Mata inspires Chelsea to FA Cup win over Brentford
LONDON (AP) -Juan Mata helped Chelsea to break through third-tier side Brentford's resistance in the second half and advance to the fifth round of the FA Cup with a 4-0 victory in their replay on Sunday.
After being held to a 2-2 draw by their west London rivals three weeks ago, the Blues couldn't score until Mata struck from the edge of the penalty area in the 54th minute at Stamford Bridge.
And after Oscar flicked in Chelsea's second, Mata whipped in the cross that Frank Lampard side-footed into the net in the 71st as Chelsea cruised to victory.
Captain John Terry marked his first appearance in two weeks with a header 10 minutes later to complete the win.
"They made it very difficult,'' Terry said. "(They had) two banks of four and sat very deep.''
Chelsea will play at Middlesbrough on Feb. 27 in the fifth round.
The biggest shock on Saturday was Arsenal's loss at home to second-tier club Blackburn, while in Sunday's other matches, Manchester City hosted Leeds, and Wigan was at Huddersfield. Liverpool played Swansea in the only Premier League match of the weekend.
Brentford earned more than $1 million from the two fourth-round matches, and showed in the first half that its cup run could be prolonged.
The seventh-place team in League One - a point behind the playoff places - repelled waves of attacks by the European champions with a disciplined display.
"We did very well,''said Brentford manager Uwe Rosler. "I think we made their life very difficult.''
When Chelsea's defenders backed off in the eighth minute, Adam Forshaw was presented with an opening - although he struck wide, as he did later in the first half.
Marcello Trotta did put the ball in the net for the visitors in the 39th, but the referee had already blown for a foul on Forshaw, and there were no complaints later from Rosler.
Chelsea's finishing was wayward in the first half, although Oscar did hit the post.
Lampard seemed far too casual when he flicked wide from Branislav Ivanovic's cross before halftime.
"They were working very, very hard in the first half,'' Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez said. "To keep this intensity in the second half against a team like Chelsea would be very difficult for them.''
And, after the break the intensity was ramped up by Chelsea, with the breakthrough coming after nine minutes.
Goalkeeper Petr Cech launched the ball forward, Demba Ba held off the Brentford defense, and Mata picked up possession before crisply striking into the net.
The second was even slicker from Oscar in the 68th.
Eden Hazard, who had just replaced Victor Moses, seized possession near the halfway line and powered into the penalty area where he sent the ball to Branislav Ivanovic. The right back cut the ball back to Oscar, who flicked it into the net through three defenders.
After the struggle scoring in the first half, Chelsea took just three minutes to make it 3-0. Mata broke down the left flank and squared the ball for an unmarked Lampard to volley into the net.
The 34-year-old midfielder's 199th goal puts him three behind Bobby Tambling's club record, however he hasn't been offered a new contract beyond the end of the season - much to the annoyance of Chelsea fans.
When Lampard was later substituted, the fans stood to applaud while owner Roman Abramovich kept his hands firmly in his pockets.
Another member of Chelsea's old guard found the net in the 82nd, with Terry heading home at the far post after rising to meet Oscar's cross.
The goal was enthusiastically celebrated by the 32-year-old Terry, whose place in the team has not been assured since being troubled by a knee injury.
"It was good to get on the scoresheet and good to be back,'' Terry said.