Michael Olysse’s brilliant second half performance helped Crystal Palace come from behind to beat rival Millwall 2–1 and avoid an FA Cup upset.
He the Lions have ousted Everton and Leicester in recent years and were eyeing another scalp when Benic Afobe put him forward and only stirred up a partisan crowd at the Dane.
At this point, the competition’s five-time winner Patrick Vieira was heading for an unwanted first loss as a manager in the FA Cup, but his 20-year-old summer signing replaced the South London Derby.
Ollis equalized with a superb individual goal within a minute of the second half and turned producer before the hour mark, helping home Jean-Philippe Mateta to send the Eagles into the fourth round. proved to be the winner of a fierce struggle.
Bermondsey’s wet weather did little to dampen the spirits of Millwall loyalists, who greeted Palace players on the pitch and repeated the trick when the visitors decided to take a knee before kick-off.
Vieira promised to play his best team and largely stuck to his word with Conor Gallagher in order to promote a team that could see three key players missing because of their African Cup of Nations commitments.
Gallagher was welcomed back to the action with a sudden tremor on his face, which made him feel the need for treatment after 11 minutes.
Millwall may have already been ahead by this point but Aphobe fired after a cut-back by strike partner Tom Bradshaw.
It didn’t take long for the forward pair to come under good influence again in the 17th minute and this time with heavy help from Palace, produced the opener.
Jack Butland, deputizing for first-choice Vicente Guetta, had time to clear the ball, but inadvertently attempted to dribble inside his own penalty area between Bradshaw and Afobe.
The end result was the Palace goalkeeper being evicted and Afobe was on hand to tap into the empty net to raise the decibel level in the Dane even more.
Another cup looked troubled for Millwall, who were on his Premier League opponents, but Geoffrey Schlup tested George Long before Gallagher’s attempted 20 yards.
Eagles boss Vieira was still highly animated on the touchline as the second-tier club took a slim advantage at the break after a penalty appeal for a superb Jorge Saville tackle on Aberechi Eze, which was removed by referee Anthony Taylor.
His manager’s words were still ringing in his ears, Palace was ready to return to level terms and it was a 20-year-old who silenced home fans.
Plenty of supporters were still going back to their seats when Ollis received a pass from Gallagher to the right, which cut from the inside and called off an equalizing effort in the 46th minute.
Last season’s Sky Bet Championship Young Player of the Year was now confident and nearly five minutes later scored a similar second but his shot hit the woodwork and jumped to safety this time.
After another attempt from Ollis, the pre-reading attacker played a lead in Palace’s second with 58 on the clock.
Will Hughes held back crucially and found Ollis, who had initially run out to Jake Cooper, before checking back and crossing into the field for Matetta to proceed from close range.
Palace players celebrated in front of home supporters and watched as a number of objects were thrown as a result, while away fans started a flare-up on the pitch and another smoke bomb was dropped in the stands.
After a raft of substitutions, Millwall forced extra time, but Mason Bennett saved a weak shot while Matt Smith’s stoppage-time header was straight over Butland to hold the visitors.