Three own-goals helped the Reds on their way to the next round, with their frontmen adding another two to ensure the Championship outfit's progression ended hereLiverpool thoroughly outclassed Championship outfit Brighton 6-1 in the FA Cup to progress to the quarter-finals, with three own goals from the visitors helping the hosts on their way.
The home side set up another cup tie at Anfield against fellow Premier League side Stoke City and now have a chance to clinch a second appearance at Wembley this season following their journey to the League Cup final.
Three own goals certainly put a gloss on the scoreline but it was Martin Skrtel who opened the scoring, heading in from a Steven Gerrard corner.
A fabulous free kick from Kazenga LuaLua then stunned the hosts before the Reds restored the lead just before the break with Liam Bridcutt helping Glen Johnson’s header on its way into the net.
Another Bridcutt own goal and one from Lewis Dunk, as well as a great strike from Andy Carroll saw the tally rise to five, before Luis Suarez made up for a penalty miss with a headed goal from close range.
The hosts ensured the perfect start as they went ahead with the first chance of the game. A corner conceded by Brighton saw Steven Gerrard step up to take the set-piece. The skipper sent his kick towards the front-post where Skrtel was waiting to pounce and headed in with ease.
Brighton wasted no time in cancelling out Liverpool’s fourth-minute opener, however, after a splendid low free kick from LuaLua. Striking from 25 yards out, the midfielder drove the ball through the defensive wall and Pepe Reina grasped at thin air as it skidded into the bottom corner.
The Reds came close to restoring their lead moments later after Stewart Downing followed a ball into the box and struck from close-range, but the winger’s goal-bound effort was cleared in timely fashion by a well-positioned Brighton defender who did just enough to get the ball away.
Luis Suarez came alive halfway through the first period to test Peter Brezovan on two occasions, forcing action from the goalkeeper on two occasions.
As the break loomed, Liverpool began to turn the screw even further and eventually took the lead for the second time after a scrappy affair in the Brighton box.
A corner arrived in the area and was dealt with poorly by the Seagulls’ defence allowing Suarez to shoot freely - the Uruguayan’s effort bouncing off Ashley Barnes on the line and falling to Johnson who headed in at the back post after a deflection off Bridcutt.
Shortly after half-time, brilliance from Liverpool saw the hosts produce a two goal buffer between themselves and Brighton. Tenacious work down the left flank from Downing saw the winger get past his man and cut the ball back for the waiting Carroll on the penalty spot, the big man clipping the ball home for the hosts’ third of the evening.
A defensive mix up between defender and goalkeeper then saw Brighton concede a fourth after Liverpool broke down the centre of the park. The Seagulls gave the ball away in their own box and Liverpool skipper Gerrard pounced on the loose ball and got to the byeline, after an initial effort was blocked, to see his second kicked into the roof of the net by Bridcutt whose game proceeded to get worse in netting his second own-goal of the game.
Brighton then compounded their woes as Dunk, looking to clear a loose ball in the Seagulls' box, proceeded to engage in an attempt at juggling at the ball only to knee into his own net after a miscontrol.
All of Liverpool’s chances looked to be producing goals and, when a penalty was awarded to the home side, it looked certain for one more to be added to the tally.
Substitute Dirk Kuyt was brought down by Craig Noone and Suarez stepped up to the spot, but the Uruguayan couldn’t make the visitors pay and, after a goal-line scramble from a fine save, the ball was cleared.
However, lackadaisical defending by Brighton soon allowed for the next goal to come. The Seagulls made a mess of a cross into the area and Suarez popped up to head a sixth for the hosts from close-range with the result already sealed.
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