Tottenham 0-1 Crystal Palace: Martin Kelly strikes as Palace reach FA Cup last eight
By Jack Wilkinson at White Hart Lane
Last Updated: 21/02/16 10:09pm
Crystal Palace booked their place in the FA Cup quarter-finals as Martin Kelly's first-half strike sealed a 1-0 fifth-round win at Tottenham on Sunday.
A pulsating cup tie at White Hart Lane was decided by the single goal as Palace full-back Kelly's fierce drive beat Michel Vorm at his near post in first-half stoppage-time.
Until that point, both sides had readily exchanged blows in an entertaining game which saw Dele Alli denied by both posts, and Emmanuel Adebayor return to his former employers.
Spurs, embarking on their fifth game in 19 days, tired towards the end, allowing Palace to close out a victory that sees them into the last eight for the first time since 1995.
Mauricio Pochettino demonstrated the strength of the squad he is steadily assembling at Spurs as he made seven changes to the side which drew 1-1 with Fiorentina in the Europa League on Thursday.
Adebayor, five months after his acrimonious exit from White Hart Lane, led the Palace attack against his former club but it was Spurs who created the first opening as the unmarked Alli had a header cleared off the line by Yohan Cabaye after three minutes.
Spurs marshalled their former team-mate well inside the opening exchanges but it was a man within their own camp, Kyle Walker, who almost inflicted the first blow as the right-back headed a long ball over his 'keeper Vorm, which the Dutchman raced back to claw off the goal-line.
And Vorm was on hand on 22 minutes to cut out Scott Dann's through ball after the Palace centre-back showed exceptional technique to gather a long ball.
Spurs should have had the lead moments later when Heung-Min Son's run resulted in the ball dropping to Alli, but his low shot struck both posts before Joel Ward hacked to safety.
When Spurs captain Harry Kane had a long-range free-kick cut out by Wayne Hennessey, it appeared the game would reach the interval goalless.
However, a minute into added time, Wilfried Zaha's trickery lured in three Spurs defenders, opening up space for Kelly on the overlap. Zaha found him, and the right-back unerringly rattled the ball beyond Vorm at his near post.
After the break, Hennessey was alert to keep Kane low drive out on 51 minutes before Spurs had claims for a penalty dismissed by referee Craig Pawson, after Alli went to ground after a collision with Damien Delaney in the area.
Josh Onomah then spurned a glorious chance from close range, miscuing an effort five minutes later, before Alli whistle a long-range effort marginally wide of goal.
And, as the game grew on, and Spurs began to tire, Palace began to control the closing stages, with Connor Wickham, substitute Yannick Bolasie and Zaha hitting the hosts on the break.
Wickham thought he had wrapped up the tie as a contest three minutes from time, only for the offside flag to chalk off his effort.
But Spurs were unable to take full advantage of their reprieve as Palace's defensive unit stood firm, defeat a rare disappointing note in their promising season.