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Brentford 2 Chelsea 2

Brentford 2 Chelsea 2

John Terry's return from his lengthy injury spell failed to inspire Chelsea to an FA Cup victory over Brentford at Griffin Park today, as the Bees battled to earn a Stamford Bridge replay.

Chelsea dominated possession in the first ten minutes of the game, not allowing Brentford any time on the ball. Ashley Cole drilled a cross past the goal face early on, but Fernando Torres failed to get on the end of it.

Brentford's first chance of the match came after Ramires squandered possession and allowed them to break quickly, but Marcello Trotta failed to hit his shot cleanly.

Chelsea handed Brentford a golden opportunity after a defensive mix up between John Terry and Ross Turnbull in the 11th minute, the referee awarding a free kick in the box after the stand in goalkeeper collected Terry's back pass.

Harry Forrester fired the free kick over the bar, saving Chelsea's blushes.

Brentford soon had another set piece opportunity via a corner, which Ivanovic managed to clear it after it fell short.

Chelsea slowly began to settle, but Brentford kept their shape well and prevented the blues from really imposing themselves. Marko Marin failed to conjure up anything from the teams first corner of the match.

Clayton Donaldson showed his great turn of pace as he made a scorching run down the left flank, but Ramires managed to shut down the threat.

With thirty minutes gone Brentford were the happier of the two sides, preventing Chelsea from creating anything in front of goal and enjoying a few half chances of their own.

Adam Forshaw unleashed a powerful shot, which thankfully for Turnbull went wide of the post. The Bees squandered another great chance after a poor Gary Cahill pass gifted them possession.

Brentford continued to hold things together at the back, and were soon putting chelsea under pressure again. Forshaw saw his long range effort dealt with comfortably by Turnbull.

The home side took the lead in the 42nd minute, Trotta firing in a lovely shot from a rebound after Frank Lampard was caught in possession by Forshaw. 1-0.

Gary Cahill received a yellow card for a clumsy challenge on the edge of the box as the half wound down. After the resulting Brentford free kick came to nothing, Chelsea failed to conjure up anything on the counter as Oscar was shut down easily enough.

An insipid half of football from Chelsea, surely not another cup upset on the cards?

Rafael Benitez made a solitary change at the half, replacing Marko Marin with Juan Mata.

Chelsea failed to make the most of a couple of free kicks in the final third early on, but Mata's early touches looked encouraging.

Chelsea pulled level in the 54th minute, Ryan Bertrand playing a ball into the box which was met by the head of a Brentford defender. Oscar gathered the ball as it fell from the sky, promptly turning and beating two opponents before firing home a neat shot. 1-1.

Chelsea began to control the match, dictating the tempo and denying Brentford time on the ball but still failing to exert themselves in front of goal.

The Bees began to work their way back into contention slowly but surely, putting pressure on Ross Turnbull from a pair of corners as the game approached the 70th minute mark.

Brentford scorer Trotta was the first to be replaced by manager Uwe Rosler, who brought on Tom Adeyemi in his stead.

Brentford were awarded a penalty in the 71st minute after Turnbull was adjudged to have brought down Adeyemi in the box, picking up a yellow card in the process.

Young Harry Forrester slotted home the spot kick, sending the home supporters into a state of ecstasy as the Bees once again found themselves on top. 2-1.

Chelsea threw themselves forward in a desperate attempt to find an equaliser, but Brentford continued to deny the European champions. Branislav Ivanovic tried to get the better of the keeper with an overhead strike, but came up short.

He soon found himself substituted in the 78th minute, as Rafael Benitez opted to bring on Cesar Azpilicueta. Scott Barron replaced Harry Forrester for Brentford.

Demba Ba replaced Ryan Bertrand in the 81st minute, after the young Englishman made a mess of an opportunity to get a header on target.

Fernando Torres' first shot on target pulled the blues level, as Ba battled to win the ball and play him through on goal. A lovely strike from the Spaniard, 2-2.

Brentford's Adam Forshaw was brought off, being replaced by Sam Saunders.

Lampard had a late effort on goal with a dipping shot in the 86th, but the keeper dealt with it easily enough.

Brentford sat deep as the game headed into extra-time, intent to get across the line and seal up a hard earned Stamford Bridge replay at all costs.

A late handball shout was turned down by the referee in the 3rd minute of extra time, killing off the prospect of a last gasp Chelsea winner via the penalty spot.

Brentford emerged at the final whistle to a chorus of applause, and they will surely be the toast of the Football League after holding Chelsea to a draw in a spirited display.

Chelsea's first half performance was uninspired, severely lacking in every department, and the second half improvement will do little to quell Rafael Benitez' detractors.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Lofty 1905
Date:Sunday January 27 2013
Time: 2:16PM


Rafa OUT !!!
27/01/2013 14:18:00
Rafa OUT!!!
27/01/2013 14:24:00
thanks for the great report, greatly appreciated.
27/01/2013 14:27:00
0 was a close shave..really close...the only thing that looks lika positive for me is that the replay will probably reduce one of hazard's suspension by one...although the whole essence of resting players is somwehat defeated with the replay...and I also think its time to share some things I have observed for some time...1. I honestly dont think up until now Berty has what it takes to replace cole.given that he is already 23years., 2. Marin wont make the cut in BPL....sadly...but what baffles me the most is why we loaned out KDB and kept thats some marin is not a bad player, but physically he will always struggle...KDB on the other hand seem perfect in terms of build and even his football...yet certain people at chelsea foot ball were soo wise to loan KDB and keep marin....i guess thats the chelsea way these days...huh!
27/01/2013 14:29:00
Not a problem merlin.
Lofty 1905
27/01/2013 14:32:00
The pitch is the worst ever we have played in and rafa had to wait till the 81st minute to bring on the remaining subs. Sighs, if not for the clueless board who loaned out our players without planning ahead, we shouldn't be playing players like oscar, mata and the likes of cole in this game against a r3d tier team. I'll just chalk off today's performance and blame the pitch for it
27/01/2013 14:34:00
First this was the kind of result I wanted,I hope the board knows that we need more depth,we could have lost the game if mata hadn't come in,we can't keep relying on him,the board needs to act fast before the end of the transfer window and get more players before the replay at stamford bridge....Oscar was brilliant today
27/01/2013 14:35:00
The Psychic Blue l9l
27/01/2013 14:36:00
@desmond..fair point...the pitch was unbelievably bad...i cant imagine how they professional footy on that! looks so whacked
27/01/2013 14:37:00
The problem with Chelsea is more than just rafa
27/01/2013 14:55:00
Anyone heard Rafa's excuses yet? pitch/wind/individual mistakes/anything but Rafa being 5h1te at motivation/selection/formation/man mangement/inspiration/football.
27/01/2013 14:58:00
rdm is much better tactically. As a motivator. I miss him. Chelsea felt so good with him around.
Blue India
27/01/2013 15:01:00
"Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez confirms no incoming transfers in January transfer window." ROMAN!!!!!!!!!!1
27/01/2013 15:01:00
We need to sign a quality player who is a bit like Mata, another striker and we need a quality player for the Pivot.
27/01/2013 15:04:00
I will love it if the board can take advantage of the willian situation early this month and bring him in, I'll love to see who wins between both players in the midfield will be sweet and healthy competition for cfc
27/01/2013 15:07:00
We can blame the pitch, but we should have been prepared for it, and found a way to have made better use of the flanks. Previous Chelsea management would have done so. The main point is whether Roman and his cronies who claim to be knowledgeable about football and Chelsea still hold the belief that progress has been made since RDM was fired. If they do, they have a duty, not Benitez, to explain how and why. Btw one historical point from the mess today. For probably the first time Chelsea will be playing their 3 W London rivals twice in a season, so far we have yet to win one.
27/01/2013 15:11:00
Firstly I would like to say well done to brentford, they are my local club, I live n hounslow and I'm proud they did well today. The money they will make from the replay will set them up for a while. Right then onto my first love, what on earth was that. I couldn't work out who was the league 1 side in the first half. Second half we improved but nothing to be amazed about. Tiredness, lack of any passion or desire, devoid of any ideas. And then to top it off no more players coming in- that's fine, lets finish in top 6 then.
27/01/2013 15:21:00
This really talks about our team depth and quality of fringe players...Marin, Bertand and turnbull had the chaces and they couldn't take the oppurtunity....As for bertand, he is a left back and not a midfielder or a winger and shud be played as leftback..i don't see him to be our future leftback by playing him in midfield/wings...We are really lacking in depth and are not even considering benayoun who is back after loan...he is a decent player and can be used as backup....Thankgod Rafa introduced Ba around 80 minues...He is so reluctant to play 2 strikers...Once Ba was introduced, Torres had freedom and he was able to make some impact... I am not defending torres, but to get some thing out of him it may be better we play with another striker.....A far as midfield is considered, we hav only lams and ramiries, we don't have a choice eventhough they are not playing well together...Well with matches coming in every 3 days, tiredness cannot be a excuse, players need to step up...As for Rafa, hope he is not given permamnent job, tat wud be tragedy....
27/01/2013 15:24:00
Even if we recalled those who are on loan, would they be given an opportunity.
27/01/2013 15:26:00
Prepare for it,how??turn cobham into a potato pitch??
27/01/2013 15:31:00
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