Millwall 1-2 Crystal Palace: Eagles come from behind thanks to goals from Michael Olise and Jean-Philippe Mateta to avoid FA Cup upset at local rivals after Benik Afobe seized on Jack Butland howler to score
- Crystal Palace fought back from a goal down to beat Millwall and avoid FA Cup third round embarrassment
- The Championship side went in front when Jack Butland’s howler led to Benik Afobe slotting the ball home
- Palace emerged for the second-half much improved and Michael Olise curled home an immaculate equaliser
- Olise then delivered the inch-perfect cross from which French striker Jean-Philippe Mateta headed winner
- Latest FA Cup news, including live action and result
Crystal Palace midfielder Michael Olise was struck by a bottle and team-mate Conor Gallagher subjected to homophobic chants as ugly scenes marred the Eagles’ comeback victory.
Some home fans at The Den had earlier booed the Palace players as they took the knee before kick-off, while a flare was also thrown on to the pitch from the visiting end.
Gallagher had set up Olise to level the scoring with a fine goal after a first-half Jack Butland howler had gifted Millwall the lead before Olise turned provider for Jean-Philippe Mateta to net the winner.
Jean-Philippe Mateta celebrates after scoring Crystal Palace’s winning goal in their FA Cup third round clash with Millwall
Mateta hung in the air to head home Michael Olise’s perfect cross from the right-hand side to score Palace’s winning goal
Olise had curled home a lovely shot to equalise for Palace barely a minute after the restart at The Den
Having struggled to assert themselves during the opening half, Palace re-emerged a different proposition and soon levelled
Millwall have threatened to ban any supporter for life for making homophobic chants towards Chelsea loanee Gallagher, while Palace boss Patrick Vieira was proud of his players for taking the knee. ‘We are against any kind of discrimination,’ said Vieira. ‘This is not something we want to see on the field. Taking the knee is something we’re really proud to take.’
A Millwall spokesperson said: ‘Any individual found guilty of discriminatory abuse is issued with an immediate lifetime ban’. Lions boss Gary Rowett added: ‘I don’t think either club want to see any of those moments off the pitch.’
ITV commentator Clive Tyldesley was forced to apologise for ‘obscene language’ heard criticising fans who booed the knee, after defending the Millwall players’ decision not to perform the gesture.
Benik Afobe had handed Millwall a first-half lead when he seized upon an error from Palace keeper Jack Butland to slot home
Butland passed the ball straight to Afobe while trying to pass the ball out of defence, leaving the striker with a simple finish
‘It’s not a protest. The club’s initiatives on equality and community were documented earlier. It is Millwall’s choice,’ said Tyldesley before the boos were heard, then added: ‘Personal choice is one thing, booing players making their choice is another. That does nothing for the cause or for the club.’
The scenes marred what was an excellent comeback from Palace. In Vieira, they have a manager engineered to succeed and motivated by winning trophies. In Olise, struck by a bottle while he prepared to take a corner, Palace have a talent capable of singlehandedly turning matches in their favour.
Palace were second best in the first half but a dusting down by Vieira and an inspired Olise sent the Eagles through. Excitement is building as Vieira revamps his squad with youthful exuberance but the last thing Palace needed here was a sluggish start. Goalkeeper Butland did not get the memo, gifting Benik Afobe a goal.
MATCH FACTS AND PLAYER RATINGS
Millwall (3-4-1-2): Long 6, Hutchinson 6, Pearce 6 (Bennett 62 6), Cooper 6; McNamara 7, Mitchell 6, Saville 6 (Kieftenbeld 50 6), Malone 6; Ojo 7 (Boateng 80 6), Bradshaw 6 (Smith 80 6); Afobe 7 (Burey 80 6)
Substitutes not used: Evans, Bialkowski, Topalloj, Lovelace
Scorer: Afobe 17 Booked: Mitchell
Crystal Palace (4-3-3): Butland 5, Ward 6, Andersen 6, Guehi 6, Mitchell 7; Schlupp 6 (Riedewald 88), Gallagher 6, Hughes 7 (Milivojevic 81 6); Eze 7 (Benteke 64 6), Mateta 7 (Edouard 64 6), Olise 8 (Clyne 88)
Substitutes not used: Matthews, Kelly, Rak-Sakyi, Wells-Morrison
Scorer: Olise 46; Mateta 58 Booked: Butland
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Olise removes a bottle that was thrown at him from the Millwall fans during the second-half at The Den
It took half an hour for Palace to make strides. But just before half-time Olise, 20, took possession on the right wing, darted inside and curled a terrific shot in off a post.
Palace’s second just before the hour mark was inevitable. Olise picked up possession, darted inside before picking out Mateta with pinpoint precision. Olise is far from the finished article as Vieira knows but this will set him up perfectly for a run of Premier League action.
‘What is important is that when you look at the first half and then you look at the second half, he is two different players,’ Vieira said.
‘There is fantastic potential in the player but at the same time, he needs time to keep developing.’
The winger was pelted with bottles, a flare and other objects as he shushed the home fans after Palace had taken the lead
Delighted Crystal Palace fans celebrate their team’ passage to the fourth round of the FA Cup after they came from behind
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