Having already knocked out Watford and Stoke in previous rounds, City fell behind to Bakary Sako’s goal before responses from Matt Taylor, Milan Djuric, Joe Bryan and Callum O’Dowda sent them through. Palace, bottom of the Premier League with just one win from nine games, did not help themselves in defence, but City’s greater finesse in front of goal deservedly reaped its reward as the Robins romped home.
Palace boss Roy Hodgson made 10 changes from the side beaten by Newcastle last weekend, with only Patrick van Aanholt remaining. Jason Puncheon returned as captain, while Wales goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey also featured, in addition to the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Jairo Riedewald and Timothy Fosu-Mensah.
City, beaten 3-0 at home by Leeds last time out, showed five changes, including starts for record signing Famara Diedhiou, while Taylor was involved after having a red card collected last Saturday rescinded.
Palace, despite their league struggles, settled impressively, and they twice had chances during the opening 10 minutes.
Lee Chung-yong was unlucky not to open the scoring when he volleyed against the upright of post and crossbar, then Sako had a shot smothered by City goalkeeper Luke Steele as Palace probed for an opener.
The home side initially looked disjointed in comparison, offering little in the way of a threat on Hennessey’s goal, and it was Steele who was called into action again, this time to block a Sullay Kaikai effort at his near post.
Palace’s opener arrived in the 21st minute when Loftus-Cheek found Sako, who finished in style, driving a low shot past Steele to underline the visitors’ dominance.
City, though, could have equalised within four minutes of Sako’s strike after Diedhiou and Taylor linked well, before Diedhiou arrowed a cross deep into Palace’s penalty area and Taylor just failed to get a touch on it with only Hennessey in front of him.
Diedhiou was then forced off after being on the receiving end of a hefty collision, which meant a first appearance of the season for his replacement Djuric, and City equalised followed a 32nd-minute blunder by Van Aanholt.
He looked to cushion a header back towards Hennessey, but succeeded only in finding a grateful Taylor, who easily guided the ball past the goalkeeper and left Palace duly punished for a poor error that undid so much of their early promise, while City never looked back.
And it got worse for Hodgson’s men just seven minutes later after more defensive hesitancy played into City’s hands and Djuric smashed the ball past Hennessey for a 2-1 lead as the interval approached.
Steele was forced into a sharp save as Palace dominated early second-half territory, but City quickly reasserted themselves and they opened up a two-goal cushion when Bryan shot high into Hennessey’s net.
And before Palace could recover, O’Dowda sent the City fans into party mood, rifling home a right-footed shot that Hennessey was once again powerless to keep out. In the night’s other match, Callum Wilson scored on his return from injury to help Bournemouth beat Middlesbrough 3-1. Making his first appearance since suffering knee ligament damage in January, Wilson rolled home the Cherries’ second goal from the penalty spot before teeing up substitute Benik Afobe for the clincher.
Debutant defender Jack Simpson had earlier volleyed the hosts into the lead at the Vitality Stadium, before they were pegged back by a first senior goal from Boro teenager Marcus Tavernier.
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