Bridge Banter: Chelsea facing up to Sunday roasting
12:00pm Friday 22nd February 2013 in Sport
Uwe Rosler’s game plan nearly worked at the weekend, but in the end the Blues swatted the Bees.
Middlesbrough are next in line in the FA Cup, with the reward for success at the Riverside on Wednesday, being a clash at Old Trafford against Manchester United.
Before that, Chelsea have to give up their Sunday roast for what some fear may be a Sunday roasting.
Manchester City haven’t been firing on all cylinders since Yaya Toure left for the Africa Cup of Nations, but his return means the Sky Blues are a tougher proposition, and Chelsea will have to up their game at the Etihad.
Lessons should have been learned from the grit Brentford showed in last weekend’s replayed FA Cup game.
For nearly an hour, the Bees rebuffed everything, and had the ball in the net at the Matthew Harding end when Marcello Trotta fired past Petr Cech two seconds after ref Neil Swarbrick had blown his whistle to award Brentford a free kick.
It was for one of several ugly fouls inflicted by David Luiz – a player Rafa Benitez refused to condemn, on the grounds that cup matches
involve hard tackles.
Bees manager Rosler also held back from any serious criticism of Luiz, pointing out that the midfielder had come into the away dressing room at Stamford Bridge to personally apologise to sub Jake Reeves, who had to leave the pitch with concussion after being shoulder-barged by the Brazilian.
But Rosler did insist that the ref could have briefly played advantage to allow the Bees to open the scoring, instead of hauling play back instantly.
The Blues knocked in four second-half goals against Brentford to advance in the cup, but the chances of a similar blitz against Man City seem thin.
For all their individual skill (and Oscar is really clicking at the moment), there’s still something missing about Chelsea’s teamwork and