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Match Report: FA Cup 5th Round Liverpool 6-1 Brighton (Brighton fan's perspective)

By Andy
Monday 20th February 2012
FA Cup fever spread across Sussex again as both the county's league sides met Premier League opposition in the fifth round for the second successive season. Crawley Town hosted last season's finalists Stoke City whilst Brighton traveled to Carling Cup finalists Liverpool.

This was the second time this season the two sides had met in two different cup competitions, first at the AMEX and now at Anfield. Many fans were dreaming of a repeat of 1983 when Brighton beat Liverpool 2-1 at Anfield on their way to their first, and still only, FA Cup final.

Not many would have predicted this scoreline, and even fewer would have predicted how the goals would have come about. An FA Cup record was set as Brighton netted three own goals to help secure a win for Liverpool after Martin Skrtel's opener.

In the end it was far too easy for the Premier League giants. Not even five minutes had passed and Liverpool won a corner. Andy Carroll played his part in causing havoc with the Brighton defense, who assumed the cross would be aimed at him, and Skrtel found space the glance the ball past Peter Brezovan.

The early goal seemed to give Brighton the wake up call they needed and they began to play the football they are becoming known for and a good passage of play led to Jordan Henderson conceding a free kick 25 yards out. Kazenga Lualua made the most of this opportunity as he powered a shot low down through the wall and past a helpless Pepe Reina. A goal worthy of any cup final.

However, the cheering Brighton support of over 6000 fans soon saw their team behind again just a minute before half time. The first of Brighton's hat-rick of own goals came after Peter Brezovan was unable to keep hold of Charlie Adam's corner, Luis Suarez's shot was then cleared off the line by Sam Vokes only for the ball to re-bound in off the pint sized Liam Bridcutt.

Things got worse for the Albion after the break. A neat cut back Stuart Downing allowed him to find Andy Carroll who showed his quality which has been hard to come by recently, to score his sixth goal of the season to make it 3-1. Then another error from Peter Brezovan and another own goal from Liam Bridcutt secured Liverpool a home tie with Stoke City (the draw for the Quarter Finals was made shortly before the 4.30 kick off at Anfield).

Lewis Dunk proceeded to give himself nightmares as he netted Brighton's third goal of the day at the wrong end. Luis Suarez's good work and cross seemed easy to stop and clear away. But that's simply not the Brighton way, Dunk controlled the ball onto his thigh and then tried to get it onto his foot to clear but it bounced off  the defender's his knee and into the net in front of the Kop.

Suarez, who was on the receiving end of constant booing from the away support, had the chance to silence his critics with a penalty after Craig Noone fouled Dirk Kuyt in the 80th minute, but the Uruguayan was denied by Peter Brezovan. He soon got his reward for a good performance however as Jose Enrique's cross was flicked on by Andy Carroll and Suarez easily headed into the net from close range.

Before the match, Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish said his side were ready for a big win. This most certainly was it.

Gus Poyet praised the home side after the game, he said: "We looked a decent team up until half-time but after that we were outclassed by a Premier League team. Liverpool were too good for us and we could not cope with their passing and their power. We were not at our best playing against a top team so it was going to be a struggle. A couple of players seemed to freeze and when you do that against quality players like Luis Suarez you have got a problem."

 
Andy

Total articles: 27

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