Fernando Torres struck a late equaliser to spare Chelsea the embarrassment of being knocked out of the FA Cup by League One Brentford at Griffin Park.
The £50m Spain striker equalised seven minutes from time as Brentford threatened to heap even more misery on Chelsea and interim manager Rafael Benitez after their midweek Capital One Cup semi-final elimination against Swansea City.
Brentford, third in the third tier of English football, were the better side for long spells in this fourth round tie and twice held the lead through Marcello Trotta's first-half goal and Harry Forrester's penalty 17 minutes from time.
With Chelsea on the brink of an ignominious exit and Benitez facing increasing hostility from the travelling supporters packed at one end of Griffin Park, Torres curled in a superb finish to give the Premier League side the relief of a replay.
Brentford's fans gave their side a standing ovation after an outstanding effort that earns them a lucrative replay at Stamford Bridge - but for a few moments they were dreaming of an even bigger reward.
For Chelsea, the draw was gratefully accepted and they deserve some credit for digging out the result after struggling for so long.
Chelsea keep record intact
FA Cup holders Chelsea are unbeaten in 25 FA Cup matches (W20, D5), and have lost only one of their last 36 in the regulation 90 minutes.
Griffin Park was liberally laced with everything that makes the FA Cup special - complete with the sort of heavily sanded-surface that can close gaps between teams.
And Chelsea's unease was evident in an early breakdown in communication between captain John Terry - starting his first game under Benitez after injury - and Ross Turnbull which resulted in the 'keeper picking up his backpass in the area. It presented Brentford with a clear opportunity but Forrester, faced with a 10-man Chelsea wall, shot over.
Brentford's brisk tempo unsettled Chelsea, who were not helped by their own lame response to the determination of the Bees to deny them time and space and drive forward at every opportunity.
As Brentford's confidence increased and with it their domination, Adam Forshaw was only inches away from giving them the lead from 20 yards.
The goal they deserved came three minutes before the interval when Turnbull - a desperately uncertain figure throughout - could only push out Forrester's shot after Frank Lampard conceded possession. Trotta took time to steady himself before sending a powerful finish past the stranded keeper.
It resulted in Benitez receiving a furious response from Chelsea's supporters as he made his way off in front of them at half-time - treatment that was repeated when he emerged for the second half.
Benitez made an inevitable change at the restart, sending on Juan Mata for the anonymous Marko Marin, but it was Oscar who provided the moment of inspiration to draw Chelsea level.
He showed quick feet and great imagination inside the area before sending a right-foot strike high past Brentford keeper Simon Moore.
Moore, who had been untroubled until Oscar's goal, was then in action again to save from Mata as Chelsea sensed they were finally exerting some control on proceedings.
Brentford, however, showed real character to rebuild momentum and edge their way back into the game, a strength rewarded as they regained the lead with 17 minutes left.
Clayton Donaldson played in Tom Adeyemi, on for goalscorer Trotta, and he was dragged down by Turnbull as he raced from goal. The keeper was shown the yellow card and Forrester kept his composure to beat Turnbull powerfully to his right from the spot.
Benitez introduced Demba Ba to try to spare Chelsea's humiliation but it was the much-criticised Torres who did the job for his manager with an instinctive curled finish beyond the reach of Moore.
Brentford held on but survived one huge stoppage time scare when Harlee Dean handled Mata's chip into the area but referee Jon Moss ignored Chelsea's frantic appeals.
- 21 Moore
- 05 Craig
- 06 Dean
- 14 Logan
- 18 Hodson
- 04 Forshaw (Saunders - 84' )
- 08 Douglas
- 20 Diagouraga
- 09 Donaldson
- 11 Trotta (Adeyemi - 70' )
- 19 Forrester (Barron - 80' )
- 01 Lee
- 03 Barron
- 07 Saunders
- 12 Adeyemi
- 15 Dallas
- 22 Reeves
- 23 Hayes
- 22 Turnbull Booked
- 02 Ivanovic (Azpilicueta - 79' )
- 03 Cole
- 24 Cahill Booked
- 26 Terry
- 34 Bertrand (Ba - 82' )
- 07 Ramires
- 08 Lampard
- 11 Oscar
- 21 Marin (Mata - 46' )
- 09 Torres
- 40 Hilario
- 19 Ferreira
- 28 Azpilicueta
- 10 Mata
- 30 Benayoun
- 57 Ake
- 29 Ba
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee blows for the end of the match.90:00 +4:08
Clayton Donaldson produces a right-footed shot from close range that goes over the bar.90:00 +3:35
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Sam Saunders by Ashley Cole. Free kick taken by Lee Hodson.90:00 +3:12
The ball is swung over by Juan Mata, Harlee Dean gets a block in.90:00 +1:06
Handball by Nascimento Ramires. Free kick crossed right-footed by Sam Saunders, comfortable save by Ross Turnbull.90:00 +0:27
Fernando Torres is ruled offside. Indirect free kick taken by Simon Moore.89:54
Nascimento Ramires takes a shot from 25 yards. Blocked by Shaleum Logan.89:19
The assistant referee signals for offside against Clayton Donaldson. Indirect free kick taken by John Terry.87:50
Frank Lampard takes a shot. Save by Simon Moore.86:27
Frank Lampard takes a shot. Comfortable save by Simon Moore.85:24
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Nascimento Ramires by Tom Adeyemi. Frank Lampard restarts play with the free kick.84:15 Substitution
Substitution Sam Saunders replaces Adam Forshaw.82:07
Demba Ba provided the assist for the goal.82:07 Goal scored
Goal! - Fernando Torres - Brentford 2 - 2 Chelsea A goal is scored by Fernando Torres from just outside the penalty area to the top right corner of the goal. Brentford 2-2 Chelsea.81:16 Substitution
Substitution Demba Ba comes on in place of Ryan Bertrand.80:38
Emboaba Oscar takes a shot. Blocked by Scott Barron. Cesar Azpilicueta crosses the ball, Ryan Bertrand has a headed effort from close range and clears the bar.80:14
Corner taken left-footed by Juan Mata from the left by-line, clearance by Harlee Dean.79:46
Effort from the edge of the box by Clayton Donaldson goes wide of the left-hand upright.79:02 Substitution
Substitution Scott Barron joins the action as a substitute, replacing Harry Forrester.78:43 Substitution
Substitution (Chelsea) makes a substitution, with Cesar Azpilicueta coming on for Branislav Ivanovic.
Shot from just outside the box by Fernando Torres misses to the left of the goal.77:49
Juan Mata produces a cross. The ball is crossed by Emboaba Oscar, Branislav Ivanovic produces a overhead kick right-footed shot from 6 yards. Save by Simon Moore.77:06
Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Emboaba Oscar, Header by Gary Cahill from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the target.76:59
The ball is crossed by Branislav Ivanovic, Harry Forrester gets a block in.75:02
The assistant referee signals for offside against Clayton Donaldson. Ross Turnbull takes the free kick.73:15
Clayton Donaldson concedes a free kick for a foul on Gary Cahill. Direct free kick taken by Gary Cahill.72:29
Assist by Tom Adeyemi.72:29 Goal scored
Goal! - Harry Forrester - Brentford 2 - 1 Chelsea Penalty taken right-footed by Harry Forrester and scored. Brentford 2-1 Chelsea.71:35 Booking
Booking Caution for Ross Turnbull.71:20
Penalty awarded for an unfair challenge on Tom Adeyemi by Ross Turnbull.69:57 Substitution
Substitution Tom Adeyemi is brought on as a substitute for Marcello Trotta.69:41
Adam Forshaw produces a left-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses left.69:20
Corner taken right-footed by Harry Forrester from the left by-line, clearance made by John Terry. Adam Forshaw takes a shot. Frank Lampard gets a block in.68:45
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Adam Forshaw, save made by Ross Turnbull.65:45
Clayton Donaldson fouled by Nascimento Ramires, the ref awards a free kick. Lee Hodson crosses the ball in from the free kick, Ross Turnbull makes a save.64:58
A cross is delivered by Shaleum Logan, clearance by Gary Cahill. Lee Hodson takes a shot. Ryan Bertrand gets a block in.64:08
The ball is crossed by Ashley Cole, Lee Hodson gets a block in.63:21
Emboaba Oscar has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box missing to the wide left of the goal.61:13
The ball is delivered by Harry Forrester.59:47
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Emboaba Oscar played to the near post, save by Simon Moore. Branislav Ivanovic challenges Tony Craig unfairly and gives away a free kick. Simon Moore restarts play with the free kick.59:16
Emboaba Oscar takes a inswinging corner to the near post, Frank Lampard takes a shot. Blocked by Lee Hodson.59:08
Centre by Juan Mata, clearance made by Lee Hodson.58:50
Juan Mata takes the outswinging corner, Marcello Trotta makes a clearance.58:34
Outswinging corner taken by Juan Mata, clearance made by Harlee Dean.58:24
A cross is delivered by Juan Mata, Adam Forshaw gets a block in.55:43
Ashley Cole produces a cross, Juan Mata takes a shot. Save made by Simon Moore.54:33 Goal scored
Goal! - Emboaba Oscar - Brentford 1 - 1 Chelsea Goal scored by Emboaba Oscar from the edge of the penalty area to the top left corner of the goal. Brentford 1-1 Chelsea.54:25
A cross is delivered by Ryan Bertrand, Harlee Dean manages to make a clearance.51:59
Juan Mata sends in a cross, save by Simon Moore.51:47
A cross is delivered by Emboaba Oscar, clearance by Tony Craig.50:21
Free kick awarded for a foul by Harry Forrester on Branislav Ivanovic. Free kick crossed left-footed by Juan Mata from right wing, Simon Moore makes a save.49:10
Free kick awarded for a foul by Lee Hodson on Fernando Torres. Shot on goal comes in from Frank Lampard from the free kick, Jonathan Douglas gets a block in. Emboaba Oscar takes a shot. Harlee Dean gets a block in.48:44
Shaleum Logan takes a shot. John Terry makes a clearance.48:28
Centre by Shaleum Logan, John Terry makes a clearance.46:44
Nascimento Ramires has an effort at goal from long range that goes wide left.45:40
Centre by Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard takes a shot.45:01
The second half kicks off.45:01 Substitution
Substitution Juan Mata comes on in place of Marko Marin.45:00 +1:20 Half time
Half Time The match has reached half-time.45:00 +0:50
The ball is crossed by Clayton Donaldson, clearance by Gary Cahill.45:00 +0:30
The referee gives a free kick against Fernando Torres for handball. Free kick taken by Tony Craig.43:42
Adam Forshaw crosses the ball in from the free kick.43:42 Booking
Booking The referee shows Gary Cahill a yellow card.43:37
Gary Cahill concedes a free kick for a foul on Shaleum Logan.41:57
Assist by Harry Forrester.41:57 Goal scored
Goal! - Marcello Trotta - Brentford 1 - 0 Chelsea Marcello Trotta scores a goal from inside the box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Brentford 1-0 Chelsea.41:52
Harry Forrester takes a shot. Save by Ross Turnbull.40:57
Branislav Ivanovic fouled by Harry Forrester, the ref awards a free kick. Ross Turnbull takes the direct free kick.38:34
Free kick awarded for a foul by Nascimento Ramires on Adam Forshaw. Free kick crossed right-footed by Adam Forshaw from right wing, Branislav Ivanovic manages to make a clearance. Harlee Dean sends in a cross, John Terry manages to make a clearance.38:06
Effort from 20 yards by Adam Forshaw. Comfortable save by Ross Turnbull.37:05
Toumani Diagouraga produces a cross, clearance by Nascimento Ramires.35:43
Toumani Diagouraga gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Nascimento Ramires. Frank Lampard crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left channel.35:14
Branislav Ivanovic crosses the ball, clearance made by Tony Craig.34:19
The ball is crossed by Branislav Ivanovic, Shaleum Logan manages to make a clearance.30:30
Shot from just outside the penalty area by Harry Forrester misses to the left of the target.29:55
Adam Forshaw produces a left-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that goes wide left of the target.27:40
Nascimento Ramires fouled by Marcello Trotta, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Frank Lampard, clearance by Clayton Donaldson.25:10
Shot from outside the box by Harry Forrester goes wide right of the target.23:40
Marko Marin takes the outswinging corner, Marcello Trotta manages to make a clearance.23:28
Centre by Branislav Ivanovic, blocked by Shaleum Logan.23:09
Harry Forrester gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gary Cahill. Direct free kick taken by Gary Cahill.17:37
The official flags Marcello Trotta offside. Nascimento Ramires takes the free kick.17:09
Unfair challenge on Fernando Torres by Adam Forshaw results in a free kick. Ashley Cole takes the free kick.16:03
Corner taken right-footed by Harry Forrester to the near post, Fernando Torres makes a clearance.15:52
A cross is delivered by Adam Forshaw, Nascimento Ramires gets a block in.15:15
A cross is delivered by Harry Forrester, Gary Cahill gets a block in.14:51
Free kick awarded for a foul by Jonathan Douglas on Nascimento Ramires. Frank Lampard takes the direct free kick.14:19
Clayton Donaldson produces a cross.10:57
Free kick taken by Adam Forshaw. Harry Forrester takes a shot from just inside the penalty box which clears the crossbar.9:53
Effort from the edge of the box by Marcello Trotta goes wide of the left-hand upright.8:08
The ball is crossed by Branislav Ivanovic, clearance by Jonathan Douglas.4:17
Emboaba Oscar has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the left-hand post.2:52
Ashley Cole produces a left-footed shot from close range which goes wide of the right-hand upright.0:00
The referee gets the game underway.
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