PARTY TIME: Chelsea players celebrate a goal against Brentford during their FA Cup replay
THOSE ARRIVING at Stamford Bridge expecting another FA Cup shock were sorely disappointed as a ruthless Chelsea thrashed west London neighbours Brentford 4-0 in this FA Cup 4th round replay.
The opening 45 minutes ended goalless with the Bees showing why they are tipped for promotion from League 1. Rafael Benitez continues to be a manager under pressure, and morning headlines suggesting that he had had a bust up with Blues captain John Terry did nothing to soothe the early nerves of the Chelsea fans, with some suggesting that Benitez be relived of his duties.
Second half goals from Juan Mata, Oscar, Frank Lampard and inevitably it would seem from Terry himself overwhelmed Brentford and emphatically ended their interest in this years competition . Chelsea will travel to the Riverside stadium to face Middlesbrough in their delayed 5th round clash.
Roared on by over 6,000 travelling fans, the Bees made a lively start, Adam Forshaw seeing his shot go just wide the target after nine minutes.
A minute later and Mata's corner was powerfully met by a Branislav Ivanovic header which was just over Simon Moore's goal.
A sustained period of Chelsea pressure should have seen the home side take the lead, but Oscar shot over the bar with the same player then seeing his effort deflected over the target. The Brazilian then found the foot of Moore's post after the faintest of touches from the Bees' keeper.
Forshaw hit just wide as Brentford continued to advance , and deservedly went in on level terms at the break.
Ten minutes after the restart, Chelsea took the lead, in route one fashion. Demba Ba flicked on from Petr Cech's goal kick and Mata rifled in the opener.
Substitute Eden Hazard then set up Ivanovic on the right. His cross eluded the Bees' desperate defending as Oscar provided the cutest of back heels to double Chelsea's lead after 68 minutes .
Three minutes later and Lampard applied the killer blow to Mata's cross from the left. To chants of 'sign him up' Roman Abramovic clapped his approval.
Brentford continued to play their passing game and to raucous approval from their traveling contingent.
David Luiz has raised a few eyebrows with his robust defending, but his body slam on Jake Reeves deservedly saw the Blues' defender yellow carded late on in the second half.
Bidwell needed medical attention and having used all his substitutes, Uwe Rosler was forced to see his side end the match with ten men.
Bathed in unseasonal sunshine, when Terry rose to head in Oscar's cross, Stamford Bridge erupted in further approval, as Benitez and his captain had seen their side safely through.