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Crystal Palace vs Stoke - 21/22 FA Cup Fifth Round

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

Hi everyone,

Hope you are all well.

It’s been a while since I’ve been to a game as I tested positive for COVID (which we think I picked up at the Brentford game) forcing me to miss 2 consecutive home games. In my break we had 3 games, the first being a 1-0 loss against Chelsea, I watched all the games from home, and we were extremely unlucky to not come away with anything against the ‘world champions’. The next was an away day in Watford which was a goal fest ending 4-1, goals from Mateta, Gallagher, and 2 from Zaha including a wonder goal right at the end to finish the game off. This game also saw Guehi be made captain for the first time which was great to see, hopefully future first choice for the armband. And the final game was a 1-1 draw against Burnley at Selhurst park, a disappointing performance with an early goal in the first half by Schlupp, followed by an own goal from captain Milivojevic early in the second half to make things level.

But I was finally allowed back to Selhurst for the FA Cup fifth round fixture against Stoke on March 1st 2022! Last time we played Stoke back in 2016 Zaha scored the winner ... this was also the only year we’ve made it to the final 👀! Stoke beat Wigan Athletic 2-0 in the fourth round to make it to this round, they were sitting in 15th in the Championship going into the game having only won one in their last five.

Vieira made 5 changes for this game compared to the previously Burnley game which saw Schlupp, McArthur, Milivojevic, Gallagher, and Mitchell be replaced by Ayew, Hughes, Kouyate, Mateta and Adaramola who was making his first start for the first team after coming through the academy! Tyrick wasn’t in the squad which is unusual so hopefully he’s just being rested and it’s not an injury. Guehi was named captain once again. I’m not too sure what I think of the constant switching in the teams, even if this is a cup game it makes it hard for any of them to find a rhythm and also players are still being missed out so it can’t be to give them all a chance. One of them players being Eze (and even Edouard) I don’t think he’s been given a chance at all since returning from injury so this would’ve been the perfect opportunity to be involved, Vieira must know the talent he has and hopefully it’s only a matter of time before he’s unleashed.

Before the game there was a mini light show, I’m not entirely sure on the reasoning but it was nice to see something new on a match day and it got everyone hyped for the game. It was a 7.30 kick off and the weather was horrendous with non-stop rain throughout, but with the power of several ponchos and a waterproof coat I managed to stay completely dry ... shame the same can’t be said for my mum! The atmosphere was great from the start with the ‘Super Pat Vieira’ chant at full volume. We didn’t start the best with a few poor decisions and Stoke having more control of possession. Adaramola started well with a few impressive balls pinged up from left back, and made some good runs himself, great to see he had confidence from the start even though it was his first senior start. We sat in a different seat still in the same section but nearer the corner so when we had a corner in the first half (which wasn’t a lot of times) Olise was directly in front of us. Ayew had a burst of energy and decided to run at goal himself to start our first attack of the game, he went passed 4 players on the way but his pass into Mateta was blocked by the defender, Olise attempted the follow up, but it was saved by the keeper, the flag was up anyway. It wasn’t until the 30th minute that we had our next big opportunity, Zaha flicked the ball over his marker in his own half before playing a great ball in behind to Mateta who had space to run into, he got himself into the box near the touch line but his pass back which was intended for Adaramola was stopped by the backtracking defender ... again frustratingly the flag was up as he was offside. Olise once again caused problems down the right, on one occasion he weaved his way past several defenders making his way towards the box, he went to ground just inside the box, but the ref was unmoved and waved for him to get up, I think the contact was minimal so it probably would’ve been harsh to give a penalty... but I wouldn’t have complained if it was! Just before half time Stoke had a chance to put themselves in front, full back Tymon was given too much time and space which he pounced on making an advancing run towards goal, he cut inside of Olise and Clyne but his final shot when totally wide and gave us another lifeline. Nothing to separate the two teams going into the break.

A poor first half from us we seemed to have no urgency and you wouldn’t have thought this could lead us onto playing at Wembley. I think Zaha had an awful first half and spent most of his time moaning at Adaramola for not giving him the correct pass (yes, he should expect it now he’s in the first team but he didn’t have a bad half so was unnecessary). Although stoke was outplaying us they still didn’t look like they were going to score so Vieira needed a strong half time talk to liven them up and counter on this!

We started the second half better than the first beginning to find some rhythm with our passes. Ayew had a big chance to cross the ball into the danger zone as the defender slipped giving him space to run into with the ball, both Mateta and Zaha were awaiting the pass, but it was too weak and blocked by the first defender. A corner was won by Ayew as his shot from a tight angle was deflected out, the corner was taken by Olise short to Zaha, he passed it into a packed box to Mateta who had selected from the group, his initial shot was scuffed but played nicely into the path of Kouyate round the back, he was unmarked and managed to direct the ball into the roof of the net! There were question marks over if he was onside, but VAR was happy and it was 1-0, Cheks first goal of the season and he put his team in front on the road to Wembley! The volume around Selhurst park instantly increased. Frustratingly the lead didn’t last... only 5 minutes after we scored Stoke had made the score level again, Sawyers received a ball in behind, he was being marked by Hughes, but he didn’t do enough to prevent the player getting a clear run towards goal his pass went straight across goal and into the path of Tymon who also wasn’t closed down effectively allowing him to poke it into the back of the net. 1-1 and all to play for to get a place in the quarter finals. The first set of substitutions came in the 65th minute which saw Adaramola and Ayew be replaced by Schlupp and Gallagher. Another dangerous ball was whipped into the Palace box by Smith it was headed down, but the shot was sent straight over the bar. Really worrying times for all the Palace fans around the stadium. Olise and Gallagher linked up down the left as soon as he entered the pitch, Conor managed to cross the ball straight across the goal line but disappointingly it was not anticipated by any of our players. Stoke had a huge opportunity to take the lead, they won themselves a free kick our wide, this was whipped in to a full box, there was some miscommunication between Butland and Andersen, Jack came out too punch but fell over Andersen leaving the goal empty, the follow up shot was on target but thankfully Andersen had read it well and managed to head it over the bar, everything seemed to go in slow motion as we waited to see if it was going in. Straight up the other end with Schlupp he managed to work his way passed the defender and towards the touch line in the box before playing it over to Olise, but his shot was saved off the line. Zaha seemed to be non-existent in the second half and maybe another player could’ve had a larger impact if given the chance. Another set of substitutions came in the 78th minute seeing Hughes and Kouyate be replaced by Milivojevic and Riedewald who went to left back. Worrying signs as we edged closer to extra time and the possibility of penalties! Four minutes on the pitch and Riedewald had already made a huge impact, this came from another short corner this time played to Gallagher, his cross was punched out by the keeper but only into the path of Jairo who managed to chest the ball down into his path before having a shot (as urged by the fans), it was completely out of reach of the keeper and an unlikely goal scorer found the back of the net and we were back in front! It was just a waiting game for the final whistle now, Stoke threw everything they could at up and time seemed to go so slowly but we managed to hold on winning the match 2-1 and putting out name in the draw for the quarter finals!

Only one more hurdle to tackle and we could be off to Wembley! It may not have been the best performance but for once in a while we managed to cross the line with the win. Definitely still things to work on but like most I’m still on a massive high from the fact were in the quarter finals. Very happy and pleased for Tayo Adaramola he did really well, hopefully a Premier League debut is coming soon! Looking forward to seeing who we get in the next round, which is being drawn on Thursday night before the Everton game, and with several ‘big’ teams being knocked out its exciting times as a Palace fan. After the final whistle we ran to the car because it was still pouring down, but we could still hear the ‘Super Pat Vieira’ song from the car park as the celebrations continued.

Match stats:

• Palace had a total of 59% possession, Stoke had 41%

• Palace had a total of 10 shots with 2 on target.

• Stoke had 13 shots with 3 on target.

Our next game is away against Wolves on Saturday, but the next one I’m attending is Manchester City at home on Monday 14th of March so look out for that post.

Thank you for reading

Ellie Xx

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