Crystal Palace made sure they secured their place in the fifth round draw of the Emirates FA Cup with two early goals in the first half laying the foundations to close out the game very comfortably. Marc Guehi turning in the first following a delightful free kick sweeping home a very good Michael Olise free kick just in the opening four minutes of the contest. Olise himself got on the scoresheet 18 minutes later drifting into the box, sending the keeper the wrong way at the near post.
Tayo Adaramola made his Palace debut replacing Joel ward in the 85th minute with early goals seeing Palace through although Hartlepool United pushed all along for a foothold in the game coming close late on with an effort being dragged wide of Jack Butland's post.
Conor Gallagher has been a menace since joining on loan from parent Londoners Chelsea
Conor Gallagher has been a revelation for the Eagles since joining on loan from Chelsea. With a decent loan spell at West Bromwich Stadium making 30 appearances and scoring twice. The 21 year old midfielder has already scored seven times in 19 appearances always coming up with vital assists at the same time under Patrick Viera. In this contest he was again a handful for the opposition moving the ball quickly along the line. Since his West Brom days he has improved a great deal showing he has massive potential. He has three assists to his name in the Premier League and could be solely vital for Palace's future chances in the next rounds of the Emirates FA Cup. Completing 55 of his 59 passes today showed his conversion rate of 93% was very high.
Eberechi Eze is still yet to prove himself in a Palace shirt
Although he looked conservatively lively he still hasn't made his mark yet under Viera. The number 10 had a couple of good moments on the ball in the opening half of the game but couldn't take advantage, unable to convert his hard work into goal scoring opportunities. Generally this has been Eze's issue with a free kick against Hartlepool also wasted, to be only fired over the bar. With game time limited based on his recent performances he must pull up his socks otherwise his place could further be at risk under Viera. A good buy from Queen Park Rangers nevertheless but still has a great deal to prove in the top flight and in the Emirates FA Cup.
The Cup run continues after a massive win against local rivals Millwall in the last round
Viera could be the man to take Palace to the dying ends of a major competition. Competing pretty well against the big teams this season, the Eagles are currently in 13th place in the Premier League having registered 24 points, only six points behind in form Brighton who sit in 9th position in the league. The competitiveness of the team and the style of football could prove to be a game changer in Palace's fortunes in pushing further on in this competition. With the aerial threat of Christian Benteke available and the work of Gallagher, the cohesiveness in the team is clear to see with every player providing a different kind of threat in game situations.