Brentford were knocked out of the Carabao Cup at the Quarter Final stage by Chelsea. The visitors booked a spot in the last four on a cold night thanks to two goals inside the final 15 minutes. An own goal from Pontus Jansson and a penalty from Jorginho gave Chelsea the honours and a win they had to work hard for.
Brentford had the better chances in the first half and were made to pay for not taking them as Chelsea moved through the gears after the break. They took the lead when Jansson turned a cross in to his own net and Brentford could not find a way back. A late penalty sealed it for the visitors.
Chelsea had a lot of the ball in the opening exchanges. They mostly played in front of Brentford, often keeping the ball in their own half, but they dominated possession and forced The Bees to sit in. The visitors played a lot to their left side, looking to link Mateo Kovačić and Marcos Alonso as they looked for openings.
Chelsea had a couple of sights of goal in the first quarter of the contest. Ross Barkley met an Alonso cross with a looping header that Álvaro Fernández was able to gather comfortably, and Jude Soonsup-Bell shot wide on the turn when he met a Harvey Vale cross. César Azpilicueta also lashed a shot over when Fernández pushed out a cross but the better chances in the first 25 minutes went the way of The Bees.
Brentford could have scored ten minutes in from their first real attacking possession. Mathias Jensen released Bryan Mbeumo on the left and he tried to feed the ball in to Yoane Wissa, arriving inside the area. The ball was just behind Wissa and Chelsea cleared.
There was an even better chance soon after when Rico Henry intercepted on the left and darted up the pitch. His first cross was intercepted but he was able to lay the ball back to Mbeumo. The second cross found Wissa unmarked, but he headed straight at Kepa Arrizabalaga from close range. Sergi Canós misdirected a header under pressure before Mbeumo charged down a clearance and Arrizabalaga was relived to see the ball fly wide.
Chelsea were still seeing a lot of the ball as half time approached but Brentford were more incisive with their possession and were creating the better chances. A long range shot from Saúl was blocked for the visitors and Mbeumo lashed a volley wide from a Jensen corner for The Bees. Henry then created a chance when he worked his way to the by-line inside the area and crossed, Jensen met it with a header that Arrizabalaga pushed away to his left.
Both teams were trying to attack on their left sides. Alonso was pushing Canós in to defensive areas when Chelsea had the ball, but Henry was a threat for Brentford on the left. He was able to run past Xavier Simons, playing at right wing back for Chelsea and when he had the ball. Simons did, however, test Fernández with a fierce shot from 20 yards that the Brentford goalkeeper held on to low down.
Vale turned well in the penalty area and saw a shot deflect wide. He then had a better chance when he met an Azpilicueta cross ten yards out but headed it straight at Fernández. The best chance of the half was created by Brentford just before half time. Jensen played a pass in behind the Chelsea defence for Henry to run on to. He only had Arrizabalaga to beat but fired at the Chelsea goalkeeper and the visitors escaped.
Chelsea made a double substitution at half time, changing their attacking outlook. Jorginho came on to replace Kovačić with Saúl moving further forward to try and link with Alonso on the left side. Christian Pulisic also came on to play as a central striker and the visitors started the second period with more varied possession, looking to the right as well as to Alonso on the left.
Brentford had the first attacking possession of the half when Shandon Baptiste danced through the centre of the pitch on the counter-attack. Jensen joined in and Baptiste set up Wissa to lift a chip on to the roof of the net. Fernández also made a couple of saves early in the second half, going full stretch to his left to keep out a deflected cross before reacting to save a shot from Barkley.
There were few chances in the first part of the second half. Chelsea had a lot of the ball and seemed to have the upper hand without creating many chances. Brentford were mostly playing on the counter-attack but neither team really worried the opposing goalkeeper.
Azpilicueta had to make a last gasp challenge when it looked with Mbeumo may get on to a Baptiste through ball and Fernández saved when Pulisic met an Alonso cross on the stretch. There were a series of substitutions in the second half which disrupted the flow a fraction. Both sides brought on some of their regular starters in Premier League matches with Ivan Toney on for The Bees as well as England internationals Mason Mount and Reece James for Chelsea.
Fernández pushed away a James free kick and Ethan Pinnock then deflected the follow-up from Barkley wide. A Jensen free kick at the other end looked like it could find Mads Bech to head in, but it just eluded him. And as the game entered the final 15 minutes it seemed finely poised, albeit with Chelsea holding the upper hand.
At that point, the visitors brough N’Golo Kanté in to the contest and he immediately took command in the centre of the pitch, playing a key role in the opening goal. Kanté was consistently involved and played a pass in to the inside right channel for James. The cross was drilled in and Jansson’s attempt to clear flew past Fernández and in to the top corner.
Chelsea had the lead and with their continued domination of the ball, Brentford found it hard to respond. Alonso saw a shot blocked before Mount found space at the edge of the area. His pass was deflected and as Fernández rushed out to gather, Pulisic nipped in. The Chelsea man got their first and Fernández brought him down. Referee Andrew Marriner pointed to the spot and Jorginho lashed it to the right of Fernández as the Brentford goalkeeper dived the other way.
That was just about that. Pulisic curled a shot wide, and Marcus Forss looked like he might get on to a Toney pass. He appeared to get a nudge from Trevor Chalobah but stayed on his feet, stumbling, and when he eventually went over Mr Marriner waved away appeals. It would probably not have mattered as Chelsea had it sewn up at that point.
Brentford: Fernández; Pinnock, Jansson, Bech; Canós, Jensen (sub Forss 81 mins), Janelt (sub Nørgaard 65 mins), Baptiste (sub Onyeka 73 mins), Henry (sub Ghoddos 73 mins); Wissa (sub Toney 65 mins), Mbeumo
Subs (not used): Cox, Stevens, Thompson, Peart-Harris
Bookings: Janelt (12 mins), Canós (67 mins)
Chelsea: Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Chalobah, Sarr; Simons (sub James 65 mins), Barkley (sub Kanté 76 mins), Saúl, Kovačić (sub Jorginho h/t), Alonso; Vale (sub Mount 65 mins), Soonsup-Bell (sub Pulisic h/t)
Subs (not used): Bettinelli, Rüdiger, Webster, Hall
Bookings: Vale (45 mins), Saúl (77 mins)
Attendance: 16,517 (1,725 away fans)