Walsall vs Crystal Palace League Cup match report: Dwight Gayle swift to restore Palace’s sparkle with treble
Walsall 0 Crystal Palace 3
Tuesday 26 August 2014
They remain managerless and pointless in the Premier League but Crystal Palace earned a much-needed lift in their Carling Cup tie at Walsall thanks to a first-half hat-trick by Dwight Gayle.
On his first start of the season, Gayle took just 41 minutes to complete his treble and earn the south London side their first victory since April.
With Palace hoping to have a manager in place for Saturday's trip to Newcastle, caretaker Keith Millen took charge for probably the final time and made nine changes from the weekend home loss to West Ham. Gayle certainly boosted his prospects of starting under the new man - be it Steve Clarke, Neil Warnock or one of the other names touted - with some sharp finishing reminiscent of the night of 'Crystanbul' when his two goals shattered Liverpool's title dreams.
“We didn't perform against West Ham but this will give everyone a lift,” said Millen. “[Gayle's] finishing was fantastic, he made good runs and he took his chances well. I am pleased for him and pleased for the squad. As a group of people we really needed that.”
Gayle gave Palace the lead after six minutes after Adlene Guedioura's quickly taken free-kick put him clear and he drilled a shot into the far corner. As with the first, his second goal came following a free-kick conceded by Walsall captain Adam Chambers, Gayle driving the ball through a porous home wall and past the scrambling Richard O'Donnell. His first Palace hat-trick was complete when he turned centre-back Paul Downing inside out before finishing low four minutes before the break.
Walsall's starting XI included Billy Clifford, a player who once took a grenade into the Chelsea training ground as a Stamford Bridge reserve. Winless in League One, Walsall have rather less firepower and their second-half rally came to naught as Ashley Grimes's shot struck the inside of the post.
Walsall (4-2-3-1): O’Donnell; Kinsella, Downing, Holden, Taylor; Clifford (Flanagan, 61), Chambers; Grimes, Sawyers (Baxendale, 61), Forde (Benning, 75); Bradshaw. Substitutes not used MacGillvary (gk), O’Connor, Morris, Bakayoko.
Crystal Palace (4-4-1-1): Hennessey; Mariappa, McCarthy, Delaney (Hangeland, 46), Binnom-Williams; Williams (Garvan, 74), Guedioura, Bannan, Thomas; Murray; Gayle (Gray, 62). Substitutes not used Kettings (gk), Boateng, Kaikai, Puncheon.
Referee D Drysdale (Lincolnshire).
Latest in Sport
Nick Kyrgios calls former Olympian Dawn Fraser a 'blatant racist' after she tells Wimbledon star to 'go back where their parents came from'
Divock Origi arrives for Liverpool training in a Mini with a broken wing mirror
Angel Di Maria to Bayern Munich: The reasons why Thomas Muller and Arjen Robben will not be joining Manchester United
Manchester United transfer news: No 9 shirt left vacant - a hint that new striker will be arriving?
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Kyrgios set for heavy fine for giving up game during loss to Richard Gasquet
- 1 Man who was struck and killed by lightning in Brecon Beacons 'was carrying a selfie stick'
- 3 Tube strike: This pedestrian-friendly map tells you the time it takes to walk between stations
- 4 Pamplona Running of the Bulls 2015: Three men gored and 10 hospitalised on first day of festival
- 5 Sarah Jessica Parker explains why she is not a feminist: 'It's not just about women now'
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
Greece debt crisis: Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande issue Athens with 24-hour ultimatum to avoid crashing out of the euro
Greece crisis: Referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its lack of genuine legitimacy