Sport Soccer

Sunday 11 December 2016

Palace ride luck to bridge 21-year gap and seal semi-final spot

Reading 0 Crystal Palace 2

Published 12/03/2016 | 02:30

Crystal Palace's Frazier Campbell celebrates with team-mate Yohan Cabaye. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire.
Crystal Palace's Frazier Campbell celebrates with team-mate Yohan Cabaye. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire.
Crystal Palace's Yannick Bolasie in action with Reading's Jake Cooper. Photo: Eddie Keogh/Reuters
Crystal Palace's Emmanuel Adebayor goes airborne against Reading's Stephen Quinn. Photo: Eddie Keogh/Reuters

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 win at Championship side Reading.

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Cabaye scored a late penalty to give Palace the lead after a foul on Yannick Bolasie led to Reading's Jake Cooper being sent off.

Six days ago Palace lost to Liverpool in the league after conceding a late penalty, that left manager Alan Pardew fuming. This time it was Palace who benefited from a reckless challenge and Cabaye made no mistake from the spot.

Substitute Campbell made sure of Palace's place in the semi-finals when he pounced on a clever pass from Wilfried Zaha and beat goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi in stoppage-time.

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 Wembley and will be serious contenders for the final, regardless of their opposition.

"It was a tricky tie for us but we were really good today and should have wrapped it up before the penalty," said Palace manager Alan Pardew after his side reached the last four for the first time since 1995.

"It has been a strange run we have been on. We have been terrific in the FA Cup but edgy and nervous in the Premier League.

"Hopefully we can take this into the league," added the former Reading boss, referring to the fact his team have yet to win a league match in 2016.

France midfielder Cabaye praised Reading's performance at the Madejski Stadium.

"It was tough, this is a good team with good players but we have done the job," he said. "It would be amazing to win something and we are one step closer to the final."

Irish Independent

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