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Chelsea, Ajax Play Out Extraordinary 4-4  (Sky Sports)

Chelsea 4 Ajax 4

Reece james celebrates his goalChelsea and nine-man Ajax played out a remarkable 4-4 draw as Frank Lampard's men roared back from 4-1 down and were denied a late winner by VAR.

After winning nine of their last 10 games, including the reverse fixture in Amsterdam, Chelsea were left stunned by last season's semi-finalists as the visitors ruthlessly went 1-4 up inside 55 minutes.

Tammy Abraham netted an early own-goal (2) before Jorginho netted from the spot (4) but two goals before half-time from Quincy Promes (20) and another own-goal, this time from Kepa Arrizabalaga (35), put Ajax in control while Donny van de Beek (55) extended the lead after the break.

Cesar Azpilicueta started the comeback to make it 2-4 (63) but then a extraordinary six minute period turned the game on its head where Daley Blind and Joel Veltman were both sent-off for second yellow cards, Jorginho scored his second from the spot (71) and Reece James (74) netted an equaliser.

Chelsea thought they had completed the comeback with 12 minutes left but Azpilicueta's strike was ruled out by VAR after Abraham handled the ball in the build-up.

The result means Chelsea, Ajax and Valencia all have seven points with two group games remaining.

Player Ratings

Chelsea: Kepa (6), Azpilicueta (7), Zouma (6), Tomori (6), Alonso (4), Jorginho (8), Kovacic (7), Willian (6), Mount (6), Pulisic (7), Abraham (6)

Subs: James (8), Hudson-Odoi (7), Batshuayi (6)

Ajax: Onana (8), Mazraoui (6), Veltman (6), Blind (6), Tagliafico (6), van de Beek (7), Ziyech (8), Martinez (7), Neres (7), Tadic (7), Promes (8)

Subs: Alvarez (6), Schuurs (6)

Man of the match: Jorginho

Ajax have still never lost an away Champions League match in England in four previous visits, winning their most recent fixture at Tottenham in last year's semi-final, and started this one full of confidence.

An early period of pressure down Chelsea's right won the visitors a free-kick and Promes' quality delivery caught Abraham napping as he diverted the cross into his own net.

Team news

Frank Lampard made just one change from the Chelsea side that won at Watford on Saturday as Marcos Alonso replaced Emerson. N'Golo Kante was back on the bench for the Blues after a spell out injured.

For Ajax, in came Noussair Mazraoui and David Neres in place of Edson Alvarez and Sergino Dest.

Chelsea's response was immediate with Christian Pulisic bursting into the box and drawing a late challenge from Veltman which allowed Jorginho the chance to score from the spot and he didn't pass up the opportunity.

The game continued to flow in entertaining fashion with Hakim Ziyech providing the quality to take the game away from the hosts. It was his magnificent cross from the right that caught out Azpilicueta and allowed Promes to dart in and finish from close range to make it 2-1.

Ziyech's left boot did further damage just before the break as Ajax extended their advantage, although there was a touch of luck about the goal. His delivery from near the corner flag caught Kepa Arrizabalaga out and the ball bounced back off the post and into the net via the unfortunate goalkeeper's face.

Things got worse for the Blues when Ziyech found Van de Beek in the area and the classy midfielder found the bottom corner with a clever finish.

Chelsea were still attacking with great tempo despite the deficit and the comeback was started when Abraham's close range finish was turned home by Azpilicueta at the far post.

Then came the crazy period.

Blind was shown a second yellow card for fouling Abraham and Veltman followed him down the tunnel for handling Callum Hudson-Odoi's shot after the advantage from the Blind foul was played.

Jorginho rolled in his second penalty of the night to send Stamford Bridge wild and any fans that left early were made to look foolish as James hammered home from a corner to sensationally equalise.

Azpilicueta thought he netted dramatic late winner but VAR dampened the celebrations by spotting a handball in the build-up while the nine-man Ajax almost nicked it late on but Kepa kept out Edson Alvarez.

UEFA Match Press Kit 

Teams

Chelsea Kepa, Azpilicueta (c), Tomori, Zouma, Alonso (James 46), Kovacic (Batshuayi 87), Jorginho, Willian, Mount (Hudson-Odoi 60), Abraham, Pulisic
Subs Not Used Caballero, Christensen, Kante, Gilmour
Booked Tomori, Azpilicueta
Goals Jorginho 5 (pen), 71 (pen), Azpilicueta 63, James 74

Ajax Onana, Mazraoui, Veltman, Blind, Tagliafico, Van de Beek, Martinez, Ziyech (Alvarez 73), Neres (Schuurs 72), Promes, Tadic (c)
Subs Not Used Varela, Dest, De Jong, Marin, Huntelaar
Booked Veltman, Blind, Promes
Sent Off Blind 68 (second booking), Veltman 69 (second booking)
Goals Abraham 2 (og), Promes 20, Kepa 35 (og), Van de Beek 55

Attendance 39,132

Referee Gianluca Rocchi (Italy)


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