Benitez and Terry dismiss rift reports
Chelsea interim boss Rafael Benitez and captain John Terry insisted their relationship is sound following the 4-0 FA Cup fourth-round replay defeat of Brentford at Stamford Bridge.
After goals from Juan Mata, Oscar and Frank Lampard - his 199th for Chelsea - Terry made a goalscoring return with a headed fourth as the holders overcame npower League One Brentford to set up a fifth-round clash with Middlesbrough.
A report on Sunday claimed Terry, who made his third start under Benitez following a knee injury sustained in November, and the Spaniard clashed earlier this month, but both parties branded it "rubbish" and were adamant they were on good terms.
"We were surprised today with some comments," said Benitez. "It's totally rubbish. We didn't have any problem. We were talking about football with the team. He was training yesterday, we had normal conversations. Everything was fine. I was really surprised."
Terry told ITV: "It was good to get on the scoresheet and good to be back. 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. It's good to have competition."
Asked again about Lampard's future, Benitez said: "Every time I will give the same answer. He's doing well, he's scoring goals. Hopefully he can score another 15 until the end (of the season). We'll be really pleased if he can carry on scoring goals. It will be good for him, good for the team and good for everyone."
Another talking point was challenges from Cahill and Luiz. Bees captain Jonathan Douglas was caught on the ankle by a late and high tackle by Cahill, while Luiz needlessly body-checked substitute Jake Reeves as Brentford finished beaten and bruised.
Benitez saw nothing wrong with the challenges and Brentford boss Uwe Rosler said: "The player (Luiz) came into our dressing room, he spoke to Jake. I think that's a fantastic gesture. Jake Reeves is fine. He wanted to continue, but our medical staff said it's better not to. He will be okay next week."
Rosler had no complaint either when Marcello Trotta had an effort ruled out after 39 minutes, referee Neil Swarbrick having already blown for a Luiz foul on Adam Forshaw. "On a better day he (Swarbrick) could've waited one or two seconds and we would've been 1-0 up," added Rosler. "Overall I would not complain about the referee.
"Rafa paid my players a lot of respect in putting out a very strong team. I didn't expect it. We had very good shape. At periods Chelsea were running out of ideas. The scoreline doesn't really reflect the game over big parts. We got too loose, too early. They punished us."