Benitez and Terry deny rift as Blues easily swat Bees

Matt McGeehan

CHELSEA interim boss Rafael Benitez and John Terry are adamant they are not in dispute after the captain made a goalscoring return to the starting XI.

Following a knee injury sustained in November before Benitez's arrival, Terry made just his third start under the Spaniard in yesterday's 4-0 FA Cup fourth-round replay win over Brentford at Stamford Bridge.

Benitez and Terry felt the need to rebuff a report of a disagreement between the pair.

"He's quite positive," Benitez said. "He knows that the main thing is the team winning and if he can play, much better."

Terry said: "It's good to have competition. The manager knows me and I want to play. I have been out for two or three months, but the other two (centre-backs) have been doing well."

Branislav Ivanovic and Gary Cahill started in last Thursday's defeat of Sparta Prague, with Terry an unused replacement for a fifth time under Benitez.

Terry could again find himself among the replacements on Thursday for the second leg of the Europa League clash, with Sunday's League clash at Manchester City in mind.

Victor Moses, David Luiz and Demba Ba also returned against the Bees, with Benitez happy with the options at his disposal.

"When you have players available you can manage in a different way," he said. "You can change player and they still keep the intensity in the team."

Nevertheless, Frank Lampard continues to prove his value to Chelsea, netting his 199th goal in front of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, present for the first time since the defeat of Arsenal.

It was the 34-year-old's 26th FA Cup goal, moving ahead of the record held by Bobby Tambling, and the third of the game following strikes from Juan Mata and Oscar.

Now Tambling's club record of 202 is in Lampard's sights, yet his future remains uncertain, with contradictory reports over whether he will be offered the chance to extend his 12-year stay at Stamford Bridge beyond this summer.


"I'm pleased to be at the top of the list," Lampard said.

"I'm just pleased to get another one. I'm pleased if I score and if it helps the team."

The win keeps Chelsea on course for silverware and a fifth FA Cup win in seven seasons, but Mata knows the priority lies elsewhere. The Spain forward said: "Next season we have to play in the Champions League."

Brentford boss Uwe Rosler had no complaints afterwards, not even over challenges from Cahill on Jonathan Douglas and Luiz on Jake Reeves or the denial of a first-half goal for Marcello Trotta.

Rosler, whose attention now turns to Brentford's challenge for promotion, said: "The referee has not decided the game, but with a little bit more fortune, we could've had the lead."