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ZAHA fires Palace past Stoke

January 30 2016

Wilfried Zaha

Wilfried Zaha

Crystal Palace progressed to the fifth round of the FA Cup with a 1-0 win at home to Stoke City.

New signing Emmanuel Adebayor was deemed not fit to play and fellow front man Connor Wickham was suspended but winger WILFRIED ZAHA stepped up to score the only goal of the game.

Stoke, who made eight changes to the side that lost at Liverpool in the League Cup semi-final in midweek, fell behind in the 17th minute after a fine piece of skill from ZAHA.

The 23-year-old twisted and turned his way past Stephen Ireland and Marc Wilson on the edge of the area and slotted through goalkeeper Jakob Haugaard's legs.

Palace fans appealed for a red card for Marc Wilson's challenge on Fraizer Campbell when the forward was through on goal and scythed down 35 yards out but the defender just saw yellow.

Switzerland international Xherdan Shaqiri was a threat for Stoke throughout and he fired over for the visitors just before half-time.

Boss Alan Pardew took injured duo Yohan Cabaye and Joe Ledley off at the break and brought on Jordon Mutch and Mile Jedinak in the middle.

Palace almost added another as Haugaard blocked Campbell's effort from Pape Souare's cross and Campbell then blazed over from the recalled Chung-yong Lee's pass.

Wayne Hennessey held onto Phil Bardsley's 25-yard shot in the last minute and Joselu struck wide shortly after as Palace made it safely through.

Palace: Hennessey, Dann, Delaney, Ward, N'Diaye Souare, Puncheon, Cabaye (Jedinak 46), Ledley (Mutch 45), Campbell (Chamakh 81), Lee, ZAHA.

Not used: Speroni, Hangeland, Mariappa, Kelly.

Stoke: Haugaard, Wollscheid, Bardsley, Pieters, M Wilson, Krkic (Biram Diouf 75), van Ginkel, Shaqiri, Ireland, Odemwingie (Crouch 75), Joselu.

Not used: Butland, Whelan, Afellay, Muniesa, Teixeira.

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Alan Pardew: "I've said it before: lesser teams than the quality I have have won this competition in recent years. We've got the talent to win it, you need a bit of luck with the draw: we don't need Man City away, we don't need Chelsea away, someone at home would be nice.

"I'm always conscious of this competition, I've come so close on two occasions, that it's a strong bond in me to try and win it. This team is every bit as good as that (West Ham) team I took to that final in 2006, but you do need a break here and there."

Mark Hughes: "We were a little bit stretched, we had a number of players unavailable.

"We didn't have enough in the final third when we had good opportunities. We're disappointed because it's a competition we wanted to do well in.

"We can have a good run at the European places (via the Premier League), we're very much in the mix. We can focus on what we have left. We want to try and build on the past two seasons, which is two ninth-placed finishes. We want to go better than that."

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