Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini was delighted with his team's response to two defeats as they piled more misery on Sunderland in a 4-1 Capital One Cup rout at the Stadium of Light.
City, who were beaten by Juventus in the Champions League and West Ham in the Barclays Premier League in the space of five days last week, raced into a 4-0 lead inside 36 minutes through a Sergio Aguero penalty, a Kevin De Bruyne strike, a Vito Mannone own goal and a Raheem Sterling effort.
''Really it was important to win the way we did today because we have just come from two important defeats, one in the Champions League and the other in the Premier League, so it was important to start this Capital One Cup in the way that we did in the first half," Pellegrini said.
''It's important to win. Maybe we didn't deserve to lose the two games that we lost, but we did, so it was important not to continue in that sense.''
Ola Toivonen's late consolation did little to ease the mood of gloom on Wearside, but Pellegrini's opposite number Dick Advocaat - whose side sit at the foot of the Premier League table - was buoyed by elements of the Black Cats' performance.
The Dutchman said: ''Maybe you think I am negative, but I am negative, but I am not. Yes, negative that we lost 4-1, but the way we played in the first 25 minutes, it was very positive."
Steve Bruce's Hull claimed a Premier League scalp as David Meyler's first-half effort sunk 2013 winners Swansea 1-0 at the KC Stadium.
Tigers midfielder Jake Livermore, having not played since it emerged in May that he had tested positive for cocaine, was given a rousing ovation before kick-off and again when he was replaced midway through the second half, and Bruce believes the former Tottenham man is ready to get his career back on track.
''It was a big night for Jake for obvious reasons and I'm sure he appreciated the support he got from our fans,'' Bruce said of the 25-year-old, who was cleared to return less than two weeks ago after the Football Association took the death of his newborn son as exceptional mitigating circumstances.
"He's had the support of the club from the moment this happened and now he's played his first game he can get back on with his career."
Rudy Gestede headed a 62nd-minute winner as Aston Villa edged home 1-0 in a tight derby clash with Birmingham at Villa Park, while Everton survived a scare as they came from behind to win 2-1 at Reading.
A 33rd-minute effort from Peter Crouch proved enough for Stoke to beat Fulham 1-0 at Craven Cottage, and Middlesbrough cruised to a 3-0 win over Wolves at the Riverside Stadium with two goals from Albert Adomah and one for Diego Fabbrini.
Andy King headed the winner four minutes from the end of extra time as Leicester beat West Ham 2-1 at the King Power Stadium, while Bournemouth held their nerve to edge past Championship Preston on penalties after a 2-2 draw at Deepdale.
The third-round action continues on Wednesday when Spurs host Arsenal, Chelsea visit Walsall, Manchester United take on Ipswich, Liverpool tackle Carlisle, Newcastle face Sheffield Wednesday, Crystal Palace play Charlton, Norwich meet West Brom and Southampton travel to MK Dons.