Brighton 5 Norwich City 0
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City slumped to the heaviest defeat of Alex Neil's tenure with an abject 5-0 Championship hammering at Chris Hughton's Brighton.
Glenn Murray cashed in on defensive charity to notch a hat-trick with Lewis Dunk and Anthony Knockaert completing the rout in a comprehensive beating on the south-coast.
Neil made one change from the side that lost 1-0 in the Championship to Preston. Alex Pritchard started against the club desperate to sign him in the summer with Robbie Brady dropping to the bench. Ivo Pinto failed to recover from the calf injury that had kept him out of the previous two games.
Brighton boss and former Norwich chief Hughton restored Dunk to his central defence after a one-match suspension. Dale Stephens started in place of Oliver Norwood after his winner against Wigan last weekend.
Pritchard was predictably the pantomime villain with the home fans when he touched the ball in the opening exchanges. City were rocked in just the sixth minute when Michael McGovern dwelt on a back pass long enough to be levered off the ball by Murray who rolled into an empty net from 12 yards.
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Murray's next meaningful contribution was a booking, alongside Martin Olsson, after the duo squared up just prior to the half-hour mark.
Pritchard's shot spiralled away for a corner that came to nothing after the restart but there was a greater sense of urgency from the visitors following a lacklustre opening period.
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But Brighton cashed in Wes Hoolahan's miscued pass in the 60th minute when Jiri Skalak collected Gaetan Bong's pass and picked out Murray who towered above Alex Tettey and Olsson to head past McGovern from close range.
It got worse four minutes later when Dunk rose above Timm Klose to head home Skalak's deep cross before Murray pounced on another weak attempted clearance from McGovern miscued by Ryan Bennett to complete his hat-trick.
Klose's slip inside his own half triggered Brighton's fifth when Knockaert collected Skalak's reverse ball to draw McGovern and cheekily dink the ball over the advancing keeper.
• Brighton: Stockdale, Bruno, Duffy, Dunk, Bong, Knockaert (Murphy 90), Sidwell, Stephens, Skalak, Murray (Hemed 74), Baldock (Norwood 78). Subs (not used): Maenpaa (GK), Huenemeier, Goldson, Manu.
• Booking: Murray (foul on Olsson, 27)
• Goals: Murray (6, 60, 73), Dunk (64), Knockaert (84)
• Norwich: McGovern, Martin, Bennett, Klose, Olsson, Tettey, Jacob Murphy (Oliveira 67), Dorrans, Hoolahan (Naismith 74), Pritchard (Brady 74), Jerome. Subs (not used): Ruddy (GK), Bassong, Josh Murphy, Thompson.
• Bookings: Olsson (foul on Murray, 27); Pritchard (foul on Dufy, 50); Tettey (foul on Baldock, 70)
• Time added on: 3 minutes / 3 minutes
• Referee: Andy Madley (West Yorks)
• Attendance: 29,469 (2,886 away fans)