LONDON, February 21 – Martin Kelly was Crystal Palace’s unlikely goal-scoring hero as they knocked Premier League high-flyers Tottenham Hotspur out of the FA Cup with a 1-0 fifth-round win at White Hart Lane on Sunday.
The defender scored his first goal for Palace on the stroke of half-time when, completely unmarked, he received the ball from Wilfried Zaha and beat home goalkeeper Michel Vorm with a powerful shot.
It was Kelly’s first senior goal since he was on target for Liverpool at Chelsea in November 2011 — a gap of 1,545 days.
Tottenham’s Dele Alli twice hit the post in the 33rd minute but that was as good as it got for Spurs, second in the Premier League and 19 points in front of fellow London club Palace, who went on to win at White Hart Lane for the first time since 1997.
– Hammer blows –
Earlier, Nigeria’s Emmanuel Emenike and France’s Dimitri Payet both scored twice as West Ham came from a goal behind to book their place in the FA Cup quarter-finals with a 5-1 win at second-tier Blackburn Rovers.
Rovers took the lead through Ben Marshall in the 20th minute but it only took visitors West Ham six minutes to draw level courtesy of Victor Moses’s equaliser.
And before half-time West Ham, bidding to reach their first FA Cup final since losing the 2006 showpiece match to Liverpool, were in front through Payet.
Blackburn were reduced to 10 men early in the second half when Chris Taylor was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Emenike secured victory for the Hammers by making it 3-1 in the 64th minute at Ewood Park before scoring his second five minutes from time.
The forward, on loan from Turkish side Fenerbahce, twice almost had a hat-trick on his first West Ham start, a shot coming back off the post before another effort was ruled out for offside in stoppage time.
But in the second minute of added-on time, the influential Payet weaved his way through the Rovers’ defence before shooting home to make it 5-1.
Blackburn, struggling near the bottom of the Championship, went ahead when, after Elliot Bennett’s corner was cleared, full-back Marshall cut back on his left foot and found the bottom corner with a well-struck shot.
But it did not take long for West Ham to draw level when Nigeria winger Victor Moses let fly from 20 yards out as the Rovers defence backed off.
And in the 36th minute the Hammers took the lead when French playmaker Payet’s 25-yard curling free-kick went up and over Blackburn’s defensive wall before beating the outstretched right hand of Rovers keeper Steele.
West Ham had to play the final 15 minutes a man down after Mali midfielder Kouyate was shown a straight red card for a foul just outside the box on Adam Henley.
But it made little difference, Emenike scoring his second goal and West Ham’s fourth five minutes from time after more good work by Payet.
Monday sees Manchester United looking to ease the pressure on under-fire manager Louis van Gaal following their 2-1 Europa League defeat by Danish side FC when Midtjylland when they travel to third-tier Shrewsbury.