Torres spares Chelsea embarrassment in FA Cup
(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
By STEVE DOUGLAS
AP Sports Writer
LONDON (AP) Fernando Torres spared Chelsea a humiliating fourth-round exit from the FA Cup on Sunday, scoring a late equalizer in a 2-2 draw at third-tier Brentford to end his eight-match run without a goal.
The Spain striker curled in a superb finish in the 83rd minute to earn the European champions a replay at Stamford Bridge and ensure they avoided becoming the latest Premier League failure in the world's oldest knockout football competition.
On Saturday, Norwich was humbled by non-league team Luton and Queens Park Rangers was eliminated by third-tier MK Dons, continuing a theme of shock results this season after fourth-tier Bradford reached the final of the League Cup this week.
Brentford, which is in third place in League One, looked set to join the list after outplaying Chelsea in the first half on a bobbly, sandy pitch at Griffin Park, taking a 1-0 lead into the break with a goal by Marcello Trotta.
Brazil midfielder Oscar leveled in the 55th with a fine individual strike but the holders, who have won the FA Cup in four of the last six seasons, fell behind again when Harry Forrester slotted home a penalty with 17 minutes left.
Torres' goal set up a replay, which will be played on the same weekend as the fifth-round matches on Feb. 16-17 since the next three midweeks are filled with fixtures in the Premier League, international football and the Europa League.
Tottenham visits Leeds and Liverpool plays at third-tier Oldham later Sunday, when the fifth-round draw is also made.
Updated January 27, 2013