Ayoze Perez and Jamie Vardy added to the tally, and the home side were unable to grab even a consolation goal.
On the south coast, Southampton struggled against unfancied minnows Lincoln City and were behind after just two minutes from an own goal by their goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu. Striker Ched Adams levelled after 25 minutes to make it 1-1.
With just over a quarter of normal time remaining, Adams grabbed a winner for the home side for new manager Nathan Jones.
Wolves new manager Julen Lopetegui got a chance to size up his players before the restart of the league campaign, and he watched as his team toiled against lower league side Gillingham for the first half.
However the Spaniard was able to come away with a win and move into the quarter-finals when Mexican striker Raul Jiminez scored through a 77th minute penalty before Rayan Ait-Nouri added a late second to make victory secure.