Brighton & Hove Albion cruised into round three of the Carabao Cup after beating League One Portsmouth 4-0 at the AMEX Stadium.
Alexis Mac Allister and Bernardo scored their first Albion goals, whilst Viktor Gyokeres also bagged his first senior strike in a comfortable victory for the Seagulls with Ali Jahanbakhsh also on target in the rout.
Strength in depth
A trip to Preston is the reward for Graham Potter’s side, with the Seagulls boss making 11 changes to the team that faced Chelsea in the Premier League on Monday.
That demonstrates the strength in depth for Albion, with the line up still containing six full internationals with one of them, Joel Veltman, making his debut.
Albion started fast, and should have been ahead seven minutes in when Gyokeres created space to fire in a shot which Craig MacGillivray could only parry to Bernardo, but he fired over an open goal.
The hosts continued to be in the driving seat, but couldn’t get the breakthrough as Pascal Gross had an effort cleared before Dale Stephens beat MacGillivray, only for his low drive to come back off the post.
But the deadlock was duly broken seven minutes before the break. Jahanbakhsh whipped in a great cross from the right and picked out the run of Mac Allister, who headed home his first goal for the Seagulls.
The Argentine then played a role as the hosts doubled their advantage soon after the break. He found Gyokeres, who in turn teed up Jahanbakhsh and the Iran international drilled the ball beyond the keeper and into the top left corner.
At this point the Seagulls were running Portsmouth ragged, and it was 3-0 before the hour mark. Gross lifted in a corner from the right and Bernardo brushed off his marker to head powerfully past MacGillivray and into the roof of the net.
First senior goal
The Albion defender then turned provider as Gyokeres got in on the act for his first senior goal for the Seagulls. The Brazilian cushioned a header into the striker’s path and he turned well before firing beyond a helpless MacGillivray.
There was a chance for Portsmouth to leave the AMEX with a consolation late on, but Jason Steele preserved his clean sheet with a fine save to keep out Sean Raggett’s header.
Albion ended the game with ten men, however, as Stephens went off with an injury with all three substitutions already made, but that was the only problem on a good night for the Seagulls.