By ADAM TROXTELL
Lacking any recent fond memories from Selhurst Park, Liverpool set out to make some new ones.
There was no late drama or surprise result this time around as the Reds came back to beat Crystal Palace 2-1 in the fifth round of the FA Cup. Second-half goals from Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana provided the Reds with first win in this part of London in three tries.
It initially looked like old demons were returning for Liverpool. Palace took the early initiative and had the lead in the 16th minute when Frazier Campbell raced in to score off of a rebound. That led to a fairly open first half that Liverpool was eager to take control of entering the second. Mario Balotelli came off the bench to replace Lazar Markovic, and it made an impact.
Just four minutes into the second half, Jordan Henderson found Sturridge at the back post for the equalizer. Balotelli was part of the winner about 10 minutes later when his free kick was saved by Speroni, then placed into the net by Lallana on the rebound.
After an initial surge by Palace, Liverpool calmed things down to see the game out. The Reds are among the favorites in the competition now, while Palace is left to stave off relegation from the English Premier League.
Elsewhere, Real Madrid bounced back with a win against Deportivo La Coruna in Spain. Bayern Munich blitzed Hamburg in Bundesliga play, while PSG succumbed to a late Caen effort in France.
Here is more on Saturday’s action from the top leagues in Europe:
ENGLISH FA CUP
West Brom put Premier League struggles behind them and smashed West Ham out of the FA Cup.
The Baggies triumphed 4-0, scoring twice on either side of halftime to bring West Ham’s cup run to an abrupt end. Brown Ideye bagged a pair of goals, supported in between by James Morrison’s 42nd minute strike to make it 3-0 before 60 minutes had passed.
Saido Berahino killed the game off in the 72nd minute with a strong near-post finish. That goal came two minutes after Hammers winger and former West Brom player Morgan Amalfitano received a red card for shoving Chris Brunt in the face.
American Geoff Cameron also saw red during Stoke’s surprising 4-1 defeat against Blackburn. Cameron was the last man back when he fouled Joshua King and concede a penalty.
King had earlier equalized for Blackburn in the 36th minute, canceling out a 10th minute strike from Peter Crouch. Rudy Gestede converted the penalty to put the Rovers up 2-1.
With Stoke down to 10-men, King completed his hat-trick by easily slotting the ball past goalkeeper Jack Butland in one-on-one situations.
Elsewhere, former Everton striker Yakubu put Reading into the quarterfinals in a 2-1 win against Derby. The Nigerian scored in the 81st minute after Darren Bent had equalized for Derby.
Real Madrid will stay atop the La Liga table for at least one more weekend.
This was assured by a valuable 2-0 win against Deportivo La Coruna. The wheels could have easily fallen off the Real bus following last weekend’s humbling, but a goal either side of halftime kept the defending European champions leading from the front.
Isco provided a goal worthy of winning a game in the 23rd minute as Real dominated early. When Cristiano Ronaldo somehow missed a finish from two yards out, Isco cleaned up with a perfectly bent shot just inside the far right post from the top of the box.
Undeterred, Deportivo came out of halftime with intent and forced Real back. Celso Borges saw his shot smash off the cross bar just four minutes into the second half as los Blanco’s struggled to keep possession.
When things calmed down, Real set about winning once again. Ronaldo slid a pass into Karim Benzema through on goal before the Frenchman chipped the goalkeeper for a 2-0 lead in the 73rd minute.
Sevilla climbed into fourth place in La Liga with a 3-0 win against struggling Cordoba.
Grzegorz Krychowiak and Carlos Bacca handed Sevilla a 2-0 lead toward the end of the first half. Vicente Iborra later provided the nail in the coffin off an assist by Ever Banega.
Julian Green was nowhere to be found during Hamburg’s game against Bayern Munich, but he might be happy about that now.
Bayern obliterated the struggling Die Rothosen 8-0, their worst defeat in Bundesliga history. Thomas Mueller, Arjen Robben and Mario Goetze all scored twice as the defending champions moved eight points clear at the top of the league.
Somehow the opening 20 minutes were goalless, but that all changed with Mueller’s converted penalty. Two minutes later, Mueller created the second when his saved shot from the top of the box was put in by Goetze on the rebound.
At this point Hamburg brought off former Bayern man Ivica Olic for Nicolai Mueller to try and plug the gaps, but the effort was in vain. Robben made it three before halftime and four immediately after the break.
Mueller and Robert Lewandowski scored a minute apart from each other before Franck Ribery decided to get in on the action in the 69th minute.
Another goal-fest saw Wolfsburg grab the odd strike in a 5-4 win against Bayer Leverkusen. Second place Die Wolfe took a 3-0 lead in the first 30 minutes, but Leverkusen clawed back.
Heung-Min Son completed a hat-trick in the 68th minute to make it 4-3, and Karim Bellarabi equalized in the 72nd minute. Bas Dost restored Wolfsburg’s pride in the 90th minute with the winner.
Here are more results from Germany:
Borussia Monchengladbach 1, Koln 0
Hoffenheim 2, Stuttgart 1
Leverkusen 4, Wolfsburg 5
Werder Bremen 3, Augsburg 2
Bayern Munich 8, Hamburg 0
Frankfurt 1, Schalke 0
FRENCH LIGUE 1
Paris Saint-Germain’s bad habit of letting games slip away reared its ugly head again.
Up 2-0 and in control, the defending champions let up two late goals to draw 2-2 against Caen. The result gives Lyon a golden opportunity to extend its lead at the top of Ligue 1 to four points.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic lobbed in the opener for PSG in just the second minute inside the Parc des Princes as the Parisians searched for a fifth win in six games. That looked assured against 14th place Caen when Ezequiel Lavezzi doubled their advantage in the 40th minute.
PSG dominance gave way as Caen surged with about 20 minutes left. The visitors put six shots on goal and made the last two count. Emiliano Sala pulled one back in the 89th minute.
Herve Bazile saved the best for last, equalizing with a perfectly taken free kick that left Salvatore Sirigu standing still in the PSG goal. Caen has now gone five games without a loss.
ITALIAN SERIE A
Fiorentina won its third straight game since selling Juan Cuadrado to Chelsea with a 3-1 victory against Sassuolo.
The man the Viola received in the midst of that deal, Mohamed Salah, opened the scoring in the 30th minute. Khoma Babacar made it 2-0 just two minutes later and grabbed his second of the game in the second half.