Player ratings, reaction and analysis as Olise settles with Butland howler


Millwall 1-2 Crystal Palace (Afobe ’17, Olise ’46, Mateta ’58)

Michael Olise inspired Crystal Palace to a fightback in the second half against Millwall to reach the fourth round of the FA Cup.

In the absence of Wilfried Zaha, Cheikhou Kouyate and Jordan Ayew, who all have traveled to the Africa Cup of Nations, Patrick Vieira had urged Olise to “show how good he is and take his chances”.

Last year’s EFL Young Player of the Year certainly did, but not before Benik Afobe’s goal had threatened the weekend’s first big showdown.

Marc Guehi’s short pass to Jack Butland left the Palace goalkeeper at sea in his attempt to play it out from behind, and his erroneous clearing landed right at the feet of Afobe.

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Eberechi Eze thought he had created the best chance for an equalizer for Vieira when he was tackled from behind inside the box by George Saville – who had also been guilty of a sturdy elbow on Conor Gallagher. Replays, however, showed that Anthony Taylor was right in not giving the spot-kick.

Instead, it fell to Olise immediately after the break to grab Gallagher’s ball out after a marginally offside Jean-Philippe Mateta had overstretched Millwall’s midfield. Olise, who had only ever scored for Palace as a substitute before, cut in past Saville and shot across the goal in the far corner.

A few minutes later, the 20-year-old hit the same post with almost a copy of the same move, and again he eased past Scott Malone. Instead, his next contribution came in the form of an assist when his cross found Mateta’s head.

A flick of the outside of his boot almost sent Gallagher on his way to a third, only for George Long to get there first.

Millwall were without Jed Wallace as he remains associated with a switch to Nottingham Forest, although it was not confirmed whether he was absent due to an injury.

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Eze is back – but Palace fans need to be patient

Vieira had promised that Eze was “a good place”, and Palace fans have been waiting to see him and Olise on the same page.

The big difference, of course, is that Eze is gradually being reintroduced after the Achilles heel fracture that limited a brilliant first campaign in Selhurst Park.

The striker lasted 65 minutes before being replaced by Christian Benteke, and while he had a handful of impressive touches, his effect paled in comparison to Olise, who will push for a start against rivals Brighton in the Premier League on Friday.

Crystal Palace Player Ratings

  • Butland – 4
  • department 6
  • Andersen – 6
  • Guehi6
  • Mitchell – 7
  • Slip6
  • Gallagher7
  • Hughes6
  • Eze6
  • Mateta – 7
  • Olise8

Substitutes:

  • Benteke – 5
  • Edouard – 6
  • Milivojevic – 6
  • Riedewald – N / A
  • Clyne – N / A

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