Chelsea were held 2-2 in the FA Cup Fourth Round by Brentford at Griffin Park. In the replay at Stamford Bridge, could the League One side topple the Premier League giants? Kyle Dixon reports.
Frank Lampard scored his 199th Chelsea goal as the Blues destroyed a battling Brentford side in a 4-0 win at Stamford Bridge in an FA Cup Fourth Round Replay.
The Bees will feel upset about a disallowed goal in the first half, when Marcello Trotta put the ball in the net for play to be brought back for a David Luiz foul.
However, Rafael Benitez’s side will take on Middlesbrough in the Fifth Round after a second half display that blew away their League One opponents, as Juan Mata, Oscar, Lampard and John Terry got their names on the score sheet.
It was the promotion hopefuls that had the first opportunity of the game, when dynamic midfielder Adam Forshaw pulled a shot wide from 20 yards. Mata was pulling the strings for Chelsea and they nearly took the lead when Branislav Ivanovic headed across goal from Mata’s free-kick, but the ball dropped wide of the far post.
Clayton Donaldson has failed to score in his last three games and it was easy to see why when the big striker weakly headed wide Shalem Logan’s drifted cross. Demba Ba did not do much better for the home side when he flashed Oscar’s cross off target with his head.
Frank Lampard had two big chances to stake a claim for a new contract in the opening 45 minutes. Firstly, Victor Moses did brilliantly to get away on the left and pick out Lampard with a pull back. The former West Ham United midfielder failed to make any decent contact with the ball, and Oscar fired over from the rebound, via the deflection by Harlee Dean.
Just after, the Brazilian hit the post as the Premier League side ramped up the pressure. Mata’s clever pass slid Oscar in, but he fell as he shot and the ball rebounded off the post from 10 yards out.
Forshaw did better than his earlier effort with a left-footed pile driver from range, but it sizzled inches wide of Petr Cech’s near post.
Just after, Uwe Rosler thought his side took the lead. Forshaw went past two challenges, but was brought down by Luiz. The ball ran through to Trotta, and the Italian swiped the ball into the bottom corner. Unfortunately for the away side, the referee had pulled play back for Luiz’s earlier foul. It was a poor decision as advantage was clearly there to be played.
Chelsea nearly took advantage of that mistake to take the lead. Ivanovic got forward on the right and crossed towards Lampard, but the talismanic midfielder could only volley wide on the turn, to the dismay of Benitez. He managed to make up for the miss just before half-time as his brave block stopped Tom Adeyemi scoring a certain goal.
In the second half, the European Champions ran riot. Simon Moore made a fabulous save to keep out Ivanovic’s header and Ba wasn’t quick enough to reach the rebound. Moore could do nothing about Mata’s 54th minute opener.
The Spain international picked the ball up from Ba’s knockdown and rifled the ball into the bottom corner from 20 yards out. Stamford Bridge felt a sense of relief and it got stringer soon after when they doubled their lead.
Ivanovic went on the overlap and crossed low for Oscar, and the play-maker audaciously back-flicked into the back of the net. Dean should have been able to clear it off the line, but got his feet muddled up and it was now 2-0 to the home side. Donaldson nodded wide for Brentford under pressure from Ivanovic, and Chelsea went up the other end to make sure of the result.
Lampard has been in the news with contract disagreements, but he was smiling when he turned Mata’s cross past Moore in his quest to become Chelsea’s highest ever goal scorer. The England international is now just three goals away from Bobby Tambling’s record of 202 goals.
Chelsea weren’t finished there though, and John Terry climbed highest from Oscar’s in swinging cross to power in a fourth goal and seal a score line that reflects the quality difference between the sides.
Match Report by Kyle Dixon (@kyledixon95)