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Brentford 2 Chelsea 2
12:21pm Monday 28th January 2013 in Sport
UWE ROSLER invoked the Hand of God to explain Brentford’s stunning performance against Chelsea after watching them go within seven minutes of one of the great FA Cup shocks.
In what has been a season of upsets in cup competitions, Rosler’s Bees almost topped them all after pushing the holders to the brink of a humiliating defeat at Griffin Park.
The npower League One high-fliers twice led the European champions but were denied by Fernando Torres’s late equaliser, setting up a replay at Stamford Bridge next month.
Chelsea might have even snatched a cruel stoppagetime winner had Harlee Dean been penalised for handling Juan Mata’s cross in the area.
But Brentford boss Rosler insisted his side were good value for their 2-2 draw after outworking the visitors for much of the game.
“We deserved that luck from what we have put in compared to what Chelsea put in over the 90 minutes,”
the former Manchester City striker said.
“There is a football god up there and he is on our side.”
Brentford tore into Chelsea from almost the first whistle, disrupting the possession game interim manager Rafael Benitez admitted on Friday was their only way of playing and exploiting a tailwind to launch lightning breakaways.
A delighted Rosler insisted his side deserved to be further ahead at the break before it was their turn to play into a headwind.
He added: “They had a lot of play but didn’t create clearcut chances. We defended very well and worked very well against the ball.
“And to be five minutes before the end and leading 2-1, I’m slightly disappointed that we didn’t win the game.
“But, overall, my players did fantastically. They earned the right to play at Stamford Bridge. It will be a great day for our supporters again, for our players and, financially, it will help enormously..”
Benitez admitted some of his Chelsea players had been running on empty going into this game and Rosler sensed they were there for the taking.
The visitors simply did not look up for the fight in the first half on a pitch that was covered in sand in places.
“I would say the pitch was not in their favour,” Rosler said.
“When you saw what we were running and what they were running, I would say that we have put an enormous amount of work rate in.”
Torres’ equaliser might have rescued Chelsea and Benitez but it also added to the biggest fixture pile-up in the club’s history.
The holders are unable to host the replay until fifthround weekend.
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