Arsenal saw off Sunderland 3-0 tonight at the Stadium of Light, despite making 10 changes from the side which beat Manchester City in the Premiership on Saturday.
Ivorian full-back Emmanuel Eboue’s long-range drive gave the Gunners the lead and the result was secured thanks to Robin van Persie’s 67th-minute penalty.
The Dutchman added a third with three minutes to go for the north Londoners.
Blackburn, who won the competition in 2002, were rewarded for fielding a strong line-up with a 3-0 win over Leeds at Ewood Park, their fifth win in six matches.
Substitute Craig Bellamy teed up Brett Emerton for Rovers’ first and the game was settled when Paul Dickov tapped in Morten Gamst Pedersen’s low cross.
A Kevin Phillips’ goal midway through the first half was enough to see David O’Leary’s Aston Villa side overcome Burnley.
Leeds ended the match with 10 men as Gylfi Einarsson was sent off late on, and Lucas Neill added a late third for Mark Hughes’ team.
Reading won the battle of the Coca-Cola Championship’s top two as Dave Kitson’s double saw off Sheffield United at the Madejski Stadium.
Doncaster booked their place in the fourth round with a 2-0 win over Gillingham at the Earth Stadium.
Substitute Paul Heffernan grabbed a late brace for Dave Penney’s team as Manchester City’s second-round conquerors made progress.
A last-gasp David Livermore goal helped Millwall secure a 3-2 win over struggling League Two side Mansfield.
Ben May put the Lions ahead in the 25th minute after Carl Asaba headed the ball across goal and Paul Robinson looked to have made the game safe when he headed home Don Hutchison’s corner after an hour’s play.
However, Simon Brown pulled one back for the Stags (67) and a minute later it was all square as Richard Barker turned in Brown’s cross.
But Colin Lee’s men won it in the final minute when Livermore’s shot bounced up off the turf and over the despairing fingertips of Kevin Pressman.
A long-range cracker from Junichi Inamoto helped West Brom secure a 3-2 win over Fulham after extra-time at Craven Cottage.
Robert Earnshaw gave Albion a third-minute lead but the west Londoners drew level when Luis Boa Morte raced on to a Steed Malbranque pass to steer in his 50th Cottagers goal.
Bryan Robson’s side were gifted a second goal when a poor touch by goalkeeper Tony Warner allowed Kanu to steal the ball from him and score with ease. Heidar Helguson took the game into the added period with a last-minute goal but Japanese midfielder Inamoto’s first goal for the Baggies sealed it in the 99th minute.
Wigan were taken to extra-time by Championship side Watford before a Ryan Taylor penalty and an Andreas Johansson brace sealed passage for Paul Jewell’s side.