Benitez slams Terry rift talk as Blues progress

CHELSEA manager Rafael Benitez labelled reports of a rift with defender John Terry as “total rubbish” after seeing his skipper score in yesterday’s FA Cup fourth round replay at Stamford Bridge.

A national newspaper claimed the pair had fallen out over Terry’s lack of playing time since the Spaniard’s arrival on 21 November.

But Benitez insists his relationship with the former England defender – who made his third start for the Blues since 11 November yesterday – is healthy.

“We didn’t have a problem,” Benitez said adamantly.

“He trained on Saturday, we had a normal conversation and everything was fine. We were surprised by the comments in a newspaper. It is totally rubbish.

“The only way to improve his fitness is to play in games and train. In the last two training sessions he has been fine. Cahill, Terry and Ivanovic have to compete, which is good for us, because we have options in different competitions.

“He [Terry] is clever and knows the main thing is the team is winning. If he can play, all the better, but he is quite positive.”

Brentford held the cup holders to a stalemate at half-time, with Oscar going closest for Chelsea when a low effort hit the near post.

But the home side soon turned on the style and Juan Mata opened the scoring on 54 minutes with a fizzing effort from 25 yards.

Oscar squeezed a second through the legs of covering defender Harlee Dean on the goal line on 68 minutes and three minutes later Frank Lampard smashed in from eight yards to become Chelsea’s record goalscorer in the FA Cup with his 26th in the competition.

Terry was all smiles when he rose to meet Oscar’s cross at the far post and headed in the fourth with nine minutes remaining to set up a fifth round tie away to Middlesbrough.