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Crystal Palace 4 Charlton Athletic 1: Gayle hat-trick books safe passage to round four

Dwight Gayle’s second-half hat-trick steered Crystal Palace into the League Cup fourth round courtesy of a 4-1 victory over Charlton Athletic. 

Making his first start of the season, Fraizer Campbell – who has been linked with a loan move away from Palace – broke the deadlock early in the second half at Selhurst Park with a neat shot on the turn. 

The former Sunderland striker was then felled for the 59th-minute penalty that Gayle duly dispatched, before the latter netted again from the spot after he was sent tumbling by Alou Diarra, who was sent off for the challenge. 

Wedged in between Gayle’s brace, Naby Sarr headed home from a corner, although Wayne Hennessey will feel he perhaps should have done better. 

Gayle grabbed his third with four minutes left when he found the net with a glancing header from Chung-yong Lee’s cross. 

Victory over Palace boss Alan Pardew’s former club halted a run of successive defeats and the Premier League side were good value for the win, signalling their intent with a flurry of early chances. 

Gayle whipped a free-kick just over from the edge of the area, Wilfried Zaha headed Lee’s cross over when he should have hit the target and Diarra managed to make a timely block to keep out Campbell’s rasping effort.  

Gayle had Nick Pope at full stretch with a 25-yard shot that flew just wide as the hosts continued to crank up the pressure. A head injury to Damien Delaney led to a short stoppage of play before he was replaced by Brede Hangeland.  

Charlton were given a let-off when Campbell headed a Zaha centre wide with the goal at his mercy five minutes after the restart, but it was a short reprieve as the duo combined for the Palace opener less than a minute later. 

Gayle and Zaha linked up down the Palace right before the latter picked out Campbell, who sharply slotted past Pope. 

Campbell had the ball in the net again four minutes later, but it was disallowed for offside. Palace, though, did double their advantage after Diarra bundled over Campbell in the area and Gayle slammed the resulting spot-kick home. 

Sarr gave Charlton hope with his header, but Diarra tangled with Gayle 17 minutes from time as Palace were awarded a second spot-kick that the former Peterborough United forward tucked away.

There was still time for Gayle to cap a dominant Palace display with a third late on as Pardew’s men marched into the next round. 

Wed 23 Sep, 2015
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