LONDON (AP) — At least Fulham can now focus more on its main aim of Premier League survival.
Fielding a team full of fringe players, Fulham was beaten 2-0 by fourth-tier Crawley in the second round of the English League Cup on Tuesday.
Fulham’s first-teamers have been doing much better this season on the club’s return to the Premier League after promotion, drawing with Liverpool and Wolverhampton and then beating Brentford on Saturday in an unbeaten start for a club whose priority will simply be staying up.
“We were relentless in our pressing and our application,” said Crawley manager Kevin Betsy, whose team has one point from five league games this season. “We stuck to the game plan extremely well. It worked. It was a fantastic night for everyone.”
Leicester and Bournemouth needed to win penalty shootouts against lower-league opposition to avoid slipping to the same fate as Fulham in the round that sees Premier League teams enter the competition, except for those clubs in Europe.
Leicester goalkeeper Daniel Iversen saved three spot kicks as his team won a shootout 3-1 against fourth-tier Stockport, after a scoreless 90 minutes, while Bournemouth beat second-tier Norwich 5-3 on penalties. That game had finished 2-2.
Other top-flight teams to advance included Aston Villa, Everton, Wolves and Crystal Palace.
Villa was the biggest winner, overwhelming third-tier Bolton 4-1 thanks to second-half goals from Danny Ings, Lucas Digne and Leon Bailey.
Demarai Gray scored Everton’s goal in a 1-0 win at third-tier Fleetwood. Wolves beat second-tier Preston 2-1, and Palace won 2-0 at third-tier Oxford United.
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