Alexis Mac Allister scored twice, including a sublime flicked finish, as the World Cup winner helped Brighton beat Middlesbrough in the FA Cup.
The Argentina midfielder came on after half-time and scored with a brilliant piece of skill then tapped in a second.
Pascal Gross put the Premier League side ahead early on but Chuba Akpom quickly replied with a towering header.
Adam Lallana scored from close range to make it 2-1 before Deniz Undav added to Mac Allister’s goals late on.
Hosts Middlesbrough reached the quarter-finals last season but were thoroughly outplayed as Brighton progressed into the fourth round.
Brilliant Brighton and marvelous Mac Allister
Brighton lost manager Graham Potter to Chelsea earlier in the season but continue to impress under new boss Roberto de Zerbi, sitting eighth in the Premier League and cruising into the next round of the cup.
The Seagulls were stunned by Charlton on penalties in the Carabao Cup but that has proved to be a rare off day and they showed their top-flight class by dominating Michael Carrick’s Championship team.
The south coast side play easy-on-the-eye football and are stacked with talented individuals who all come together as one unit.
Gross put Brighton ahead after just seven minutes, slotting home after Solly March’s effort was saved by Zac Steffen, but the in-form Akpom leveled shortly after, heading in for his 14th goal of a fruitful campaign.
Brighton, though, exerted their supremacy in the contest thereafter and Lallana pinched a goal from the impressive Kaoru Mitoma by nudging the ball over the line when the Japan forward’s effort was already going in.
In second-half substitute Mac Allister they possess a player who claimed the biggest prize in world football last month and who is unsurprisingly full of confidence.
He could have had a hat-trick in his 45 minutes on the pitch, an instinctive Cruyff-style finish for his first goal showcasing his excellent form, technique and flair.
Mac Allister smacked the post with a curling free-kick but got his second by finishing off a slick team move from Gross’s cutback.
There was still time to Undav to come off the bench and drill a low finish into the bottom as Brighton secured a comfortable passage to the fourth round.
- 3GilesBooked at 76minsSubstituted forBolaat 81′minutes
- 21ForssSubstituted forWatmoreat 59′minutes
- 30HackneySubstituted forMowattat 59′minutes
- 8McGreeSubstituted forJonesat 59′minutes
- 25CrooksSubstituted forArcherat 68′minutes
- 9Muniz Carvalho
- 29van Hecke
- 6ColwillSubstituted forWebstersat 81′minutes
- 25CaicedoBooked at 55mins
- 13GrossSubstituted forUndavat 81′minutes
- 14LallanaSubstituted forMacAllisterat 45′minutes
- 22MitomeSubstituted forEngravedat 64′minutes
- 28FergusonSubstituted forWelbeckat 64′minutes
- Simon Hooper
Match ends, Middlesbrough 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 5.
Second Half ends, Middlesbrough 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 5.
Goal! Middlesbrough 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 5. Deniz Undav (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Solly March.
Attempt missed. Julio Enciso (Brighton and Hove Albion) header from the center of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Tariq Lamptey with a cross following a set piece situation.
Julio Enciso (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Jonny Howson (Middlesbrough).
Corner, Middlesbrough. Granted by Adam Webster.
Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Deniz Undav replaces Pascal Gross.
Substitution, Middlesbrough. Marc Bola replaces Ryan Giles.
Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Adam Webster replaces Levi Colwill.
Goal! Middlesbrough 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 4. Alexis Mac Allister (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the center of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Pascal Gross.
Attempt saved. Chuba Akpom (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the center of the goal. Assisted by Duncan Watmore.
Foul by Pervis Estupiñán (Brighton and Hove Albion).
Isaiah Jones (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Solly March (Brighton and Hove Albion) left footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the right is too high from a direct free kick.
Ryan Giles (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Tariq Lamptey (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Ryan Giles (Middlesbrough).
Foul by Levi Colwill (Brighton and Hove Albion).
Cameron Archer (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.