Crystal Palace booked their place in the quarter finals of The Emirates FA Cup for the first time in 21 years by knocking out in-form Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.
Right-back Martin Kelly fired home the only goal of the game in first-half stoppage time to secure the Eagles’ place in the last eight with what was just their third win in 12 matches.
Spurs were on top for large spells and created the better chances but this wasn’t one of their better displays of what has so far been an impressive season – and the defeat means their focus will return to their Premier League title tilt and the Europa League.
Spurs 0-1 Crystal Palace
The Emirates FA Cup
3pm, Sunday 21 February 2016
White Hart Lane, Tottenham
Winning club to receive £180,000 from FA prize fund
Click here for Opta stats match page
For Palace, they are just one win away from a place at Wembley and one tie closer to their first FA Cup Final appearance since 1990.
Dele Alli came close to breaking the deadlock after just two minutes when his close-range header, from a corner, was blocked on the line by Yohan Cabaye and Spurs youngster Josh Onomah could only head the rebound over the bar.
The home side survived a scare just before the quarter-hour mark as Kyle Walker put too much power on a header back towards Michel Vorm, but the keeper raced back in time to claw the ball away.
But Alli, one of Tottenham’s stand-out performers this season, nearly had the White Hart Lane faithful on their feet midway through the first half.
The 19-year-old almost capitalised on some skilful play by Heung-Min Son, but Alli saw his low shot hit the far post, roll along the line and hit the other post before Joel Ward got back to hoof clear.
Harry Kane, Spurs captain for the day, had a relatively quiet opening 45 minutes, save from his usual industry, though he did force Wayne Hennessey to palm away a dipping 25-yard free-kick four minutes before the break.
Palace had gradually worked their way into a lively first half, albeit without overly testing Vorm, but the keeper will be disappointed to have been beaten at his near post when Kelly fired the visitors ahead in added time at the end of the first half.
A Ward throw-in on the left-hand side found its way to Wilfried Zaha 20 yards from goal. The winger laid the ball into the Kelly’s path on the corner of the Spurs box and the former Liverpool man did the rest, thumping an angled shot into the back of the net.
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino made a change at half time, replacing Mousa Dembele with Christian Eriksen, who took up the No10 role with Alli dropping into a deeper midfield berth alongside Nabil Bentaleb – and the hosts were on top immediately after the restart.
Kane flashed a left-foot shot across goal in the opening minutes of the second half only for Hennessey to get down well and flick the ball behind. The England hitman had another shot shortly after which was also deflected away for a corner.
And when Alli played a low ball across the six-yard box neither Kane nor Onomah could get the telling touch. Alli himself tried his luck from distance but the ball zipped just wide of Hennessey’s right post.
The rest of the half was a disjointed and at times scrappy affair, with limited clear-cut chances for either side.
The returning, and indifferent, Emmanuel Adebayor, who had his every touch booed and every mistake cheered by the home fans, was eventually replaced by Yannick Bolasie, who made his first Palace appearance since December following a long injury lay-off.
And the Palace fans thought Connor Wickham had steered home a second goal with just four minutes remaining, following a trademark surging run by Bolasie, but the striker was flagged for offside.
It mattered not, though, as Spurs were unable to find a late equaliser. The Eagles’ Emirates FA Cup run goes on.
Tottenham Hotspur (4-2-3-1): 13 Michel Vorm; 2 Kyle Walker, 15 Eric Dier, 27 Kevin Wimmer, 3 Danny Rose; 6 Nabil Bentaleb, 19 Mousa Dembele; 25 Josh Onomah, 20 Dele Alli, 7 Heung-Min Son; 10 Harry Kane (C).
Substitutes: 23 Christian Eriksen for Dembele HT, 22 Nacer Chadli for Son 67, 8 Ryan Mason for Alli 80.
Substitutes not used: 31 Luke McGee, 4 Toby Alderweireld, 16 Kieran Trippier, 29 Harry Winks.
Booking: Rose 90
Head coach: Mauricio Pochettino
Crystal Palace (4-4-2): 13 Wayne Hennessey; 34 Martin Kelly, 6 Scott Dann, 27 Damien Delaney (C), 2 Joel Ward; 11 Wilfried Zaha 7 Yohan Cabaye, 28 Joe Ledley, 22 Jordan Mutch; 21 Connor Wickham, 25 Emmanuel Adebayor.
Substitutes: 10 Yannick Bolasie for Adebayor 76, 15 Mile Jedinak for Cabaye 80.
Substitutes not used: 12 Alex McCarthy, 3 Adrian Mariappa, 9 Frazier Campbell, 14 Chung-Yong Lee, 16 Dwight Gayle.
Goal: Kelly 45
Bookings: Cabaye 73, Bolasie 85
Manager: Alan Pardew
Referee: Craig Pawson
Emirates FA Cup highlights: Tottenham Hotspur 0-1 Crystal Palace