Manchester City continued their impressive goalscoring form into the Carling Cup as they brushed aside Wolves 5-2 to book their place in the quarter-finals.
And a second-half own goal from Wolves goalkeeper Dorus De Vries and a second strike from Dzeko put the Premier League leaders en route to repeating their derby success before Jamie O’Hara struck back to make it 5-2.
But substitute Petr Cech stepped up to save Leighton Baines’ resulting penalty and the rebound, however, Saha struck late on to earn extra-time before Sturridge sealed the victory with just minutes remaining.
A Luis Suarez brace ensured Liverpool’s safe route too, as they eased past Stoke 2-1 at the Britannia Stadium.
In the other game Blackburn beat Newcastle 4-3 after extra-time at Ewood Park, but only just.
With a comfortable 2-0 lead thanks to Ruben Rochina and Yakubu goals, Rovers contrived to let Newcastle back into the game as Danny Guthrie and Yohan Cabaye scored in added time to pull themselves back from the brink of defeat.
Morten Gamst Pedersen put the home side back in front in the 99th minute before a Peter Lovenkrands penalty saw Newcastle equalise for a third time.
Then with seconds remaining on the clock Gael Givet headed home from Chris Samba’s knock down to nick a dramatic win and finally give Steve Kean something to smile about.