Tom Heaton was the hero tonight as
finally overcame Cardiff City in a dramatic penalty shootout amid memorable scenes in the Welsh capital. Crystal Palace
The former Manchester United stopper denied Jermaine Easter and then Sean Scannell to ensure that Kenny Miller’s opening miss went unpunished.
Craig Conway, Rudy Gestede and Peter Whittingham held their nerve and the Bluebirds secured a fourth trip to the new Wembley, when Jonathan Parr blazed over to send the City of
into delirium. Cardiff Stadium
Kenny Miller, Filip Kiss and Aron Gunnarsson all struck the woodwork, as Palace’s backline held firm, despite the dismissal of the talismanic captain Paddy McCarthy late in the second half.
Much of the pre match talk came from Dougie Freedman, as he questioned City’s big game mentality. It seems nobody had told him that under Malky Mackay (barring a handful of players) are a new side. Freedman was unwise and ill advised in his pre game comments, and to be frank, Palace did not deserve a place at Wembley, on another night it could have been over a lot earlier.
They were on the back foot for whole game and they never looked liked creating an opening. Former
Watford man Mackay has shown that he and his team do indeed have the ‘big game’ mentality that is required. Mackay has all the attributes to go a long way in management and can take Cardiff to the next level.
Regardless of the result against
Liverpool or , the former Manchester City Watford boss has installed a new belief and winning mentality into this side and this is going to be key for the rest of the season.