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Report: Sensational Palace blow Everton away to reach Wembley

Crystal Palace
4
Guéhi 25'
Mateta 41'
Zaha 79'
Hughes 88'
0
Everton

A blistering display of attacking football saw Crystal Palace score two goals either side of half-time to brush Everton aside and book their place in the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley.

Summary
  • Vieira brings Eze into the side, replacing the suspended Schlupp.
  • Everton’s fast start is almost rewarded as Keane fires wide.
  • Guéhi heads Palace into the lead from a sumptuous Olise corner.
  • Zaha fires narrowly wide from an inviting Mateta ball across goal.
  • Mateta makes it two, sweeping home from Zaha’s low cross.
  • HT: Palace 2-0 Everton
  • Olise fires over the top after Edouard's through ball.
  • Zaha cuts inside but sees his shot blocked.
  • Olise's scuffed effort decieves everyone and rebounds off the post for Zaha to tap home.
  • Hughes makes it four, capitalising on the rebound from Gallagher's shot.
  • FT: Palace 4-0 Everton

The players emerged to a wall of noise and anticipation, as the Holmesdale Road end sparkled with thousands of twirling red and blue flags.

Little could any of them predicted the sensational display of pace, power and finishing that was about to be produced to send Palace marching into the final four of the FA Cup.

Buoyed by their late victory in midweek, the visitors started the better of the two sides and had a chance to get on the scoresheet early on when Andros Townsend – back at his former club – whipped in a free-kick. The ball fell for Michael Keane in the penalty area, but he dragged his shot wide.

Richarlison was a thorn in the sides of Joachim Andersen and Marc Guéhi, the latter timing a last-ditch challenge to perfection to prevent the Brazilian racing through on goal. The Everton man volleyed over the crossbar moments later.

After a lengthy break to allow Townsend treatment, Palace picked up the pace in possession, finding one another with an incisiveness that had been lacking in the opening exchanges.

Olise was finding space on the right for the first time, and a neat exchange of passes with Jean-Philippe Mateta saw Palace fashion their first real chance, Eberechi Eze’s shot on the turn straight at Jordan Pickford.

However, it was from a dead ball the Olise proved his most dangerous. After seeing his first corner punched away by Pickford as it looked to sneaking into the near post, his second delivery was a sumptuous, inviting ball into the six-yard-box, which Guéhi headed home with aplomb.

The noise that greeted Guéhi’s goal – as the captain saluted the fans – was something to behold, and Selhurst Park was quite literally bouncing as the Holmesdale celebrated.

It was very nearly two soon after, as Palace broke forwards again with pace. This time it was Mateta to get in behind from Andersen’s long ball, his first-time cross finding the onrushing Zaha in the area to fire narrowly wide.

But the Eagles were simmering now, and it wasn’t long before Everton’s resistance was broken again.

Eze, back in the side and given a pre-match show of confidence from Patrick Vieira, created the space to advance down the right and slip in Zaha, who fired across for Mateta to sweep home. His trademark corner-flag kicking celebration was greeted with by a wall of noise and adulation.

Mateta was in again from Eze’s delicate header just before half-time, but was crowded out just as he looked to pull the trigger.

Frank Lampard rolled the dice at the break, introducing England striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin for defender Jonjoe Kenny to try and spark an Everton revival.

Palace were the more composed of the two sides however, and in the early exchanges Eze’s footwork and Mateta’s constant harrying made life difficult for the visitors.

Everton were finding it impossible to deal with Olise breaking forward, and took turns in bringing him down at the expense of multiple yellow cards from Stuart Attwell.

Vieira made changes of his own, and Odsonne Edouard almost made an immediate impact when he forced his way through on the edge of the box, picking out Olise to curl over the crossbar.

On the opposite wing Zaha was causing havoc of his own, cutting inside and rounding two defenders before seeing his shot blocked and forced away.

But it was only a matter of time before Palace sealed victory and made certain their place at Wembley in April.

It was one of the more unusual goals scored at Selhurst Park this season, with Zaha laying off for Olise, who scuffed his shot high into the air. Both sets of players stood frozen as the ball looped down onto the post, falling for Zaha three yards out and onside. He tapped home, and bedlam ensued.

But the Eagles weren't finished, and kept pouring forward to compound Everton's misery.

It is often said that attack is the best form of defence, and so it proved as Will Hughes - only on the pitch for a few minutes after replacing Cheikhou Kouyaté - slammed home a fourth on the rebound from Gallagher's close-range shot.

It capped a glorious afternoon in the south London sunshine, as thousands of fans who dreamt of a return to Wembley after the third round draw in December realised that their dreams would become a reality.

Patrick Vieira pumped his fists at the full-time whistle. Palace had done it.

Palace: Butland (GK), Clyne, Andersen, Guéhi, Mitchell, Kouyaté (Hughes, 83), Gallagher, Eze (Milivojevic, 70), Zaha, Mateta (Edouard, 70), Olise (Benteke, 83).

Subs not used: Guaita (GK), Ward, Tomkins, Kelly, Riedewald.

Everton: Pickford (GK), Kenny (Calvert-Lewin, HT), Holgate, Keane, Richarlison, Townsend (Gray, 17), Doucouré, Gomes, Godfrey, Coleman (Iwobi, 73), Gordon.

Subs not used: Lonergan (GK), Tyrer, Patterson, Mykolenko, Branthwaite, Price.