Arsenal remarkably came back from four goals down to move into the quarter-finals of the League Cup with a pulsating 7-5 win over Reading at the Madejski Stadium.
Reading, third from bottom in the Premier League, notched four goals in the opening 37 minutes thanks to Jason Roberts, Mikele Leigertwood, Noel Hunt and a Laurent Koscielny own goal.
Theo Walcott gave the Gunners hope just before the break and impressive substitute Olivier Giroud made it 4-2 on 64 minutes with a classy header.
Koscielny made up for his earlier error with another headed goal in the 89th minute before Walcott bundled the equaliser in from close range deep into injury time.
Arsenal thought their comeback was complete when the much maligned Marouane Chamakh, making his first start since January, drilled the ball home after 103 minutes before Pavel Pogrebnyak pulled Reading level with a header from six metres.
Then, just as the goalkeepers were preparing for a penalty shootout, Andrei Arshavin's shot was cleared off the line by a Reading boot and feel kindly for Walcott who gleefully scored his third goal of the night.
Chamakh added Arsenal's seventh goal just before the whistle.
Aston Villa are through to the quarter-finals for the third time in four seasons after Christian Benteke scored a late winner against Swindon at the County Ground where it ended 2-3.
Villa looked to be cruising to victory as goals from Benteke - a £7million summer signing from Genk - and Gabriel Agbonlahor earned them a 2-0 half-time lead.
But the npower League One side, who had already overcome Stoke in this season's competition, fought back through two goals from substitute Miles Storey before Benteke had the final say.
Scott McDonald earned Middlesbrough a quarter-final place in a hard-fought 0-1 derby win against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
The striker, who was handed a start by Boro boss Tony Mowbray after he scored both of the goals in last weekend's 2-1 npower Championship win over Bolton from the bench, scrambled the ball home from six yards at the near post late in the first half.
It was enough for Middlesbrough to progress as Sunderland lacked the cutting edge that has seen them draw six of their eight Barclays Premier League games so far this season.
Southampton were unable to find sanctuary from their League woes, with manager Nigel Adkins' decision to make 11 changes backfiring on him as Leeds secured another top-flight scalp with a 3-0 win.
The Saints have found life tough since leaving the likes of Leeds behind in the npower Championship in the summer, accruing just four points from a possible 27, and even the bounty of a quarter-final berth could not chivvy them up tonight as goals from Michael Tonge and El-Hadji Diouf, as well as Luciano Becchio's penalty, saw the home side through.
Elsewhere, Bradford City secured a 4-2 penalty shoot-out victory over Wigan Athletic after that match ended 0-0.