Reds put six past Brighton to progress
Brighton and Hove Albion 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 City after a 6-1 victory.
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 manager 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 as he hunted for his first goal since completing his eight-match ban.
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 battle back
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 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 ten minutes of the restart, Jordan Henderson nearly turned home an off-target Gerrard shot and Brezovan denied Stewart Downing. When Downing cut a cross back for Carroll, the burly striker swept home first time from ten yards. It was no more than he deserved - fit and firing, his size provides a threat no defence will find easy to contain.
Suarez seals victory
Brighton failed to manage it and, with three goals in his last ten appearances, Carroll is beginning to find the form which brought him such prominence at Newcastle United. 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 ten 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.