Crystal Palace moved into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup as they proved too good for League One side Doncaster Rovers.
There are 36 league places between the two teams and the Eagles only needed eight minutes to take the lead when Jeffrey Schlupp shot low into the net after a fine individual run.
Max Meyer headed in from Andros Townsend’s header to double the visitors’ lead in first-half injury time.
Doncaster, who were aiming to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals for the first time in their history, had a better second half but Ben Whiteman’s shot was saved by Wayne Hennessey, Alfie May headed over from close range and James Coppinger’s effort was deflected wide.
Palace among six Premier League teams in the last eight
The Eagles have never won the FA Cup, losing twice in finals to Manchester United in 1990 and 2016, but this was also only the second time in 23 years they had reached the last eight.
Palace’s win means there will be six Premier League teams and two from the Championship in the quarter-finals.
The Eagles join Manchester City, Wolves, Watford and Brighton – plus Swansea and Millwall – in the next round with Chelsea and Manchester United playing on Monday in a game that starts at 19:30 GMT and will be broadcast live on BBC One and the BBC Sport website.
The quarter-final draw will be made after that match and the last-eight ties will be played from 15-18 March, with winning clubs receiving £720,000 in prize money.
Roy Hodgson named a strong Palace side at Keepmoat Stadium and handed a first start to Michy Batshuayi since his loan move from Chelsea at the end of the January transfer window.
Their first goal came after Luka Milivojevic won possession and released Schlupp, who was able to sprint into the box and shoot past Marko Marosi.
Milivojevic was also involved in the build-up to the second as his intelligent ball over the top of the Doncaster defence released Townsend, whose header found Meyer with the German scoring only his second goal for the club.
Doncaster, sixth in League One, had beaten Chorley, Charlton, Preston and Oldham to reach this stage but, despite a bright spell at the start of the second half, could not do enough to progress any further.
Townsend impresses again – the stats
- Crystal Palace have won away at Doncaster for the first time since August 1960, ending a six-game winless run in all competitions (drawn two, lost four).
- The Eagles have reached the quarter-final stage of the FA Cup for the second time in the last four seasons – as many as in their previous 33 campaigns.
- Doncaster have not beaten top-flight opposition in the FA Cup since January 1985 (1-0 vs QPR), drawing two and losing six since.
- Palace have scored in their last nine games in all competitions, their longest run since netting in 10 successive games in March 2016.
- No Crystal Palace player has provided more goals (seven) or assists (four) than Andros Townsend in all competitions this season.
- Jeffrey Schlupp has scored five goals in all competitions for Crystal Palace this season, his most in a single campaign since 2011-12 (six for Leicester).
‘We saw the difference’ – what they said
Doncaster manager Grant McCann said: “We played the game really well, it was a good game but we saw the difference with a Premier League team. I thought between the boxes we were good, but in the final third we didn’t get enough shots away.
“We matched them for large periods, but if you give players of that standard those chances it will be hard. The goal before the break took the wind out of our sails a bit.
“We like to get about teams, that’s how we approach it, but we were not going to leave anything in the changing room and we gave it a go today.”
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson said: “It’s good that we are there [in the quarter-finals], I’m very proud of that.
“Today we owe an amazing debt to our fans, I don’t quite know how they got there with the problems with the trains, and I thought we were playing at home for large periods of the game.
“It’s not easy to quieten a crowd like Doncaster’s in a game like this. We owe them a great debt of gratitude and we hope we can reward them by winning our quarter-final and hopefully getting a home tie.”