Liverpool, Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion all advanced to the Fourth Round of the FA Cup after seeing off their lower league competitors in replays after being held at the first time of asking.
Following the 2-2 draw at St James’ Park, around 6,000 Exeter City fans made the long trip to Anfield hoping to see their side pull off what would have been one of the biggest ever cup shocks, but the Grecians found themselves a goal down after just ten minutes when Joe Allen, making a rare start, scored.
Second half goals from Sheyi Ojo and Joao Teixeira saw Jurgen Klopp’s side comfortably through, and the Reds will now host West Ham in the next round.
Meanwhile, Aston Villa also came through their replay against League Two opposition unscathed, beating Wycombe Wanderers 2-0 at Villa Park.
After the game at Adams Park finished 1-1, the Villa players were subjected to criticism from their own fans, but goals in the last 15 minutes from Ciaran Clark and Idriss Gueye saw them comfortably through to a home tie against Premier League high-flyers, Manchester City.
West Brom looked to face the toughest tie of all as they travelled to Ashton Gate to face Bristol City after the two sides drew 2-2 at the Hawthorns.
However, Tony Pulis’ side took the lead seven minutes into the second half when Salamon Rondon coolly finished from Craig Dawson’s centre, and they will now welcome Peterborough United to the West Midlands a week on Saturday.
Elsewhere, Tottenham beat Leicester 2-0 at the King Power Stadium, to set up a tie at League One strugglers, Colchester United.
Both sides made changes, with Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez missing from the starting line-up for the Foxes, while Harry Kane was absent for Spurs.
But Mauricio Pochettino’s team didn’t need their star striker as goals from Son Heung-min and Nacer Chadli saw them ease to a comfortable win.
Portsmouth pulled off the only shock of the week as they beat Ipswich 2-1 at Fratton Park, following the duo’s 2-2 draw at Portman Road.
First-half goals from Gary Roberts and Marc McNulty put Pompey in control, and although Ainsley Maitland-Niles pulled one back after an hour, Town couldn’t get back on level terms, meaning there will now be a South Coast derby between the Blues and Bournemouth to look forward to.
Non-League Eastleigh’s dream of reaching the Fourth Round came to an end as they were beaten 3-2 by Bolton Wanderers at the Macron Stadium.
The visitors did take the lead through a Joe Partington goal, but they were pegged back by two quick-fire Trotters’ goals from Gary Madine and Dean Moxey.
But the National League outfit pulled themselves level when Kaid Mohamed scored just before the interval, only for Darren Pratley to score the winner after 58 minutes.
Following further draws in normal time, and extra time too, the ties between Bradford City and Bury, and Yeovil Town and Carlisle United, went to penalties, with the two away sides, Bury, who had been reduced to ten men after 40 minutes, and Carlisle, advancing to the Fourth Round.
The Shakers will now play host to Hull, and following the terrible flooding they have encountered, the Cumbrian outfit now have a potential money-spinning tie at home to Premier League Everton to look forward to.
Finally, there was a comfortable win by a three-goal margin for Reading against Huddersfield, with Matej Vydra scoring a hat-trick to help the Royals win 5-2 to set up a tie against Walsall, while MK Dons ran out comfortable 3-0 winners against Northampton meaning they will welcome Premier League champions Chelsea to Milton Keynes a week on Sunday.
After their Third Round tie was postponed, Blackburn beat Newport County 2-1 on Monday night to set up a tie against the biggest giant-killers from the previous fixtures, Oxford United.
Player of the Week: Matej Vydra (Reading)
Team of the Week: Portsmouth
Goal of the Week: Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Portsmouth vs IPSWICH)