It certainly wasn't the type of game that many would have hoped for from Chelsea against a side several levels below them, but after 180 minutes of play, the Blues have managed to get by Brentford and advance in the FA Cup. Next up will be Middlesbrough for the Blues as they look to capture their 4th FA Cup in 5 seasons. Here are a few thoughts in the immediate aftermath of this one, with a full match report soon to follow:
- Rafa Benitez has plenty of faults and has just done a terrible job overall since being named interim manager. We haven't been creating enough chances, and the costly defensive errors are still being seen on a regular basis. That being said, finishing more of the chances we do create would go a long way in seeing the club get some better results. That is 100% on the players, and doing so would likely take an awful lot of pressure off of Benitez.
- Ever notice that most of David Luiz's defensive errors come when he's chasing down an attacker from behind? I don't know that playing him in a position where attackers will regularly be in behind him is the ideal way to cut those out. That said, his silly foul in the first half from such a situation directly led to a Brentford goal being waived off, so I'm sure Rafa will consider it a stroke of genius.
- I love seeing Roman Abramovich at matches. Forget Rafa, the booing, or any sort of connection with the fans for a minute. Chelsea isn't a shiny new toy for the owner anymore, and yet we still see him showing up to watch on a fairly regular basis. Tons of opposition fans will be envious of the money he brought to the club, but my favorite part of Abramovich is the fact that he's a huge fan of the game.
- Frank Lampard now looks nearly certain to eclipse the Chelsea record of 203 goals this season, which would certainly be the highlight of this relatively dismal campaign for the fans.
- Demba Ba barely touched the ball today, but I really hope Fernando Torres was taking notes on his play. Ba kept running at goal despite rarely seeing a ball, in doing so he continued to create spaces behind him for Oscar, Juan Mata, and Frank Lampard to slip into. Torres does this on occasion as well, but after a few minutes without a touch he decides to come deep, stop doing the work to create those spaces, and get more touches of the ball.
- Why exactly were Chelsea fans booing Yossi Benayoun when he came on the pitch? He'll never be anything close to a legend at Chelsea, but I don't think he's ever done anything worth booing his entrance either.
- I'd really like to see Brentford earn promotion from League One. Seeing this derby more often would be kind of fun, and Brentford getting some additional resources would certainly increase the likelihood that they manage to hang around in the domestic cups long enough to see this matchup again.