Andrew Moran scored two and set up two as Blackburn overpowered Cardiff 5-2 in the Carabao Cup third round.
Jake Garrett’s composed finish set Rovers on their way in the 13th minute before Callum Robinson marked his first start of the season with a thunderous equaliser.
The 19-year-old Brighton loanee Moran’s first assist came in the 36th minute when his cutback was turned home by Arnor Sigurdsson on his home debut, but the much-changed Bluebirds hit back again through Kion Etete’s brilliant improvised equaliser in first-half stoppage time.
A second-half Rovers blitz put the game beyond doubt. Moran profited from woeful defending to score his first goal in English football just after the break, before inducing a foul that led to a Sigurdsson spot kick that was well saved.
He doubled his tally and Blackburn’s lead in the 54th minute with a spectacular long-range effort, before feeding Dilan Markanday to register a fifth 15 minutes later.
Rovers have made the fourth round for the second consecutive campaign, having netted 17 times in their three outings in the competition so far this season.
Home debutant Leopold Wahlstedt made a sharp low save early on to deny Etete, but Blackburn clinically hit the front when James Hill’s long pass found Garrett who controlled brilliantly and slotted underneath Runar Alex Runarsson.
Cardiff equalised in the 18th minute when Robinson found space 25 yards out to rifle an unstoppable drive into the bottom left corner.
Harry Pickering flashed an effort just wide of the post soon after and Rovers reasserted control in the 36th minute when a slick counter attack saw Moran cut back perfectly for Sigurdsson to slam home from six yards.
Etete superbly equalised in first-half stoppage time, controlling a pass on the left and holding off two defenders before turning and producing a screamer that flew into the bottom right corner.
But they were put to the sword early in the second half. Runarsson made a sprawling save to deny Markanday but could do nothing in the 49th minute when Moran intercepted a Jonathan Panzo pass and slotted past the goalkeeper.
Moran then tricked his way into the box and was brought down by Ebou Adams but Sigurdsson’s low penalty was well saved by his Icelandic teammate Runarsson who parried behind.
The beleaguered keeper was helpless from the resulting corner though as Moran curled a sumptuous 25-yard drive beyond him in the 54th minute.
Adams denied Semir Telalovic a certain fifth soon after, while Bluebirds debutant James Crole curled on to the roof of the net.
But relentless Rovers hit their fifth in the 69th minute when Moran’s perfectly weighted pass found Markanday on the right who stroked home into the far corner via a post.