Chelsea manager Antonio Conte and Michy Batshuayi celebrate at the end of the match

A rare derby day

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte and Michy Batshuayi celebrate beating Peterborough 4-1 in last Sunday's FA Cup third-round tie. PICTURE: ACTION IMAGES

Tim Harrison
Tim Harrison

By Tim Harrison

It may be the rarest of west London derbies, but Chelsea’s reward for beating Peterborough in the FA Cup is a home tie against neighbours Brentford.

The teams met in 2013 when a 2-2 draw at Griffin Park was followed by a 4-0 Blues victory in the replay.

But there have only been five meetings between the sides since the Second World War.

Compare that to 22 matches against QPR since 1990, and 29 against Fulham in the same era.

This will be the first year in the Bees’ 127-year history that they will have played Chelsea, Rangers and the Whites.

The 6,000 away fans simply have to change platforms at Earls Court.

Despite being reduced to 10 men against Peterborough, Chelsea were comfortable winners. A restrained Tony Conte, in peaked blue cap, didn’t feel the need to leap in the technical area as a team of reserves won the day.

John Terry’s red card looked harsh. Yes, JT went to ground, and yes Lee Angol fell over him. But was there any intent?

Chelsea now focus on a trip to the champions. In the home tie in October, Chelsea beat Leicester 3-0 in one of those games which underlined Victor Moses’ renaissance. He scored, as did Diego Costa and Eden Hazard.

But the 5.30pm kick-off will be a tougher prospect, especially as the Blues have now lost their cloak of invincibility after the extraordinary run of 13 straight wins ended at White Hart Lane.

Blues fans with longish memories will be intrigued to observe John McEachran, once a glittering Chelsea prospect, back at the Bridge in the Brentford team.

Injuries have prevented the world seeing him at his best… but he will be aiming to give his old team a shock.

Meanwhile, if you want any bargain Blues merchandise, the Chelsea shop in Kingston is closing in early February and there’s a fire sale in progress. 

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and unless specifically stated are not necessarily those of Hammersmith & Fulham Council.

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