Bristol City 4-1 Crystal Palace: Robins thrash Premier League side
By Press Association
Last Updated: 24/10/17 11:31pm
Bristol City claimed a third successive Premier League scalp as they moved effortlessly into the Carabao Cup quarter-finals at Ashton Gate.
After knocking out Watford and then Stoke, the Sky Bet Championship club saw off top-flight strugglers Crystal Palace after first-half goals from Matty Taylor and Milan Djuric sent them on the their way to a 4-1 win.
Palace led through a Bakary Sako strike, but City never looked back after going ahead, and Joe Bryan's rasping left-foot shot on the hour confirmed Palace's fate in front of a 22,000 crowd, before Callum O'Dowda underlined it six minutes later.
Palace boss Roy Hodgson made 10 changes from the side beaten by Newcastle last weekend. City showed five changes.
It is the first time since 1988-89 that City have reached the League Cup quarter-finals - they were beaten on aggregate by semi-final opponents Nottingham Forest that season - as Lee Johnson's team marched on.
Palace, bottom of the Premier League with just one win from nine games, did not help themselves in defence, but City's greater finesse in front of goal deservedly reaped its reward as the Robins romped home.
Palace, despite their league struggles, settled impressively, and they twice had chances during the opening 10 minutes. Lee Chung-yong was unlucky not to open the scoring when he volleyed against the upright of post and crossbar, then Sako had a shot smothered by City goalkeeper Luke Steele as Palace probed for an opener.
The home side initially looked disjointed in comparison, offering little in the way of a threat on Hennessey's goal, and it was Steele who was called into action again, this time to block a Sullay Kaikai effort at his near post.
Palace's opener arrived in the 21st minute when Loftus-Cheek found Sako, who finished in style, driving a low shot past Steele to underline the visitors' dominance.
City, though, could have equalised within four minutes of Sako's strike after Diedhiou and Taylor linked well, before Diedhiou arrowed a cross deep into Palace's penalty area and Taylor just failed to get a touch on it with only Hennessey in front of him.
Diedhiou was then forced off after being on the receiving end of a hefty collision, which meant a first appearance of the season for his replacement Djuric, and City equalised followed a 32nd-minute blunder by Van Aanholt.
He looked to cushion a header back towards Hennessey, but succeeded only in finding a grateful Taylor, who easily guided the ball past the goalkeeper and left Palace duly punished for a poor error that undid so much of their early promise, while City never looked back.
And it got worse for Hodgson's men just seven minutes later after more defensive hesitancy played into City's hands and Djuric smashed the ball past Hennessey for a 2-1 lead as the interval approached.
Steele was forced into a sharp save as Palace dominated early second-half territory, but City quickly reasserted themselves and they opened up a two-goal cushion when Bryan shot high into Hennessey's net.
And before Palace could recover, O'Dowda sent the City fans into party mood, rifling home a right-footed shot that Hennessey was once again powerless to keep out.
Roy Hodgson (Crystal Palace): "I am very disappointed for the fans who came all this way, and I am disappointed by the way at the end we capitulated after at least for the first 45 minutes having had arguably the better of the game. We contrived to give away goals at important times, and in the end we are on the back of a heavy defeat."
Lee Johnson (Bristol City): "I will be honest, I thought it flattered us a little bit. They really showed their quality in the first 20 minutes. The moment it changed was when Milan Djuric came on. The first moment, he disrupted the back line which let Matty Taylor to get in and get a poacher's goal."
Crystal Palace host West Ham in the Premier League on Saturday at 3pm, while Bristol City visit Sunderland at the same time in the Sky Bet Championship.