Brentford 2-2 Chelsea
The FA Cup with Budweiser
Fourth Round Proper
12noon, Sunday 27 January 2013
Griffin Park, Brentford FC
Live on ESPN
Winning clubs receive £90,000 from The FA's Prize Fund
Click here for the Fourth Round results
by Chris Hatherall
Uwe Rosler's Brentford have earned the right to play European champions Chelsea in a Fourth Round FA Cup replay at Stamford Bridge following a superb 2-2 draw agains the Premier League outfit at Griffin Park.
In yet another day of FA Cup drama the Bees were twice ahead against Rafa Benitez's side but were ultimately denied a giantkilling when Fernando Torres scored a superb equaliser for Chelsea to save them from defeat.
Even so, Brentford fans in a 12,000-strong crowd left with a spring in their step after watching their team match the Blues for long periods and cause them real problems, especially in the first half.
In fact, they did more than enough in the game for Rosler to believe they are not yet out of contention for a place in the Fifth Round, despite facing a daunting trip across west London.
Rosler said: "Maybe being 2-1 up with five minutes to go I'm slightly disappointed we didn't win the game.
"But overall my players did fantastic and they earned the right to play at Stamford Bridge. It will be a great occasion again for our supporters and our players - and also financially it will be important.
"I think everybody is happy - players, coaches, manager, board. Congratulations to my players for what they did today, individually and collectively.
"There will be absolutely no pressure on us at Stamford Bridge, we have nothing to lose. This young team has surprised me so many times when what they can do. An dI wouldn't be surprised if we go there and give them a game again."
In a match played out in a terrific atmosphere, Brentford - playing their west London neighbours for the first time since 1950 - gave absolutely everything for the cause as they pressed and harried Chelsea right from the start as the visitors struggled to contend with windy conditions and a muddy pitch.
But it wasn't as if Rosler's side resorted to long balls; they managed to maintain their passing game in difficult conditions and were often quicker into the tackle and faster to the loose ball.
They had a chance to take an early lead when goalkeeper Lee Turnbull handled a back-pass under pressure and again when the excellent Adam Forshaw stroked a shot just wide; but the real breakthrough came with only two minutes to go until half-time.
Forshaw robbed Frank Lampard with a sliding tackle, winger Harry Forrester shot - and Turnbull spilled the ball straight to Marcello Trotta who finished in style.
It was no more than the Bees deserved - but the second half was to prove tougher as Chelsea brought on Juan Mata and began to take a grip.
Brentford needed captain Jonathan Douglas to be in top form in midfield to keep them at bay and they showed tremendous character to survive when Oscar waltzed through to home defence to score a superb equaliser.
You would have expected Chelsea to dominate after that but in fact Brentford soaked up the pressure and then went ahead when Turnbull brought down substitute Tom Adeyemi for a clear penalty, that was swept home by Forrester.
There were some in the Griffin Park crowd who suggested Turnbull was fortunate to receive just a yellow card; and maybe that was important for Chelsea's morale as they mounted one last attack - with Torres, set up by Demba Ba, breaking Bees hearts by curling home an 83rd minute equaliser.
Chelsea could have won it when Mata claimed furiously his cross had been handled late on; but the Bees survived and earned a standing ovation from their fans amid triumphant scenes at Griffin Park.
Chelsea boss Benitez was relieved to be still in the hat, saying: "Obviously The FA Cup is a massive competition and Chelsea won it last year and it's very important. We want to stay in it."
And he paid tribute to Use Rosler's side, saying: "You have to give them credit. We knew more or less the key players for them but especially the team as a team was the main thing, the character that they showed You could see the manager no the touchline, what he was trying to say, and they knew what to do. So, again, I would say credit to them."
Moore, Hodson, Craig, Dean, Logan, Forshaw (Saunders 84), Douglas, Diagouraga, Donaldson, Trotta (Adeyemi 70), Forrester (Barron 80). Substitutes not used Lee, Dallas, Reeves, Hayes.
Turnbull, Ivanovic (Azpilicueta 79), Cahill, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Lampard, Marin (Mata 46), Oscar, Bertrand (Ba 82), Torres. Subs not used: Hilario, Mata, Ferreira, Benayoun, Ake.
Referee Jon Moss