Football Article

Chelsea claims comeback draw against nine-man Ajax

Chelsea claims comeback draw against nine-man Ajax Photo: TT
Chelsea defender César Azpilicueta (28) scores and celebrates VAR during the Champions League match between Chelsea and Ajax at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea have fought back from three goals down to rescue a 4-4 draw with nine-man Ajax Amsterdam on a drama-filled Tuesday night in the UEFA Champions League.

The Blues’ 4-4 draw with the Dutch champions was the highlight of the action, with Chelsea trailing 4-1 after an hour at Stamford Bridge before turning the contest on its head.

Ajax, semi-finalists in last season’s Champions League, led early from a Tammy Abraham own goal but Chelsea levelled two minutes thanks to a Jorginho spotkick.

Goals from Quincy Promes and a Kepa Arrizabalaga own goal earned Ajax a 3-1 half-time lead, which was extended when Donny van de Beek fired low for a 55th minute goal.

The following 20 minutes were drama-filled as Chelsea first pulled one back via Cesar Azpilicueta who was close to offside.

Chelsea won a penalty on a play where both of Ajax’s centre-backs, Daley Blind and Joel Veltman, were sent off, with Jorginho converting again to make it 3-2 in the 71st minute.

The hosts levelled when youngster Reece James volleyed home emphatically from a set-piece as Stamford Bridge erupted.

The home fans thought they’d won it when Azpilicueta rifled home, but he was deemed by the VAR to have handled the ball when controlling it.

The result means Chelsea are top of Group H, but level on points with both Ajax and Valencia who won 4-1 over Lille.

Elsewhere, Borussia Dortmund also fought back from an early deficit, to record a 3-2 win over Internazionale in Germany.

Lautaro Martinez and Matias Vecino had earned Inter a 2-0 half-time lead but BVB hit back in the second 45.

Achraf Hakimi made it 2-1, before Julian Brandt’s angled finish levelled scores in the 64th minute. Hakimi put the hosts ahead in the 77th minute.

The result moves Dortmund within one point of Group F leaders FC Barcelona who were held to a goalless draw with Slavia Prague at Nou Camp.

In Group E, Liverpool moves top after a 2-1 win over Genk with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scoring the winner.

Napoli slipped to second in the group after a 1-1 home draw with Red Bull Salzburg, who had young gun Erling Haaland score yet again.

In Group G, RB Leipzig remained top with a 2-0 win at Zenit St Petersburg, while Olympique Lyonnais moved into second with a 3-1 home victory over Benfica.

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer
@bensomerford Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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