FA Cup - Mata helps Chelsea beat Brentford

FA Cup fourth round replay, Stamford Bridge - Chelsea 4 (Mata 54, Oscar 68, Lampard 71, Terry 81) Brentford 0

Chelsea eased into the fifth round of the FA Cup, where they will face Middlesbrough, courtesy of a Juan Mata-inspired 4-0 replay win over Brentford at Stamford Bridge.

The League One side held Chelsea to a 2-2 draw at Griffin Park and managed to reach half-time at 0-0 having had a goal unfortunately disallowed, but after the break their Premier League opponents accelerated away decisively.

Mata opened the scoring after 54 minutes with a fine effort from outside the box and, after Oscar had scored a second with a clever backheel, teed up Frank Lampard for his 199th goal for the club - putting the England international within three goals of Bobby Tambling's all-time record.

To complete a productive afternoon for the traditional darlings of Stamford Bridge, John Terry also headed home for the holders from an Oscar cross on a day which started with rumblings of reported discontent between captain and manager in the Chelsea dressing room.

With the club strenuously denying a falling after the word 'WAR' was emblazoned across the back page of a national newspaper on Sunday morning, Terry did come into the starting line-up along with Demba Ba, for Fernando Torres, and Victor Moses after his victorious campaign at the African Cup of Nations with Nigeria.

The European champions unsurprisingly dominated possession against the League One chancers, though their final execution was lacking. Branislav Ivanovic was guilty when he sent a header back across goal from a corner and placed the ball both too high for Ba and wide of the near post. Oscar also saw an early shot loop up and nearly catch Simon Moore off guard on his line.

With Lampard spurning a succession of chances, the two finest of which saw him suffer from a failure of technique as he missed with a swing from 12 yards then poked a volley wide at the back post from a Mata cross, it was Oscar who went closest for Chelsea. After Ba and Mata linked up to good effect, the Spaniard then played in Oscar with a neat pass, only for the playmaker to slip as he struck his shot and see it spin up and hit the post.

Chelsea were fortunate to see Gary Cahill escape without as much as a booking when smashing into Jonathan Douglas with a studs-up challenge, and the home side grew ever more frustrated. As Adam Forshaw impressed with his quality in midfield, Brentford also defended diligently and had a few chances of their own with Clayton Donaldson producing a meek header when losing Ivanovic at the back post and Forshaw twice going close with low drives from outside the box.

The visitors from League One even had the ball in the back of the net on 39 minutes when Marcello Trotta slotted home but play had already stopped for a foul by David Luiz on Forshaw 20 yards from goal. Advantage should have been played, but Chelsea were spared the embarrassment of going behind.

They emerged for the second half with far more purpose though. Ivanovic quickly threatened with a diving header that Moore kept out with a fantastic save down to his left, before the keeper was finally beaten on 54 minutes. Cech pumped the ball downfield with a long kick and after Ba flicked on with his head, Mata arrowed a fine shot into the bottom corner from 20 yards.

One became two on 68 minutes as Chelsea punished an error from Toumani Diagouraga as the midfielder passed the ball straight to substitute Eden Hazard. The Belgian found Ivanovic in the right channel and his cross made its way to Oscar, who with an extravagant backheeled flick sent it through a crowd of Brentford players and past the culpable keeper Moore.

All Chelsea needed now was a goal for the venerated Lampard and it came on 71 minutes. Mata was the creator as he broke free on the left and chipped in a lovely pass to find Lampard, who struck the ball home with a fine volley 10 yards out to move ever closer to Tambling's record before his contract expires in the summer.

A Terry goal only added to the occasion - the defender heading past Moore at the back post following a patient and brilliant cross from the impressive Oscar - but Chelsea were arguably fortunate to see Luiz avoid a red card for a late and brutal bodycheck on Jake Reeves that forced the Brentford substitute off with five minutes remaining.

Still, a place in the fifth round of the Cup was their reward for a dominant second-half display, with interim boss Rafa Benitez still in the hunt for a trophy.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Juan Mata (Chelsea) - The Spaniard produced another goal and assist to make it 12 goals he has played a part in in 10 FA Cup games. Chelsea's shining light as always this season.

PLAYER RATINGS

CHELSEA: Cech 6, Ivanovic 7, Cahill 6, Terry 7, Cole 6, Luiz 5, Lampard 7, Oscar 8, Mata 8, Moses 6, Ba 6. Subs: Hazard 7, Benayoun 6, Bertrand 6.

BRENTFORD: Moore 7, Logan 6, Craig 5, Dean 5, Bidwell 6, Diagouraga 5, Douglas 6, Adeyemi 7, Forshaw 7, Donaldson 6, Trotta 5. Subs: Forrester 6, Reeves 6, Saunders 6.

MATCHCAST: FULL COMMENTARY AND STATS