Liverpool progress as Brighton self-destruct

Liverpool 6 Brighton 1

Brighton contributed an amazing three own goals to Liverpool's biggest win since September 2009 as the Reds booked an FA Cup sixth round meeting with Stoke.

Liam Bridcutt twice turned the ball into his own net, the first, just before half-time after Kazenga Lua Lua had levelled Martin Skrtel's early header proving crucial.

Lewis Dunk also scored an own goal, although Reds boss Kenny Dalglish will be more pleased that man-of-the-match Andy Carroll was also on target before setting up Luis Suarez, who had already missed a penalty he was urged to take by manager Kenny Dalglish.

It was a good day all round for Liverpool, so much so that Jamie Carragher could even have a joke with a male streaker, who entered the playing area in stoppage time.

For, after six barren seasons, Liverpool now have the familiar scent of silverware in their nostrils.

Whilst the financiers might place a Champions League berth at the top of their list of targets over the remaining weeks, for supporters, days out at Wembley are special.

In seven days' time, Kenny Dalglish will lead his team into a Carling Cup final confrontation with Cardiff. It could turn out to be the first leg of a double.

Dalglish could not have wished for a better start today. Distracted by the presence of the excellent Carroll, who was wrestled to a standstill by Adam El-Abd, Brighton allowed Skrtel a free run at Steven Gerrard's near-post cross. The header was firm enough to send it whistling past Peter Brezovan.

Brighton were fortunate to escape when they fell asleep at a quickly-taken free-kick, allowing Gerrard to shoot narrowly wide.

The visitors were being so comprehensively outplayed that it came as something of a surprise that they levelled, with Lua Lua - teed up by a training ground free-kick routine - expertly finding the bottom corner from 25 yards with a low shot.

The injection of confidence was clear, triggering an open contest.

Carroll nodded a Gerrard cross over, Inigo Calderon superbly cleared off the line to deny Suarez and Gerrard's free-kick was tipped over by Brezovan.

In return, the speedy Lua Lua flashed a shot into the side-netting after he had scorched past Glen Johnson.

After all that, Liverpool's second goal was scrappy.

Suarez, booed by the Brighton fans even though their manager Gustavo Poyet had backed his fellow countryman in the recent racism row on plenty of occasions, produced some neat trickery to create a shooting opportunity for himself.

Brezovan was equal to it but when the rebound bounced kindly for Johnson, the full-back turned his header goalwards. Sam Vokes thought he had cleared, only for the ball to strike Bridcutt at point blank range and bounce back into the net.

Within 10 minutes of the restart, Jordan Henderson nearly turned home an off-target Gerrard shot and Brezovan denied Downing.

When Downing cut a cross back for Carroll, the burly striker swept home first time from 10 yards. It was no more than the big Geordie deserved - fit and firing, his size provides a threat no defence will find easy to contain.

Brighton failed to manage it and with three goals in his last 10 appearances, Carroll is beginning to find the form which brought him such prominence at Newcastle.

The visitors' nightmare was not over though.

First Bridcutt was in the wrong place at the wrong time again as Gerrard's low cross bounced off him at the near post to provide Liverpool with a second own goal.

Then Dunk joined in the act. After succeeding only in kneeing the ball towards his own goal as he tried to juggle and clear, Dunk deserved to be punished for sheer stupidity - although there was some doubt as to whether it crossed the line.

After substitute Dirk Kuyt had been felled 10 minutes from time, the party atmosphere demanded Suarez take the spot-kick .

In keeping with the slapstick, he missed, only to atone from Carroll's nod down shortly afterwards to emphatically stamp Liverpool's presence in the last eight.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
musicOfficial chart could be moved to accommodate Friday international release day
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
News
i100
Sport
Italy celebrate scoring their second try
six nations
Sport
Glenn Murray celebrates scoring against West Ham
footballWest Ham 1 Crystal Palace 3
Arts and Entertainment
Drake continues to tease ahead of the release of his new album
music
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower