Spurs pay for missed chances as Palace make last eight

Date published: Sunday 21st February 2016 4:51

Martin Kelly: Earned Crystal Palace 1-0 FA Cup win at Tottenham

Martin Kelly: Earned Crystal Palace 1-0 FA Cup win at Tottenham

Martin Kelly scored a rare goal as Crystal Palace beat Tottenham 1-0 at White Hart Lane to make the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.

Kelly had not scored since helping Liverpool win at Chelsea in November 2011, but the right-back flashed a powerful shot past Michel Vorm just before half-time to end Spurs’ hopes of a unique treble.

Mauricio Pochettino said in the build-up to the game that Spurs would continue to take both the FA Cup and Europa League seriously despite their Premier League title challenge, and the Argentine was true to his word with his line-up showing only three changes from last weekend’s win at Manchester City.

One of them was enforced, Vorm again standing in for Hugo Lloris, while Nabil Bentaleb and Josh Onomah were promoted to the side to allow Toby Alderweireld and Christian Eriksen a break. Eric Dier dropped back into defence to partner Kevin Wimmer.

Palace, meanwhile, made only two changes with Kelly and Joe Ledley replacing Pape Souare and Mile Jedinak. Yannick Bolasie and Dwight Gayle returned to the bench after injury as Emmanuel Adebayor retained his place in attack against his former club.

It was one of those changes, Kelly, that proved the unlikely match winner on his first start since November, collecting Wilfried Zaha’s pass inside the penalty area and firing inside the near post as Spurs lost for the only the second time since the turn of the year.

Martin Kelly scores Crystal Palace Tottenham

Spurs could, however, have built a healthy lead by the time Kelly struck.

Yohan Cabaye blocked a Dele Alli header off the line in the opening minutes, and though Kyle Walker almost headed an own goal over Vorm in the 14th minute – requiring the goalkeeper to recover and palm clear – Spurs’ threat remained greater.

If the hosts were then fortunate, they were far less so with another effort from Alli in the 23rd minute. Son Hueng-Min broke down the left wing, and after Damien Delaney dispossessed him, Alli collected the loose ball before curling against the far right post, watching the ball roll along the line before hitting the other and then being cleared off the line by Joel Ward.

On the stroke of half-time, however, shortly after Kane had tested Wayne Hennessey with a 30-yard free-kick, Palace’s, and Kelly’s chance arrived almost from nowhere.

Zaha drew Danny Rose out of position, and with Kelly overlapping on the right-wing, played the full-back into the area from where he impressively and powerfully struck high inside Vorm’s near post.

Though Spurs could do without further fixtures in their already busy schedule – and a replay was surely the last thing Pochettino wanted – he turned to substitutes Eriksen, Nacer Chadli and Ryan Mason in his pursuit of victory.

Bolasie, who had been missing since December 19 with a hip injury, returned as a second-half substitute for Palace, creating a chance which was disallowed after the offside Wickham turned it into the net. They thereafter defended resiliently, securing the clean sheet which took them into the competition’s last eight.

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