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Brentford bowed out of the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge on Sunday when Chelsea’s stars eventually shone through in a keenly contested replay. In truth the final score-line flattered the Cup holders, and although it was unlikely the Bees would ever pull off an upset, the Reds paid a high price for a few sloppy mistakes.

The fact that Brentford held Chelsea for almost an hour of the second meeting, and were supported by a noisy army of fans, who genuinely put their Blues counterparts to shame, made for a great atmosphere at the Shed End of the stadium – Brentford fans were brilliant all day.

Raffa Bernitez paid Brentford the highest compliment by fielding a full-strength side, while Uwe Rossler decided to tighten the side’s midfield with both Harry Forrester and Sam Saunders warming the bench. Predictably, Chelsea enjoyed the lion’s share of possession in the first half, and created several clear-cut chances to score, with Lampard and Mata both missing guilt-edged chances – but it was Brentford that could, and arguably should, have taken the lead.

Adam Forshaw, who looked every bit the Premiership player on the big stage, and had flashed a couple of shots past Petr Cech’s post, was fouled on the edge of the area by David Luiz – the ball falling to Marcello Trotta who lashed home – but the referee, who along with his linesmen looked content to award every decision Chelsea’s way, pulled play back rather than allow any advantage. David Luiz should have been booked for the challenge, and then sent off for a later ‘assault’ on Jake Reeves, who fell victim of a terrible late shoulder barge from the hairy Brazilian hacker.

To go in level at the break was no more than Brentford deserved, though, but despite some quality performances all over the pitch, especially from captain Jonathan Douglas and Clayton Donaldson, who both ran and ran for the cause, a couple of moments of Chelsea class, and a couple of sloppy passes, settled the match.

Juan Mata opened the scoring nine minutes after the restart, lashing home from just outside the area, a shot that gave Simon Moore no chance, but it was the second goal, which came in the 68th minute, that did the real damage. Oscar’s flick from an Ivanovic cross squirmed agonisingly past Moore, and from that point on, the Bees were going to need a miracle.

Chelsea then scored a third within five minutes of the second, Frank Lampard continuing his rich vein of form by lashing home a controlled half-volley after Mata’s lovely cross – and it was game set and match with a little under ten minutes to play when John Terry was allowed to steal in at the back post and plant an accurate, angled header into the net for Chelsea’s fourth.

I’m sure when the Bees players get together today and look back at the video, a few will squirm at some of the marking, but over the two games they’ve done the club proud, that can’t be forgotten.

So, Chelsea ease past the Bees into Round Five, but they’ll have to acknowledge they certainly had to battle and work for this win – the European Champions were held for the majority of the two ties, but realistically, few Brentford supporters can argue about the final outcome.

Fact is we had the perfect chance to knock Chelsea out at Griffin Park, and were tantalisingly close to doing so, but inevitable class always shines through. That Brentford didn’t just turn up and roll over, that Brentford fans out-sung Chelsea both home and away, that Brentford continued to play football rather than resort to overly aggressive long-ball tactics, should be the legacy from this cup run.

Enjoy the memories, enjoy the wonderful photos being posted on the besotted gallery, continue to bask in what was a great Sunday out for a day or two longer perhaps, then let’s all put this behind us and go out and demolish Walsall next Saturday.

A proud day for all connected with Brentford Football Club undoubtedly, now let’s go up!

Dave Lane