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Who needs the FA Cup more?

50-50 Challenge
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 By Jim Daly

Alan Pardew's Crystal Palace produce fine FA Cup performance

This is probably one of Palace's best results of the season but will probably not get as much coverage of credit as it deserves. A 1-0 win at Tottenham; a team who have only lost at home four times in all competitions this season is very impressive indeed.

Alan Pardew's Eagles kept a clean sheet -- only their second in 10 games -- and kept out a strong Spurs team as Mauricio Pochettino paid plenty of respect to Palace and to the FA Cup. But Martin Kelly's first half strike was enough to see the South Londoners through to the quarter-finals for the first time in 21 years.

And now Palace fans are actually starting to believe that maybe this could be their year. They've certainly earned their place in the last eight; having seen off Premier League opposition in the last three rounds. And not just any old top flight teams but Southampton, Stoke and Spurs; three of the toughest sides around at the moment.

The Eagles rode their luck at times at White Hart Lane; with Dele Alli hitting the insides of both posts in the first half before Joel Ward cleared it off the line and Wayne Hennessey being forced into a superb save from Harry Kane.

But unlike the league game earlier in the season at the same ground, Palace held on to secure a famous win. They just need to find a way to kick start their league form, having not won in nine games but there are some Eagles fans who at this point would take a limp end of the season in the Premier League for a trip to Wembley.

Tottenham HotspurTottenham Hotspur
Crystal PalaceCrystal Palace
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Player ratings (1-10; 10=best; players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating):

GK Wayne Hennessey, 7 -- Denied Kane with a wonderful save and was solid when called into action for other stops. Beaten by Alli in the first half but relieved to see it bounce back off both posts.

DF Martin Kelly, 8 -- Only played because Pape Souare was suspended but put in arguably his best ever performance for Palace. Capped with a well-taken goal but was also in the right place at the right time to make a number of blocks at the back.

DF Damien Delaney, 7 -- Put in his usual handful of well-timed blocks and had a header saved by Michel Vorm in the Spurs goal towards the end.

DF Scott Dann, 7 -- Nearly grabbed an assist for Joe Ledley in the first half with a lovely touch and pass but otherwise was his usual neat and tidy self at the back.

Crystal Palace defender Martin Kelly scored the only goal of the game just before the break.

DF Joel Ward, 7 -- Switched from right-back to left-back and looked more like the Joel Ward of 2014 who thrived in that position.

MF Yohan Cabaye, 7 -- Struggled with the runs from deep of SonHeung-min early on but found he had more of a control of the game as it wore on. When Palace enjoyed periods of pressure and possession he was at the centre of it. Picked up yet another silly yellow card late on so was replaced by Mile Jedinak.

MF Joe Ledley, 7 -- Worked his socks off alongside Cabaye and was unlucky not to score when played in by Dann, denied only by quick thinking from Vorm to rush off his line.

MF Jordon Mutch, 7 -- Continues to improve each game and looks more and more confident on the ball, linking up well with Wickham and Adebayor in front of him.

MF Wilfried Zaha, 8 -- Grabbed a superb assist for Kelly's goal after taking three defenders out of the game with some neat footwork. Frightened Spurs with his abilities and could have wrapped it up late on at the far post but couldn't connect.

FW Emmanuel Adebayor, 6 -- Had to put up with boos from the home crowd and it seemed to throw him off his game as his touch was found wanting. Was withdrawn in the second half for Yannick Bolasie.

FW Connor Wickham, 7 -- Worked hard up front to hold the ball up and bring teammates into play and but for only holding his run for a split second would have scored a second late on, but saw his effort ruled out for offside.

Substitutes:

MF Yannick Bolasie, NR -- Finally back after two months out injured and was handed 15 minutes at the end, much to the joy of the 5,000 travelling Palace fans.

MF Mile Jedinak, NR -- A replacement for Cabaye with 10 minutes to go.

Jim Daly is a freelance football writer and founder of Palace fanzine Five Year Plan. You can follow him on Twitter @jimdalycomedy.

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