Match Report: Michael Owen fails to conjure up the magic of the cup as Crystal Palace and Stoke play out goalless draw

Crystal Palace 0 Stoke 0

selhurst park

The "magic" of the FA Cup drew Crystal Palace's lowest crowd in three months, and the absent regulars had the right idea. While the tie had an interesting contrast in styles, Palace running at Stoke's defence while the visitors looked early and long for Peter Crouch, neither approach brought reward, and they will have to try again at the Britannia on Tuesday week.

Stoke City may be a big team, both physically and in League status, but Palace are more interested in making sure they are mixing with giants next season than killing them. Even Ian Holloway described the tie as "a practice match in a great competition" and the replay is an undesirable addition to the fixture list. But Holloway, as ever, searched for the positives.

"I wanted to win or lose," said the Palace manager. "I wasn't bothered which as long as we had a good performance, but the way the game went I didn't want to lose as I didn't think my team deserved to. This was great experience for a young team and a replay at Stoke will be fantastic experience."

It was certainly a learning experience. Stoke are not always as one-dimensional as they were yesterday but they are always physical, not usually in a violent manner but in that shoving, grappling, just-the-right-side-of-the-law sense that makes them difficult to play against. Palace did indeed grow frustrated, berating the officials and losing their focus, though no one took matters into their own hands (or head) as Marouane Felliani had.

The worst tackle of the game was by Palace's Stuart O'Keefe, on Jonathan Walters, for which he was booked, but Holloway was understandably upset by a late challenge on the £12m-rated Wilfried Zaha by Ryan Shotton which forced Zaha off but escaped censure.

Holloway, who described the officiating in general as "strange", said: "He gave a yellow card for an innocuous foul by Walters, so what's the one on Zaha? He caught Wilf. Whether he meant it or not Wilf's had to come off."

Zaha began in a central attacking role in an intriguing 4-2-1-3 formation featuring Andre Moritz behind Zaha and two wingers pushed on. Given the degree of service Stoke's full-backs provide their front men it was actually a smart defensive move to keep them penned back. Zaha's deployment was partly forced as illness meant Palace were without the 22-goal Glenn Murray, one of four changes in the XI.

Stoke, finalists two seasons ago, made six changes, though such is their squad depth it did not significantly weaken the team. The reshaped side paired Michael Owen and Crouch in attack. This was Owen's belated first start for City, on the ground on which he made his senior debut for Liverpool against the original Wimbledon 16 years ago.

He scored then but never looked like doing so yesterday, being starved of service before being withdrawn, as planned, before the hour. "He needs more games but we're pleased he got through without problems," said Tony Pulis, who dismissed reports that Owen may play in Australia.

Owen did create the 10th-minute chance from which Crouch should have put Stoke ahead. Owen flicked on a recycled corner to the far post where Crouch, his legs all a-tangle, somehow managed to shoot across goal and wide from six yards out.

Aside from an ambitious 40-yard lob by Charlie Adam, Stoke never threatened again, but Thomas Sorensen was equal to anything Palace had.

He had already made a good save from Jermaine Easter, and later made a sharp one from Zaha, but everything else was regulation as Stoke defended with their usual combination of muscle and nous. Yannick Bolasie was the brightest of Palace's attackers, though the cameos of Williams and Kwesi Appiah underlined the depth of the Eagles' youthful promise.

"We knew it would be tough," said Pulis. "We are happy with the draw."

Crystal Palace (4-2-1-3): Price; Parr, Ramage, Delaney, Moxey; Jedinak, O'Keefe; Moritz; Bolaise (Banton, 68), Zaha (Williams, 55), Easter (Appiah, 66).

Stoke City(4-4-2): Sorensen; Shotton, Shawcross, Huth, Cameron; Walters, Whitehead, N'Zonzi, Kightly (Jerome, 55); Crouch (Jones, 74), Owen (Adam, 54).

Referee: Neil Swarbrick.

Man of the match: Bolasie (Crystal Palace)

Match rating: 5/10

News
Alan Bennett has criticised the “repellent” reality shows which dominate our screens
tvBut he does like Stewart Lee
Life and Style
The Google Doodle celebrating the start of the first day of autumn, 2014.
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
News
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Life and Style
food + drink
News
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
News
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
news
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits