Chelsea 4 Brentford 0

By Paul Lagan
Last updated : 28 January 2017

Chelsea cruised into the 5th round of the FA Cup with a professionally ruthless 4-0 demolition of Championship side Brentford at Stamford Bridge this afternoon.

Goals from Willian, Pedro, Branislav Ivanovic and Michy Batshuayi knocked the stuffing out of the near neighbours.
This was a much-changed side for the Blues with Liverpool and Arsenal to be faced in the next seven days in the Premier League. But it still had players of the calibre of John Terry Cesc Fabregas and Pedro to pull the strings and shore up the defence, while the likes of Nathaniel Chalobah and Ruben Loftus-Cheek had more minutes to show their worth.
Chelsea simply had too much power, class and killer instinct for Brentford to lodge any serious threat to the Premier League leaders.
The opening exchanges were to be expected, with Brentford content to hold back into their final third, allowing the Blues possession.
The first effort towards goal came from the left foot of twinkle-toes Pedro on 10 minutes, but his left-footer from the edge of the Bee penalty area ended up in row Z of the Shed End stand.
Inevitably class told and on 14 minutes Chelsea took the lead through a blistering right-footed curler of a free-kick by Willian, which zipped around the Brentford wall, past Daniel Bentley' desperate dive to his left and crashed into the back of the net.
Number two was just seven minutes away and a superb effort it was too.
A quick breakaway started by Willian in midfield, which saw the ball fed to Batshuayi then his sublime slide rule pass to in-running Pedro, who cooly slotted home.
A goal-line scramble prevented number three on 27 minutes when Batshuayi thought the ball had gone over. But it clearly did not.
A blistering 20-harder by Ruben Loftus-Cheek was tipped over the bar by Bentley as chelsea went ion the rampage, creating chances at will.
He tried again seven minutes before the break, with the same result as Bentley thwarted him.
There were no changes at half time by either side.
Lasse Vibe had an excellent chance to halve the deficit three minutes after the restart. But the scramble in the Chelsea rearguard allowed Asmir Begovic, the chance to hack the ball from Vibe's foot.
The Blues were just a piece of woodwork away from number three on 68 minutes, when, after another breakaway saw Willian pass to Loftus-Cheek who was distraught to see his ball clip over Bentley but ricochet off the crossbar.
Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte decided that he wanted to change things around and brought on veteran Branislav Ivanovic for Willian. Just before that, on 62 minutes, Begovic was in action, preventing Nico Yennaris from getting a close-range shot away.
The Serbian defender, who is believed to be on his way from SW6 took just seven minutes to get in on the scoring act, thumping home a low drive from just outside the Bee penalty area after been set up by Pedro.
Kenedy, was then introduced for limping Cesar Azpilicueta.
Diego Costa then replaced Pedro with 15 minutes left on the clock.
Ivanovic was involved again on 80 minutes when he upended by Yoann Babet in the Bees penalty area. Up stepped up Batshuayi to finish off any lingering resistance to notch up number four from the spot.
A zipping free-kick by substitute Jota three minutes later inched over Begovic's goal.
But the Blues saw out the remaining minutes and must now prepare for the tense league encounter on Tuesday night at Anfield against Liverpool, before entertaining Arsenal at the Bridge at the weekend.

Chelsea: Begovic; Zouma, Terry (c), Azpilicueta; Pedro, Chalobah, Fabregas, Ake; Willian, Batshuayi, Loftus-Cheek

Subs: Eduardo, Ivanovic, Moses, Matic, Kenedy, Hazard, Diego Costa.


Brentford: Bentley, Colin, Bjelland, Dean, Yennaris, McEachran, Egan, Woods, Sawyers, Vibe, Barbet
Subs: Bonham, Hogan, Hofmann, Kerschbaumer, Clarke, Jota, Field

Referee

 

 

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