London sides Chelsea and West Ham both reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup on Sunday as city rivals Tottenham Hotspur were knocked out by fellow capital club Crystal Palace.
Martin Kelly was Palace’s unlikely hero at White Hart Lane as his first goal for the south London side — and first for anyone since he scored 1,545 days previously for Liverpool at Chelsea in November 2011 — on the stroke of half-time proved the difference.
Palace’s reward was a quarter-final away to second-tier Reading, a club once managed by Eagles boss Alan Pardew.
Chelsea, who beat an under-strength Manchester City 5-1 at Stamford Bridge, are away to Everton in a repeat of the 2009 FA Cup final which the Blues won during current caretaker boss Guus Hiddink’s first spell as interim manager.
West Ham, who in Sunday’s opening fifth round tie saw off Championship Blackburn Rovers 5-1, will travel to the winners of Monday’s tie between third-tier Shrewsbury Town and struggling Manchester United.
Meanwhile holders Arsenal, bidding to become the first club to win the FA Cup three years in a row since the 19th Century, must see off Hull in a replay following Saturday’s goalless draw at the Emirates if they are to face Watford in next month’s quarter-finals.
Tottenham, second in the Premier League, had earlier seen Dele Alli twice hit the post with the same shot and this loss ended their hopes of emulating the celebrated League and Cup ‘double’ winning Spurs team of 1960/61.
Pardew, a member of the Eagles’ side that lost the 1990 final and West Ham manager when they lost to Liverpool in the 2006 showpiece match, was delighted by his team’s resilience.
“It was a victory that was well earned on the training ground,” he said. “No-one’s ever won it without a little bit of luck.”
– ‘Playing for England’ –
Reigning Premier League champions Chelsea, a huge 20 points behind shock leaders Leicester, overwhelmed City.
City manager Manuel Pellegrini made good on his promise to field an under-strength side after the FA bowed to demands from broadcasters to move the game from Saturday.
Pellegrini’s side are away to Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League on Wednesday and then take on Liverpool in the League Cup final a week on Sunday.
“We are forced to do it,” said the Chilean of his team selection. “I think that if we play on Saturday it’s better for us because we have to play for England in the Champions League.”
Chelsea went ahead through Diego Costa’s 35th-minute header but City’s David Faupala equalized two minutes later.
Willian made it 2-1 to Chelsea early in the second half before Gary Cahill’s volley extended the Blues’ lead.
The under-fire Eden Hazard put the result beyond doubt with a 67th-minute free-kick.
Oscar then had a penalty saved before substitute Bertrand Traore added a fifth goal late on.
“You can see straight away we are playing better and better,” Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas told the BBC.
But Chelsea’s win was marred by some of their fans throwing coins onto the pitch as visitors City celebrated Faupala’s equalizer.
It was the second coin-throwing incident of this FA Cup weekend after West Bromwich Albion defender Chris Brunt was struck by a coin thrown by his own fans following their shock 3-1 loss at Reading on Saturday.
Earlier Nigeria’s Emmanuel Emenike and France’s Dimitri Payet both scored twice as West Ham came from a goal behind to beat Blackburn.
Ben Marshall put Rovers ahead in the 20th minute but West Ham equalized just six minutes through Victor Moses.
And before half-time West Ham, whose last major trophy was the 1980 FA Cup, were in front through Payet.
Blackburn were a man down early in the second half when Chris Taylor was sent off and Cheikhou Kouyate saw red for the Hammers 15 minutes from time.
Emenike made it 3-1 in the 64th minute at Ewood Park before the striker, on loan from Turkish side Fenerbahce, scored his second five minutes from time.
The forward almost had a hat-trick on his first West Ham start before the influential Payet completed the scoring made in stoppage-time.
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