Belfast Telegraph

Palace heading for Wembley after late show in cup

Reading 0-2 Crystal Palace

By Declan Warrington

Yohan Cabaye and Fraizer Campbell claimed a late goal apiece as Crystal Palace progressed to the semi-finals of the FA Cup with a deserved 2-0 win at Championship side Reading.

Cabaye scored an 85th-minute penalty to give Palace the lead after a foul on Yannick Bolasie led to Reading's Jake Cooper being sent off, and substitute Campbell scored a second to give Alan Pardew's Wembley-bound team further cause for celebration.

Palace's struggles in the Premier League, in which they last won on December 19, may be ongoing, but they have successfully negotiated a difficult passage to the national stadium and will be serious contenders for the final.

It was in the final third that Palace were frustrated throughout much of the first-half.

One of the few times a position of promise evolved into one of threat came when captain Mile Jedinak played Emmanuel Adebayor through on goal in the 35th minute, but the striker hesitated and Reading goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi routinely saved.

Perhaps partly owing to their poor league form, Pardew has been criticised by some fans for not selecting Julian Speroni.

That Wayne Hennessey, under little pressure, soon spilled a high ball to Ola John would not have helped, and was only not worsened by him striking wide.

Palace did, however, start the second-half in the ascendency when after 54 minutes Al Habsi made a reaction save from a powerful header from Jedinak.

The opener finally arrived after Bolasie was pulled back in the area by Cooper in the 85th minute and the defender was sent off after a second yellow card.

Cabaye sent his penalty down the centre, which Al Habsi could only get a hand to, and Campbell added gloss to the score in the fifth minute of added time.

Belfast Telegraph


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