Aston Villa went some way to laying to rest the ghosts of last season's Capital One Cup semi-final exit to Bradford by easing past League 1 Rotherham 3-0 at Villa Park.
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Paul Lambert branded that two-legged defeat to the then League 2 club his lowest point as Villa boss, and he was not prepared to risk it happening again as he fielded a strong team which included Christian Benteke, Gabby Agbonlahor and Andreas Weimann.
And they were far too good for Steve Evans' side, with Lambert's selection justified by half-time as Weimann opened the scoring with a fine 20-yard effort in the 19th minute and then Benteke headed home Agbonlahor's cross 20 minutes later to ease the nerves.
Fabian Delph put the game to bed shortly after the interval with a fine team goal, latching on to Benteke's scooped pass to finish with aplomb.
It could have been a greater margin of victory, but Villa were wasteful in the final 30 minutes, with Agbonlahor and Joe Bennett missing good opportunities.
Although well beaten in the end, the Millers acquitted themselves well, particularly in the first half, where Alex Revell could have twice given them the lead, while Michael O'Connor's curling free-kick which went just over was the highlight of their second half.
As it was, Villa made safe passage through to the third round and avoided a repeat of last season's embarrassment by Bradford.
With Villa still hurting from that encounter with the Bantams and no game in the Barclays Premier League this weekend, Lambert made only three changes to his side from Saturday's defeat to Liverpool and chose to go with his dangerous front three of Benteke, Agbonlahor and Weimann.
But for all Villa's pace and potency up front, the Millers settled well and Revell had two great chances to put them ahead.
First the striker headed wide a Ben Pringle corner from a good position six yards out and then, with the goal gaping, he miskicked Lee Frecklington's centre.
But it was the hosts who took the lead in the 19th minute, against the run of play - and it came after a shocking error from Iceland international Kari Arnason.
The Millers centre-back casually tried to pass across the back line, but scuffed it straight to Weimann, who after seeing a cross blocked then sent a 20-yard effort flying into the top corner.
Evans' men refused to be cast aside, though, and tried their best to forge a response, with Pringle's wicked cross causing trouble for debutant goalkeeper Jed Steer, while Revell just failed to direct a header from another Pringle centre.
However, history repeated itself six minutes before the break when Arnason again gave the ball away, Villa broke down the right and Agbonlahor sent in a superb cross for Benteke to power home a back-post header.
It was harsh on Rotherham, but they were architects of their own downfall, not that the Belgium striker cared much as he celebrated his fourth goal of the season.
However, the visitors were not knocked off their stride as Pringle came within inches of making Evans' team-talk a little easier - but his left-footed effort went just wide.
Any hopes the former Crawley boss had of inspiring a second-half comeback were over just eight minutes after the restart as Villa made it three with a stunning team goal.
They worked the ball well through midfield and Ashley Westwood fed Delph, who laid it off to Benteke and then raced onto an inch-perfected scooped return from the striker before controlling and slamming home.
The floodgates then threatened to open as the hosts hurt their League One opponents on the counter-attack as Agbonlahor saw an effort blocked after racing towards goal from a corner at the other end, then Scott Shearer did well to block Joe Bennett's header with his feet.
Villa's dominance allowed Lambert the luxury of withdrawing his star duo as Benteke and Abgonlahor made way midway through the second half for Nicklas Helenius and Aleksandar Tonev.
Their departure saw the hosts lose their impetus and Rotherham came back into the game for their best spell since that opening 15 minutes and O'Connor curled a 25-yard free-kick just over while Revell had a shot blocked.
They could not register, though, and Villa saw it out, happy to avoid the potential banana skin.