A hat-trick of own goals helped Liverpool to a 6-1 victory over Brighton as the Championship side suffered a second half meltdown at Anfield.
In the space of 35 minutes Liam Bridcutt found his own net twice and Lewis Dunk also put it in the wrong net while Martin Skyrtel, Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez also got on the score sheet.
Gus Poyet’s men attacked with vigour but a little bad luck and some atrocious defending meant their FA Cup run ended in somewhat humiliating fashion.
After Skyrtel’s 5th minute opener the visitors more than held their own against the Premier League side and were rewarded when Kazenga Lua Lua fired them level with a spectacular strike.
The midfielder fired a low drive from fully 25 yards past Pepe Reina, following a free kick. The goal added even more impetus to Brighton’s play and Lua Lua fired into the side netting.
They were on the verge of going in level until Bridcutt’s own goal on the stroke of half time. After the break things fell apart in spectacular fashion.
First Carroll made it three, sweeping home Stuart Downing’s low cross from ten yards. It has been a rough season for Carroll but the striker showed his ability today with a performance that showcased why Liverpool paid such an exorbidant fee for him.
Things began to fall apart thereafter as Brighton fell apart with a series of calamitous errors.
First Bridcutt added another own goal failing to get out of the way of Gerrard’s low cross and deflecting the ball past a bemused looking keeper Peter Brezovan.
The nightmare was only beginning and there was an atmosphere of shock and hilarity from the Kop faithful when Dunk added a third own goal as Brezovan first made a hash of a cross before Dunk miss-controlled the ball when a simple clearance would have been the safest option.
In what promises to be a continuing trend Luis Suarez was booed by the away fans from start to finish. There have been signs since Old Trafford that this saga has bothered Suarez and the Uruguayan missed a golden opportunity to silence the fans as he scuffed a penalty that Brezovan saved.
Kenny Dalglish had gestured for Suarez to take the penalty in a show of support for the much maligned striker so he will be relieved that his striker got on the score sheet a few minutes later, finishing off neatly after Carroll headed back across goal.
It was a harsh way for Brighton’s run to end but for Liverpool it was a night when everything seemed to go their way and they marched comprehensively into the Quarter finals.