The UEFA Champions League often throws up games that we can’t really explain or describe, and all you can really do as a result of that is sit back and admire the action.
As reported by BBC and The Guardian, we got a game like that last night as Chelsea fought back to claim a point against Ajax in one of the most bizarre games the competition has seen in the last few years.
The showdown at Stamford Bridge started off at an insane pace, with an Ajax free kick being guided in off the foot of Tammy Abraham to give the visitors the lead. A Jorginho penalty quicky leveled the playing field, but after a nicely worked Quincy Promes header gave Ajax the advantage once again, it was clear to see what direction this game was heading in – for the first half, that is.
What a game
Ziyech’s sensational free kick soon followed, and unfortunately for Chelsea, it was a free kick that sailed onto the post and then off the face of Kepa Arrizabalaga for the second own goal of the evening.
Ten minutes into the second half things got even worse for the Blues, as Donny van de Beek made it four to really pile the pressure onto the shoulders of the hosts.
However, when Cesar Azpilicueta made it 4-2, everything seemed to change. In a crazy three minute spell Daley Blind and Joey Veltman were both sent off for the Dutch giants, and from the resulting penalty, Jorginho scored his second spotkick of the game to bring them back to within one.
Just three minutes later Reece James, the youngster that Lampard has put so much faith in, restored that faith by equalising to send Stamford Bridge into a state of ecstasy.
Chelsea proceeded to have what they thought was the winning goal ruled out, but at the end of the day, this has to be viewed as a point gained.
Blues boss Frank Lampard had the following to say after an insane night in South London.
Living up to the hype
“I can’t explain the game. For all the things we might analyse back, the madness of the game, we are here for entertainment I suppose and anyone who watched that has to say ‘what a game of football’. Respect to Ajax, what a spectacle.
“I don’t think I have been in a game like it. The two own goals were the story of the first half. I said at half-time it will be 3-3 or 4-4, we were so in the game.
“We looked dangerous and I felt we would build momentum. I’m not happy overall, this is the Champions League and we made too many mistakes.
“The biggest pleasure is the spirit the whole stadium showed. I can’t give you much on the red cards, I didn’t really see what they were for.
“At half-time I would have taken a draw, for sure. Let’s take it as what it was. I was expecting somewhere towards 10 minutes of added time, not sure where four came from.”
Chelsea boss Lampard will now lead his men into battle against Crystal Palace at the weekend, which isn’t exactly going to be a walk in the park. Ajax, on the other hand, will return to Eredivisie action when they host Utrecht.