Uwe Rösler suggested that the footballing gods had smiled on his Brentford team when they escaped the concession of an injury-time penalty for handball, which could have denied them a lucrative FA Cup fourth-round replay at Chelsea. Yet the manager maintained that his players had deserved their luck after they put in a greater effort than the Cup holders.
The Brentford defender Harlee Dean, who is a friend of Chelsea's captain John Terry, clearly handled from the substitute Juan Mata's cross but his team breathed again when the referee, John Moss, ignored the appeals. Chelsea had equalised for 2-2 through Fernando Torres on 83 minutes.
"On one hand, we have been very unlucky," Rösler said. "To be five minutes or so from the end and leading 2-1 … I'm slightly disappointed that we didn't win. But there was a penalty situation with Dean. His hand was in an unusual situation. The ball connected with the hand and it was a very close distance. I can understand where the referee comes from because it is very difficult for defenders these days when somebody smashes in a cross from one or two metres to get your arm out of the way, although I have seen them given.
"But we deserved that luck from what we have put in compared to what Chelsea put in. There is a football God up there and he was on our side. The pitch was not in Chelsea's favour and I think they can pass the ball much quicker. We made it difficult for them. But obviously, when you saw what we were running and what they were running, I would say that we put in an enormous amount of work rate."
The Brentford defender Shaleum Logan said: "The one thing world-class players don't like is people in their faces and that's what we did. We didn't let them get in a rhythm. Maybe we had them rattled but they've been 2-1 down before and come back."
Rafael Benítez, the Chelsea manager, was annoyed Moss ignored the late penalty claim, saying Mata had told him it was "very clear" but he had other worries, including how his team had performed in the first half and the fact that the replay, scheduled for 17 February on FA Cup fifth-round weekend, has added another game to a busy schedule. Benítez appears to be beyond caring about the abuse from the Chelsea fans who resent his interim appointment.
"We made too many mistakes in the way we wanted to play [in the first-half]," he said. "I don't think we have any excuses in terms of why we didn't play to our levels. We were not doing the right things and that's it. But I was really pleased with the reaction in the second half. We showed quality and character."
Benítez also said that Eden Hazard ought not to be given an additional suspension on top of the three matches that he has received for his red card at Swansea City last Wednesday, for kicking a time-wasting ballboy, and the defender Gary Cahill endorsed the view.
"If I was a ballboy, I'd grab the ball as quickly as I could and throw it back," Cahill said. "That would solve all the problems. Anything more than a three‑match ban would be very harsh."