In-form striker Joao Pedro hit a hat-trick to help Brighton knock struggling Sheffield United out of the FA Cup.

The Brazilian netted a penalty in each half before scoring his third goal with a shot from the edge of the area.

Brighton lead through Facundo Buonanotte’s brilliant opener before the first of Pedro’s spot-kicks.

The Blades levelled before the breakthrough Gustavo Hamer and William Osula, but Pedro and a late goal from Danny Welbeck clinched it for Brighton.

Pedro, who signed for £30m from Watford last summer, now has 18 goals in all competitions for Brighton this season, including five in two FA Cup ties.

But for United, at the foot of the Premier League table, it was ultimately another dispiriting result after they had fought back so well late in the first half.