Marouane Chamakh nabbed a decisive double as the Alan Pardew roadshow rolled on with a thrilling 3-2 FA Cup fourth round win at Southampton.
Pardew put one over his old club as Chamakh fired only his second and third goals of an injury-hit season to seal a fourth win in four games or his new manager.
Southampton 2-3 Crystal Palace
Saturday 24 January 2015
Winning club receives £90,000
This cracking FA Cup tie – a re-run of the 1976 semi-final won by the Saints – was set alight by FIVE first-half goals, four of them in 12 pulsating minutes.
The goals simply rained in. Be honest, as absorbing as Cambridge’s valiant draw was with Manchester United on Friday night there is nothing like a goal glut to set the pulses racing. And this was pure crash, bang, wallop.
First up came Graziano Pelle after just nine minutes when the Saints centre forward poked home his 11th of the season at the far post as Palace failed to deal with a James Ward-Prowse corner.
Three minutes later the visitors, FA Cup finalists in 1990, were level as Chamakh pounced on the rebound after Fraser Forster could only parry Arsenal loanee Yaya Sanogo’s effort.
Chamakh’s joy was short-lived as the static Palace defence suffered another upset in the 16th minute.
This time central defender Scott Dann held his hands in horror after turning Ryan Bertrand’s penetrating low cross past the startled Wayne Hennessy.
Poor old Dann – his face resembled a water colour left out in the rain as the realisation of his error sank in.
But not to worry. Gallant Palace, rejuvenated under Pardew were up for the Cup as they set about ending Southampton’s eight-match unbeaten run.
In the 21st minute Sanogo fired home after controlling a high and teasing Wilfried Zaha through ball and, six minutes before the break Palace were in the lead.
Watch the goals from St. Mary's with our video highlights of the game
Chamakh, fit again following hamstring trouble, was on the spot again to feed off Joel Ward’s cunning pass and the ex-Arsenal man showed enviable composure before drilling his shot wide of Forster.
All that excitement came on top of a couple of stirring Steve Davis drives that flew just past the Palace post, and decent Palace efforts from Sanogo, Fraizer Campbell and Damien Delaney.
Try as Saints might after the break when Ward-Prowse and Steven Davis did their utmost to unpick the Palace defence, in which right-back Ward was superb, they could not beat Hennessy again.
The closest they came was when the Palace stopper brilliantly tipped Eljero Elia’s 88th-minute 25-yard belter to safety.
Southampton (4-4-2): 23 Fraser Forster; 2 Nathaniel Clyne, 6 Jose Fonte, 5 Florin Gardos, 21 Ryan Bertrand; 8 Steven Davis, 18 Jack Cork, 16 James Ward-Prowse, 11 Dusan Tadic; 22 Eljero Elia, 19 Graziano Pelle.
Subs used: 33 Matt Targett for Gardos, 46; 7 Shane Long for Cork, 59; Ryan Seager for Long, 72
Substitutes not used: 1 Kelvin Davis, 27 Lloyd Isgrove, 28 Harrison Reed, 32 Jason McCarthy.
Goals: Pelle 9, Dann 16og.
Crystal Palace (4-2-3-1): 13 Wayne Hennessy; 2 Joel Ward, 6 Scott Dann, 27 Damien Delaney, 34 Martin Kelly; 18 James McArthur, 28 Joe Ledley; 11 Wilfried Zaha, 29 Marouane Chamakh, 10 Fraizer Campbell; 9 Yaya Sanogo,
Subs used: 42 Jason Puncheon for Chamakh, 65; 3 Adriana Mariappa for Sanogo, 78; 17 Glenn Murray for Campbell, 82.
Substitutes not used: 1 Julian Speroni, 4 Brede Hangeland 16 Dwight Gayle, 25 Barry Bannon.
Goals: Chamakh 12, 39; Sanogo 21.
Referee: Jonathan Moss.