It’s said that goals win games but there are certain moments within matches that can flip the result in your team’s favour. There have been some big game-changing incidents that have aided Palace’s route to the FA Cup final this season, and here we pick out the key moment from each round.
Campbell’s determination – third round v Southampton
With the game locked at 1-1 after Oriol Romeu had equalised for the hosts, Palace won a free-kick just inside the Saints’ half. Damien Delaney clipped it into the area but it evaded everyone and looked to be rolling out of play.
However Fraizer Campbell didn’t give up hope and chased it down, managing to just about keep the bobbling ball alive. He found Jason Puncheon whose shot was parried by Maarten Stekelenberg, allowing Wilfried Zaha the chance to drill home what proved to be the winner. While no official assist would be given for the goal, all the credit has to go to Campbell.
Zaha’s silky skills – fourth round v Stoke City
Eagles fans have seen many opposition players look foolish trying to make a challenge on Wilfried Zaha as he skips past them at will, but a delightful piece of trickery proved to be the difference as Palace made it into round five.
Collecting a pass from Yohan Cabaye with his back to goal, the winger swivelled and was immediately surrounded by five Stoke players. Unbothered, he shrugged past Stephen Ireland and flicked the ball between him and Marc Wilson to suddenly give him a sight of goal, and he tucked the chance between Jakob Haugaard’s legs to finish off a magical move.
Alli’s anguish – fifth round v Tottenham Hotspur
In the early stages of the third leg of the cup run, the Eagles were on the ropes at White Hart Lane. Yohan Cabaye had been forced to clear off his own line before another Spurs attack looked destined to result in the opening goal.
Son Heung-min’s direct running caused panic in the Palace defence but when the ball got stuck under his feet, it fell to Dele Alli inside the box. The youngster’s scuffed shot trickled past Wayne Hennessey’s outstretched hand and kissed the far post before rolling agonisingly across the goalline, before hitting the opposite upright. Joel Ward mopped up the danger and a sigh of relief was breathed.
Hennessey to the rescue – quarter-final v Reading
Alan Pardew’s men were dominating proceedings at the Madejski Stadium against the Championship side but had yet to break the deadlock, and in the second half the Royals had a golden chance to hit the visitors with a sucker punch.
Hal Robson-Kanu drifted down the right flank and whipped a brilliant cross towards the back post, which was perfect for Ola John who had been left unmarked at the back post. The winger made a good connection with a diving header which rocketed goalwards, but Wayne Hennessey was in the perfect place to get his body in front of the ball and keep the game goalless.
Pape’s peach of a cross – semi-final v Watford
Troy Deeney had just netted an equaliser for Watford and for the first time their supporters had begun to match Palace’s in the noise stakes. With their tails up, the Hornets looked to capitalise but just six minutes later Palace were back in front.
After Yannick Bolasie had done well to hold the ball up, he offloaded to Pape Souare who didn’t even need to control it before putting one of the crosses of the season into the box. His high-lofted pass was just begging to be attacked, and Connor Wickham used every sinew in his body to power a header past Costel Pantilimon and seal a cup-final place.