Report: Crystal Palace 2 Blackpool 0
Blackpool bowed out of the EFL Cup after a goal in each half from a strong Crystal Palace side sent them out but not disgraced. Despite the presence of record signing Christian Benteke, it was two Palace regulars who sent The Seasiders packing.
Their skipper Scott Dann volleyed The Eagles ahead via a deflection from Clark Robertson before Blackpool's Jim McAlister had an effort cleared off the goal line by James McArthur.
That was as close as The Seasiders came and the result was put beyond doubt straight after the restart when substitute Connor Wickham lashed into the roof of the net to see the home side safely through to round three.
Inevitably it was the Premier League side who started in the ascendancy and Benteke twice threatened in the opening 12 minutes, heading straight at Slocombe before bending an effort around the post.
Blackpool were feeding off the scraps at this point and Brad Potts’ speculative effort from all of 25 yards forced Steve Mandanda to produce the parry, before his defenders cleared things up for him.
The home side’s pressure eventually told on 25 minutes when Andros Townsend’s deep cross was swept home by Dann at the back post, via an unfortunate knock from Robertson.
However, moments later Blackpool came mighty close to equalising. Armand Gnanduillet powered his way down the right and his cut back eventually found McAlister, but although the midfielder adjusted his feet quickly, his effort was blasted off the line by McArthur.
The chances kept coming, next it was Palace who came close, but after James McArthur had been denied by Slocombe, Benteke miscued and shot wide when unchallenged. As for The Seasiders, Gnanduillet shot at Mandanda who was never really troubled.
Half-Time: Crystal Palace 1 Blackpool 0
It took the hosts just minutes of the second-half to double their lead. Half-time substitute Wickham got on the end of Jason Puncheon’s teasing cross and hammered into the roof of the net for 2-0.
Blackpool didn’t let it affect them though and Gnanduillet had another opportunity on 57 minutes, but he could only head Potts’ cross at Mandanda.
Just after the hour-mark Gary Bowyer made a double substitution, with John Herron and Mark Yeates replacing Potts and McAlister. It was still the hosts doing the attacking however and Clark Robertson threw himself as Wickham’s goalbound effort to keep the score down.
Slocombe was then at full stretch to keep out Townsend’s free-kick, after Bright Osayi-Samuel had replaced Gnanduillet. The winger quickly settled into things and tested Mandanda from range ten minutes from time.
Late in the day Slocombe parried an effort from substitute Wilfried Zaha, before Townsend flashed an effort wide of the mark. The England winger cracked the woodwork late on and that proved to be the final action of the contest as Blackpool departed the EFL Cup for another year.
Full-Time: Crystal Palace 2 Blackpool 0