Palace 4-1 Charlton
Crystal Palace run local rivals Charlton ragged in the Capital One Cup third round at Selhurst Park, with Dwight Gayle bagging a hat-trick on his return to first team action. The visitors somehow made it to half time at 0-0 before some clumsy defending and improved Palace finishing saw the Premier League outfit comfortably put away the team from the Championship.
Gayle clipped a free kick just over the bar and went close with an effort from range and Wilfried Zaha and Fraizer Campbell were both guilty of missing great chances in the first period.
Campbell opened the scoring on 51 minutes, having just headed wide from six yard moments before after getting on the end of a lovely Zaha cross moments before, when Zaha found him once again with a centre. This time Campbell held off Solly before slotting past Pope in the Charlton goal.
The Palace number nine was involved again 8 minutes later when Dwight Gayle extended the lead from the spot. Gayle looked for Campbell with a delightful reverse pass and he got in front of Alou Diarra who proceeded to grab the Palace striker from behind and give away the penalty. This would not be the last time that Diarra would offend in the area.
The Addicks momentarily looked to be back in the game on 65 minutes as sloppy Palace marking from a corner allowed Sarr to head home. His effort was straight at Wayne Hennessey and the Wales number one is unlikely to be happy with his attempt to keep it out.
The reprieve would only last 9 minutes, however.
Hennessey lumped a goal kick to the edge of the Charlton penalty area where substitute Patrick Bamford glanced a flick on towards Gayle. It wouldn’t quite find the former record signing but the ball would bounce off Diarra and straight into the path of the number 16. Once again the striker got in front of the Charlton centre back in the penalty area and once again the centre back stupidly bought down the striker. This time DIarra was the last man and the referee had no choice but to send him for an early bath. Gayle would take the spot kick himself and close in on his second League Cup hat-trick for the Club.
Yohan Cabaye then entered the fray as the hosts kicked it up a gear in what looked like an attempt to embarrass their fellow South London club.
Gayle unselfishly passed to Bamford instead of going for his hat-trick but the man on loan from Chelsea bough the best out of Pope between the sticks. Gayle would soon have his hat-trick, however, heading home a corner with 4 minutes remaining.
As the Palace fans chanted “We want five” Cabaye saw Pope tip a blasted effort from range onto the cross bar and Bamford just failed to connect with a fantastic low Pape Souare cross.
As if the players hadn’t embarrassed Charlton Athletic Football Club enough with their shambolic display on the field, their fans would further damage the reputation and see them live up to the title given to them by Palace fans – Clowns. Smashing up the local area and attacking Palace fans who were at the game with their families, double hard that is.
Man of the Match: Dwight Gayle
Dwight has now scored EIGHT times in four appearances in the League Cup for Crystal Palace and is averaging a goal every 69 minutes this season for the club. If Connor Wickham is still injured for the game against Watford on Sunday, can Alan Pardew continue to overlook Gayle? Playing in a 442 in this one is very different to playing in a 4-2-3-1 in the Premier League – but when he plays he scores, so surely we should try and find a way to fit him in?
If only he’d buried that chance against Man City!
The debate continues.
Manchester City away. That is just brilliant (heavy sarcasm alert). They put out a full strength side against Sunderland on Tuesday night and it would appear that Manuel Pellegrini is targeting the League Cup this season.
This one is undoubtedly going to be a bit tasty as the City fans still seem a bit butt-hurt over the Scott Dann challenge on Sergio Aguero – which saw the Argentine miss a total of just over one half of a game’s worth of football.
Meanwhile, the Palace fans are still fuming over Toure on McArthur and Mangala on Puncheon…. Oh no, we got over that immediately.
I have heard many people saying that you have to beat a big team along the way if you want to win a Cup – I would have preferred it to have been one or two rounds further in though. Can we win this one? Sure, but we will need a little bit of luck to progress.
Up Next: Watford
Watford appear to have adjusted to life reasonably well in the Premier League and will be full of confidence after coming away from St James’ Park with all three points last weekend. It will be the first time that the two teams have met since the Play Off Final back in 2013 and Palace fans are always overly vociferous at Vicarage Road.
On paper this will not look like a true ‘Super Sunday’ to Sky Sports fans – but I fully expect some fireworks.
Come on you Palace.