Birmingham 4 Blackburn 0
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Mikael Forssell tormented the visiting defence as he netted one goal and created two others to enable Blues to advance to the fourth round of the competition.
Clinton Morrison opened the scoring for the hosts with Stephen Clemence making it two before half time. Forssell netted in the second half with Bryan Hughes wrapping up the impressive win late on.
The match was delayed by over 30 minutes due to a problem with the floodlights but Blues wasted little time in declaring their attacking intent when the contest eventually kicked off as Morrison headed over a Robbie Savage corner.
Maik Taylor then saved from Andy Cole, who looked Rovers' brightest player in a lacklustre display, while Forssell's header was kept out by Brad Friedel.
Blues suffered an early blow when England international Matthew Upson was stretchered off but his replacement - Bryan Hughes - had an influential game.
Hughes created the opening goal on 23 minutes when he threaded a through ball which was crisply finished off by Republic of Ireland striker Morrison.
Finnish ace Forssell was tormentor-in-chief for the hosts and his pass to Clemence on 36 minutes enabled the former Spurs midfielder to round off a smart move.
Rovers rarely threatened as the match seemed to revolve around Forssell who rattled the woodwork in the second half, after Dino Baggio had earlier had a shot tipped over by Taylor.
Forssell finally grabbed the goal his performance deserved on 78 minutes when he chased goalkeeper Taylor's long clearance and drilled the ball beyond Friedel.
The visitors never looked likely to mount a comeback and Hughes put a gloss on the scoreline six minutes from time by driving home from a Forssell pass.