A hat-trick from Dwight Gayle was the highlight of the Eagles’ emphatic Capital One Cup derby day as they put Charlton Athletic to the sword at Selhurst Park.
The Palace hitman continued his fine goalscoring record in this competition for the club as Alan Pardew’s side ran rampant against their local rivals, with all the goals coming in the second half.
Fraizer Campbell opened the scoring before Gayle netted the first of two penalties, the second coming after Naby Sarr had pulled one back for the visitors who saw Alou Diarra dismissed in the build-up to Gayle’s second spot-kick, before he added his side’s fourth late on to complete a famous win in SE25 and ensure progression into the fourth round.
The hosts dominated the early exchanges and they had their first opportunity to test Nick Pope six minutes into the game when Gayle fizzed a free-kick over the wall but saw it flash over.
Having scored against Shrewsbury Town with his head in the previous round, Wilfried Zaha then had a glorious chance to repeat the trick when Chung-yong Lee whipped over a cross from the left but with plenty of time and space the winger ballooned his chance well over.
Zaha then weaved his way down the right again to pick out Campbell, and with the striker seemingly destined to celebrate his first of the season Diarra managed to get his head to the ball and flick it over his own crossbar.
After Conor McAleny dragged a hopeful shot well wide from 30 yards on 22 minutes, Gayle nearly gave the Everton loanee a perfect example of how it should be done from a similar range a minute later when he belted a vicious attempt fractions wide, but Pardew’s side suffered a setback when skipper Damien Delaney limped off just after the half-hour mark.
Soon after Wayne Hennessey was forced into a rare save when Karlan Ahearne-Grant jinked in from the left and hit towards goal but the Welshman got down quickly to smother it, before Campbell began a one man crusade to get on the scoresheet.
He firstly saw an attempted curler from the edge of the area sail over, before on the other side of the interval he missed a free header when picked out by Zaha eight yards out but nodded it wide, but on 51 minutes he wasn’t to be denied.
Zaha again caused the Charlton defence trouble down the right and he would once again find the Palace attacker. He got the ball under control, turned past his defender and coolly slotted the ball past Pope’s reach into the far corner to finally end Charlton’s resistance.
The Addicks stopper did well to shovel a powerful blast from Lee past the post, but after Campbell had seen another goal ruled off for offside after the South Korean’s corner was flicked on by Gayle, just before the hour mark the lively striker was hauled down inside the area by Diarra, allowing Gayle the chance to lash the ball past Pope from 12 yards for his first of the night.
But on 65 minutes things got nervy when substitute Johann Berg Gudmondsson delivered a decent corner into the area which was headed on target by Sarr, and it proved to be too powerful for Hennessey to keep out.
But nine minutes later the two goal lead was re-established as Palace extinguished their neighbours’ hopes of progression. Patrick Bamford saw a pass flick off Diarra and with the Frenchman struggling to get back and rectify the mistake, he dragged down Gayle and was shown a straight red cad by Neil Swarbrick.
Gayle sent Pope the wrong way from the penalty spot to score his fourth penalty in a row in this competition for the Eagles, and take his tally to seven in his last four League Cup outings.
Watt stabbed any hope of a comeback wide when he was allowed a one-one-one with Hennessey soon after, and Bamford forced Pope into a good stop when Gayle unselfishly relinquished the chance of a hat-trick to square the ball to him but he couldn’t quite register his first Eagles goal.
But Gayle would net his third of the night when he leapt highest to head home Lee’s corner from the right to score yet another cup goal for Palace, mirroring his three goal haul against Walsall last season.
Palace nearly added a fifth when Yohan Cabaye rattled the bar from nearly 30 yards but Gayle’s treble ensured that the Eagles fans would have the bragging rights in south London for a while longer yet.
Palace: Hennessey, Kelly, Mariappa, Delaney (Hangeland 32), Souare, Zaha, Ledley, McArthur (Cabaye 74), Lee, Gayle, Campbell (Bamford 60). Subs: Speroni, Puncheon, Sako, Bolasie.
Charlton: Pope, Sarr, Solly, Fox, Bergdich, Kennedy (Gudmundsson 59), Ba, Diarra, Cousins (Kashi 65), Ahearne-Grant, McAleny (Watt 71). Subs: Mitrov, Bauer, Holmes-Dennis, Lennon.