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Report: Olise inspires Palace to stunning Millwall comeback

1
Afobe 17'
2
Olise 46'
Mateta 58'

Second-half goals from Michael Olise and Jean-Philippe Mateta inspired Palace to a sensational comeback against Millwall, as they emerged victorious from the Den to book their place in the FA Cup fourth round draw.

Summary

  • Eze and Olise start in an attacking Palace lineup, with Academy products Rak-Sakyi and Wells-Morrison on the bench.

  • Afobe misses the first big chance, firing high from just six yards out.

  • Afobe pounces on a defensive mix-up to open the scoring for Millwall.

  • Schlupp stings the palms of Long, before Gallagher fires just wide.

  • HT: Millwall 1-0 Palace

  • Olise equalises from the restart with a sumptuous curling effort.

  • The Frenchman comes agonizingly close to a second, clipping the inside of the post.

  • To cap a period of stunning attacking endeavour, Olise clips across for Mateta to nod home.

  • Palace hold firm under pressure to make it to the fourth round.

  • FT: Millwall 1-2 Palace

Almost exactly 100 years since the two first met in this competition, Palace and Millwall emerged to a wall of noise from all four corners of the ground. The travelling fans were making themselves heard above the cacophony from the Dockers Stand, as the rain came crashing down from the grey south London skies.

The visitors started well, hoping to take the sting out of the game with sustained possession as Millwall chased for every lost cause.

But on the break the home side were deadly. Benik Afobe was at the centre of the action, skewing high and wide from six yards out after finding space for the low cross.

He was given a chance to make amends shortly after, and this time he made no mistake. Pressing high, the Millwall attackers pounced on a mix-up between Jack Butland and his defence, and the goal was left gaping for Afobe to tap home.

Palace looked out of sorts, but they tried to respond. Jeff Schlupp came closest, a stinging drive from the edge of the area forcing a two-fisted save from George Long in the Millwall goal. Moments later, a rasping drive from Conor Gallagher whisked inches past from the far post.

In the second-half the Eagles came out all guns blazing, a team unrecognisable from a rather flat first period. Jean-Philippe Mateta was first to every ball, and Michael Olise showed the kind of skill and flair that Millwall fans will remember from his Championship days.

Within minutes of the restart, Gallagher curled the ball out to the Palace winger. Cutting inside, he unleashed a sumptuous curling effort that clipped off the far post and into the back of the net.

The fans behind the goal erupted, but it was just the beginning of an extraordinary ten minute display of brilliance from the young Frenchman. Whenever he found himself in possession, his first thought was to take on an increasingly cautious Millwall full-back – and he did so to stunning effect.

In a carbon copy of his goal he cut inside picked his spot, unlucky this time to see the ball cannon off the inside of the post and back out. Moments later he drifted inside again, firing just high of the upright.

While a brace eluded him, it was no surprise that Olise was the provider as Palace took the lead. Millwall had no answer to his lucid, two-footed dribbling ability, and once again he slipped the attentions of his marker to pick out Mateta in the area who nodded the ball home.

Buoyed by their emphatic response, the visitors pushed to hammer home their advantage. Will Hughes saw a shot blocked on the edge of the area, before Gallagher struck wide from 18-yards out.

Millwall pressed forwards for an equaliser, and several deliveries into the area were threatening for Butland and his back-four.

But there was always space on the break for Palace to respond; substitutes Christian Benteke and Odsonne Edouard were a constant thorn in the sides of the hosts' in possession.

As the fourth official indicated for five additional minutes, the home crowd sensed an opportunity for late drama. The pressure was relentless, and Butland was forced into a smart save late on, but the Eagles organisation held firm to see them through to the fourth round for the first time in three years.

Palace: Butland (GK), Ward, Guéhi, Andersen, Mitchell, Hughes (Milivojevic, 81), Schlupp (Riedewald, 88), Gallagher, Eze (Benteke, 64), Olise (Clyne, 88), Mateta (Edouard, 64).

Subs not used: Matthews (GK), Kelly, Wells-Morrison, Rak-Sakyi.

Millwall: Long (GK), McNamara, Hutchinson, Cooper, Bradshaw (Smith, 81), Malone, Ojo (Boateng, 81), Pearce (Bennett, 62), Saville (Kieftenbeld, 50), Afobe (Burey, 81), Mitchell.

Subs not used: Bialkowski (GK), Evans, Lovelace, Topalloj.