UEFA Champions League: Chelsea battles Ajax from 4-1 to draw 4-4
Chelsea’s Reece James and Jorginho were the heroes as Chelsea recorded an incredible comeback draw at home to Ajax in the Champions League on Tuesday evening.
After an hour at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea were 4-1 down despite Ajax having only had two shots on target. By the end, they were wondering how they had not won. It would have been fitting for this crazy game to have been settled by a second goal from Cesar Azpilicueta, the unlikeliest of scorers. But for VAR to rule his effort out felt even more appropriate.
The first leg ended with a win for Chelsea in Amsterdam, so it was no surprise as the match started at a hectic pace, as Tammy Abraham scored against his own team with a header after just two minutes.
Chelsea then almost swiftly equalised from the penalty spot through former Chelsea coach Maurizio Saree’s protege Jorginho, but Dutch champions Ajax were soon back ahead through attacker Quincy Promes. Ajax then increased their lead when Hakim Ziyech’s amazing free kick went in after hitting the bar and then slamming Kepa Arrizabalaga’s face before going into the net.
Ajax star, Donny van de Beek made it 4-1 after the first half, before Ajax were then reduced to nine men as Daley Blind and Joel Veltman were both given second yellow cards resulting in Jorginho’s goal from the penalty spot.
Academy graduate Reece James then completed the comeback to 4-4 before Cesar Azpilicueta scored, but Azpilicueta’s goal was then ruled out. This feat made James (19 years, 332 days) Chelsea’s youngest goalscorer in Champions League history.
Chelsea’s next game in the Champions League is away to Valencia (17:55 GMT) on 27 November, before Lille take on Ajax at 20:00 GMT. The final round of matches happens on 10 December with Ajax at home to Valencia and Chelsea entertaining Lille.
Before then, Chelsea return to Premier League action on Saturday when they face Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge (12:30 GMT).