Michael Olise inspired a terrific second-half Crystal Palace comeback as the Premier League side overcame Millwall to reach the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Millwall were much the better side during the opening 45 with Benik Afobe capitalising on Jack Butland’s indecision to give the Lions a deserved lead.
Palace were much improved after the break and drew level just a minute after the restart, as Olise cut inside onto his left foot before firing unerringly beyond George Long.
Jean-Philippe Mateta celebrates after scoring Crystal Palace’s winning goal in their FA Cup third round clash with Millwall
Mateta hung in the air to head home Michael Olise’s perfect cross from the right-hand side to score Palace’s winning goal
Olise had curled home a lovely shot to equalise for Palace barely a minute after the restart at The Den
Having struggled to assert themselves during the opening half, Palace re-emerged a different proposition and soon levelled
Olise repeated the trick moments later, delivering a pinpoint cross onto the head of Jean-Philippe Mateta to turn the game on its head.
This new-look Palace team under Patrick Vieira is certainly exciting to watch and the former Arsenal captain is desperate to replicate the success he achieved as a player in his managerial career.
Vieira, a five-time FA Cup winner, made his intentions clear by naming a strong starting XI but he was forced to rotate his front line with Wilfried Zaha and Jordan Ayew on Africa Cup of Nations duty.
Mateta, Olise and Eberechi Eze came in, making up a dynamic front three.
It was the hosts, however, who started on the front foot, Afobe blasting high over the bar when well placed inside the Palace penalty area.
Benik Afobe had handed Millwall a first-half lead when he seized upon an error from Palace keeper Jack Butland to slot home
Butland passed the ball straight to Afobe while trying to pass the ball out of defence, leaving the striker with a simple finish
Match facts and ratings
Millwall (3-4-1-2): Long 6, Hutchinson 6, Pearce 6 (Bennett 62 6), Cooper 6; McNamara 7, Mitchell 6, Saville 6 (Kieftenbeld 50 6), Malone 6; Ojo 7 (Boateng 80 6), Bradshaw 6 (Smith 80 6); Afobe 7 (Burey 80 6)
Substitutes not used: Evans, Bialkowski, Topalloj, Lovelace
Scorer: Afobe 17 Booked: Mitchell
Crystal Palace (4-3-3): Butland 5, Ward 6, Andersen 6, Guehi 6, Mitchell 7; Schlupp 6 (Riedewald 88), Gallagher 6, Hughes 7 (Milivojevic 81 6); Eze 7 (Benteke 64 6), Mateta 7 (Edouard 64 6), Olise 8 (Clyne 88)
Substitutes not used: Matthews, Kelly, Rak-Sakyi, Wells-Morrison
Scorer: Olise 46; Mateta 58 Booked: Butland
Referee: Anthony Taylor
That merely served as just a sighter for the former Arsenal youngster who 10 minutes later capitalised on a horrendous mistake from goalkeeper Butland to give Millwall the lead.
Receiving the ball under a high Millwall press, Butland was caught in two minds and gifted possession to Afobe who pounced to slot the hosts in front.
The Championship side had their tails up. Jack Saville reacting quickest to a long throw to force Butland into a low save to his left.
It took half an hour for Palace to finally get a foothold in the game, Conor Gallagher firing narrowly wide after a strong burst by Eze.
The Premier League side finished the first half on top and drew level just a minute after the restart through Olise.
Olise removes a bottle that was thrown at him from the Millwall fans during the second-half at The Den
The winger was pelted with bottles, a flare and other objects as he shushed the home fans after Palace had taken the lead
Delighted Crystal Palace fans celebrate their team’ passage to the fourth round of the FA Cup after they came from behind
The lively winger stepped inside onto his left foot to curl a terrific strike in off the post to quieten the home support.
Olise then struck the same post moments later after drifting inside onto his left, but this time his effort bounced clear of danger.
It was little surprise that Olise was involved once again just before the hour mark as Palace went in front.
The Eagles broke and immediately looked for Olise, who had created space for himself on the right wing. He then breezed clear before checking back on his left side to deliver a pinpoint cross onto the head of Mateta.
Palace will be hugely grateful to Olise for his game-changing impact and while Vieira continues to mould his new-look team, dreams of replicating his success as a player will certainly be a major ambition for Vieira the manager.
RE-LIVE ALL THE FA CUP ACTION AS IT UNFOLDED WITH ADAM SHERGOLD BELOW