Manchester United downed Stoke City 2-0 to reach the League Cup semi-finals on Wednesday, while the post Andre Villas-Boas era at Tottenham Hotspur began with defeat by West Ham United.
After a first-half hailstorm briefly forced the teams off the pitch at the Britannia Stadium, United prevailed through fine strikes from Ashley Young and Patrice Evra to join Sunderland and Manchester City in the last four.
With Wayne Rooney absent due to an unspecified injury, United manager David Moyes deployed Danny Welbeck as a lone striker, while Chris Smalling, Anderson and Young were all brought into the team.
The hail arrived in the 28th minute, sending players and match officials scurrying for the cover of the changing rooms, before play resumed following a 10-minute delay.
Moyes introduced Javier Hernandez with just over half an hour remaining and moments later Young made the breakthrough in stunning fashion.
The former Aston Villa winger played a pass forward to Hernandez and when the ball came back to him on the edge of the box, he met it with a first-time drive of searing power that Thomas Sorensen got his gloves to but could not stop.
United put the game to bed in the 78th minute when Evra exchanged passes with Young before curling a fine shot inside the right-hand post with his seldom-used right foot.
Playing for the first time since Villas-Boas was sacked on Monday, Spurs let a 1-0 lead slip in a 2-1 loss at home to London rivals West Ham.
Spurs opened the scoring through Emmanuel Adebayor in the 67th minute before Matt Jarvis levelled the scores in the 80th minute.
Modibo Maiga completed West Ham’s comeback five minutes later, heading in from a Mohamed Diame cross to give Sam Allardyce’s side a second consecutive win at White Hart Lane following a 3-0 league success in October.