Dann’s the man as Pardew is off to a flier

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Alan Pardew’s reign at Crystal Palace began in comfortable style against Conference side Dover Athletic.

Scott Dann scored twice - his first ever brace - before Dwight Gayle and Kevin Doyle rounded off a 4-0 win at the Crabble.

There was also a 1-0 win for Sunderland against Leeds where Patrick van Aanholt’s drilled strike in the 33rd minute at the Stadium of Light was enough for the Black Cats to go through.

It was a case of what might have been in the 3pm kick-offs as the four Premier League clubs in action all saw off threats of a giant-killing.

To add to Manchester City’s late comeback against the Owlsthere was disappointment for Wrexham at Stoke after Mark Carrington’s header had given the Conference side the lead with 17 minutes remaining.

That served only to sting Stoke into action and Marko Arnautovic plus two late Stephen Ireland goals made it 3-1 and ended hopes of another remarkable chapter in Wrexham’s FA Cup history.

There was also late drama at Aston Villa where Christian Benteke smashed home from outside the box with two minutes left to secure a 1-0 win over Blackpool.

Championship side Ipswich did force a 1-1 draw at Premier League high-flyers Southampton. Veteran midfielder Darren Ambrose struck first for Ipswich only for Morgan Schneiderlin to grab the equaliser.

Ipswich, one point behind Championship leaders Bournemouth, are on course for promotion to the top tier and manager Mick McCarthy believes matching Southampton will give his players belief for the rest of the season: “I came down here and watched Arsenal play and Southampton were worthy winners,” McCarthy said.

“My players probably learned how tough it was playing against a Premier League team today and what quality they have.

“They probably learned a bit about themselves as well and felt they could cope with it - that’s as important as anything.”

Manchester United finished up 2-0 winners at Yeovil, despite some stoic opposition from the League One side, who have a famous giant-killing pedigree.

Yeovil had even come closest to scoring before Ander Herrera and Angel di Maria secured United’s place in the fourth round.

Chelsea breezed past Watford winning 3-0 with Willian, Loic Remy and Kurt Zouma all on the scoresheet.

There was little of the excitement of last year’s FA Cup final as Arsenal cruised past Hull 2-0 at the Emirates.

Per Mertesacker’s header saw the Gunners go in ahead at the break before man-of-the-match Alexis Sanchez wrapped it up.